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Bugatti open to creating more one-off models

by Ronan Glon

It won't let its customers design a car from scratch, though.

Priced at nearly $19 million including taxes, the one-off La Voiture Noire (pictured) that Bugatti presented during the 2019 Geneva auto show stands out as the world's most expensive new car. The French firm had no trouble finding a buyer for it, though his or her identity remains a secret, so it's open to the idea of creating additional one-offs in the future. It's not about to let a customer design a car, though.

"The market for [coach-built cars] is growing, and the brand is so strong that we have come to see now that the sky is the limit," explained Frank Heyl, Bugatti's head of exterior design, in a recent interview with Bloomberg. He stopped short of revealing what else the company has in store, but he explained he's not interested in welcoming buyers -- even the wealthiest ones -- into his design center and giving them a blank sheet of paper, like other high-end companies sometimes do.

"It gets very very difficult. You have to be very, very disciplined in your process. Otherwise your process will explode, and your time will run out. If you are not very disciplined in that process, it will not make a business as well. After all, in the end, we have to make it work financially," he opined.

Bugatti's vast heritage gives it the credibility needed to make one-off cars, sell them for seven-digit prices, and easily find a buyer willing to sign a check. While the firm remained dormant for decades, Heyl pointed out cars like the Royale and the Atlantic remain some of the most desirable -- and expensive -- classics ever made. The La Voiture Noire is their modern-day equivalent, he argued, and "from here, we only go up." In other words: stay tuned.

Photo by Ronan Glon.

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