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How Bugatti Picks Buyers For Special Editions And One-Offs

Interview / 9 Comments

First requirement: be rich. Very rich.

People who buy Bugattis are in a very different price bracket than the rest of us. You know, 99.9 percent of car buyers. Nearly every Bugatti is built to order and the Volkswagen Group-owned brand fully intends to keep it that way. Now that Stephan Winkelmann is CEO, having briefly headed up Audi Sport after ten years leading Lamborghini, expect to see more special edition and one-off models, such as the new $18 million La Voiture Noire, built in celebration of the company's 110th anniversary.

Its owner remains a mystery and, according to Bugatti design director Achim Anscheidt, Bugatti employees "are advised not to disclose any of (its) customers completely, including the Chiron." Fair enough, but what we wanted to know when we spoke with Anscheidt at Geneva was how these ultra-wealthy are chosen.

How does one get asked to spend eight figures on a hypercar?

"We formulate a plan (for a new model) to approach a target like the Geneva Motor Show and we go down the customer list and approach the customer and tell them 'Look, we're doing this (special edition or one-off) for Geneva and we have whatever in mind. Would they be interested? And this customer knows very well that if he is not interested we'll just move on to the next customer," Anscheidt said. "This car will stay individual. So the detail you see on this will first of all relate to the Bugatti Atlantic. But it will stay unique and individual for this specific customer because he wants to keep it as a unique piece in his collection."

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Despite its many stunning details, such as six exhausts and the dorsal fin, Anscheidt and his team managed to get everything done fairly quickly. "Half a year ago we came to the decision to go in this direction. That's why the car you see here is a design model, without an interior or engine."

The completion and delivery date of the homologated version remains unknown. Also, the mystery buyer only had "very little" input for the La Voiture Noire's design. "Our instructions for these kinds of projects is to go one level even more extreme for a single-build car for one customer only," Anscheidt said. In that respect, it was mission accomplished.

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