The Bugatti La Voiture Noire Is the World's Most Expensive New Car

The custom car, ordered by a customer and inspired by Jean Bugatti's "lost" Type 57SC Atlantic, costs $12.5 million.

Bugatti, has unveiled a one-off Bugatti, named La Voiture Noire and based on the Divo, at the Geneva Auto Show. The custom car, ordered by a customer and inspired by Jean Bugatti's "lost" Type 57SC Atlantic, costs $12.5 million and is the most expensive new car in the world.

Inexpensive and Bugatti are not synonymous. For example, a standard Chiron will set you back $3 million. When you begin adding features, such as a sky view roof and colored carbon-fiber body panels, the price increases. Also, the limited edition Divo, based on the Chiron, comes in at just under $6 million.

Founded in the 1930s, Bugatti first introduced the Type 57, which was available in many different forms – a racing model, the Ventoux, a two-door sedan, the Galibier, a four-door sedan, the Stelvio, a convertible, and the Atlanté, and a two-door coupe. The company also produced the 57SC Atlantic, a coupe, which could reach top speeds of 125 mph. Only four were produced with the most iconic being Jean Bugatti's La Voiture Noire. Since 1938, the car has never been seen again.

The new La Voiture Noire was inspired by the Atlantic though it has been designed as a decidedly 21st century car. It features a carbon-fiber body with a deep black gloss finish and a limited amount of chrome trim. Extremely smooth and streamlined, the nose is much longer that the Divo’s, which gives it an almost front-engined look. It also has a substantial front end with large grille openings and a deep front splitter. The front fender intakes are unseen, and the windshield wraps around the body.

Other features include the headlights, which are clusters of LEDs enclosed in glass, triangular perforations on the twin scoops of the hood that balance the engine cover pattern, and two-tone wheels. According to designer Etienne Salomé, "We worked long and hard until there was nothing that we could improve. [The car] represents the perfect form with a perfect finish."

La Voiture Noire is intended to be a grand tourer. Though no photos of the interior are yet available, Bugatti says it has "the comfort of a luxury limousine" and is "the most elegant and fastest way to travel." The signature quad-turbo W-16 engine, which produces 1500 horsepower and 1180 lb-ft of torque, remains the same in La Voiture Noire.

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Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann says La Voiture Noire is automotive haute couture. Custom luxury cars have become more popular in recent years with companies like Ferrari and McLaren releasing limited-run or even one-off models. Winkelmann says that "the true form of luxury is individuality" and believes La Voiture Noire represents the company’s state-of-the-art design at work.

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