Bugatti has launched a new “Les Légendes du Ciel“ edition to honour its racing
drivers from last century’s “Golden Decade”. Many were former flying aces,
daredevils and technically skilled pilots who, notes Bugatti, “flew without fear”.
Based on the Chiron Sport and limited to 20 vehicles, the edition references features of historic aircrafts in which Bugatti pilots gained their racing experience. In addition to the paintwork’s unusual colour, the vehicle includes a special full leather interior with hand-drawn sketches and diamond-cut aluminium.
“Bugatti has had close associations with aviation since the company was established more than 110 years ago,” says company president Stephan Winkelmann. “Many successful Bugatti racing drivers, such as Albert Divo, Robert Benoist and Bartolomeo ‘Meo’ Costantini, flew for the French Air Force; the French aviator legend Roland Garros privately drove a Bugatti Type 18 to be as fast on the road as in the air. It is therefore almost an obligation for us today to pay tribute to the legends of that time and dedicate a special edition to them.”
Company founder Ettore Bugatti reportedly admired the fearless character and technical expertise of his drivers, who were fascinated by high speeds and determined to master them.On the road, Bugatti’s racing drivers subsequently benefited from the experience they gained in aircraft cockpits.
In turn, according to Bugatti, they admired Ettore Bugatti for his talent as an engineer, and were fascinated by his agile, light and speedy vehicles, embodying on the road what their planes were in the sky. Roland Garros described him as the “incomparable artist who alone knows how to give life to steel”.
Ettore Bugatti had always been inspired by aviation. Around 1915, he designed aircraft engines and from 1937 he also developed an entire aircraft intended to break speed records, before the project was halted because of the outbreak of World War II.
One particularly striking feature of the Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” is its matt-grey “Gris Serpent” paintwork, a modern interpretation of the aircrafts’ exterior colour from the 1920s. The paintwork extends across the entire vehicle and is traversed from front to the rear via the extending rear spoiler with a high-contrast, white gloss centre stripe. The front wings are adorned with the “Les Légendes du Ciel“ logo, and the “Le BleuBlanc-Rouge” tricolour in blue, white and red decorates the front area of the side sills made of exposed black carbon fibre.
Also featuring a black gloss finish, the horseshoe-shaped radiator grille includes mesh made of laser-cut and deep-drawn aluminium, with the dynamic pattern of the stitched seams repeated on the leather seats – reminiscent of planes flying in formation in an air parade. The door entry lights project the edition logo onto the ground when the doors open.
The W16 engine cover is made of black exposed carbon fibre, and these lightweight components are contrasted by white lettering. Dominating the rear are black exposed carbon fibre and a black-coated exhaust trim cover made of 3D-printed, high-temperature-resistant Inconel.
The interior has also been designed to visually evoke aircraft from the past century. Bugatti uses fine “Gaucho” leather for the entire vehicle interior, and the light brown leather is reminiscent of natural leather in these aircraft. The natural material is contrasted by aluminium trims, an aluminium inlay with the logo “Les Légendes du Ciel” also found on the headrests, and special edition numbering (“1 of 20”). Bugatti optionally offers comfort seats and the glass roof “Sky View” – another reminder of how occupants could gaze into the sky like in open-top aircraft of the past century.
On the door panels there is a hand-sketched racing scene between the Nieuport 17 aircraft and a Bugatti Type 13. The Nieuport 17 was a French biplane aircraft built from 1916 that was hugely popular with pilots due to its reliability, speed, agility and manoeuvrability. The single-seater aircraft was powered by a nine-cylinder engine that delivered up to 130 PS.
The Bugatti Type 13 was the first model to bear the name Bugatti. From 1910, the Type 13 impressed with its lightweight design, agility and high output for the time of more than 15 PS. More than 110 years ago, the “Pur Sang” (thoroughbred) reached speeds of almost 100 km/h and won many races on the track, laying the foundations for Bugatti’s racing success. The perlée-finish, polished aluminium of the armrest tray and the centre console insert are also reminiscent of the historic racing cars.
With a W16 engine and capacity of 8.0 litres, the Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” delivers 1,500 PS and 1,600 newton metres of torque. Its maximum speed is electronically limited at 420 km/h. Bugatti was due to start production of the Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” towards the end of 2020. The edition will be limited to 20 units, at a price of €2.88 million (net) each