Bugatti Automobiles

This article is about the Volkswagen AG subsidiary active from 1999-present. For Automobiles Ettore Bugatti (1909-1963), see Bugatti. For Bugatti Automobile S.p.A. (1987-1995), see Bugatti Automobiles
Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.
Type
Private
Société par actions simplifiée
Industry
  • Automobile manufacturing
  • Automobile distribution
Fate purchased by Volkswagen AG (July, 1998)
Predecessor Bugatti Automobili S.p.A.
Founded July 1998
Headquarters Molsheim, France
Area served
Worldwide (except Australia)
Key people
Wolfgang Dürheimer (President)
Products Bugatti Veyron
Bugatti Chiron
Production output
  • Decrease 38 vehicles (2011)
  • 40 vehicles (2010)
Number of employees
73
Parent Volkswagen AG
Subsidiaries
  • Bugatti Engineering GmbH
  • Bugatti International S.A.
Website    bugatti.com

Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. is a French high-performance luxury automobiles manufacturer and a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, with its head office and assembly plant in Molsheim, Alsace, France. Volkswagen purchased the Bugatti trademark in June 1998 and incorporated Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. in 1999.

Bugatti presented several concept cars between 1998 and 2000 before commencing development of its first production model, the Veyron 16.4, delivering the first Veyron to a customer in 2005.

History:

At the urging of then-chairman Ferdinand Piech, Volkswagen purchased the rights to produce cars under the Bugatti marque in June, 1998. This followed the earlier Volkswagen purchases of the Lamborghini marque (by VW’s Audi subsidiary), the Rolls-Royce factory in Crewe, United Kingdom, and the Bentley marque.

On 22 December 2000, Volkswagen officially incorporated Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S., with former VW drivetrain chief Karl-Heinz Neumann as president. The company purchased the 1856 Château Saint Jean, formerly Ettore Bugatti’s guest house in Dorlisheim, near Molsheim, and began refurbishing it to serve as the company’s headquarters. The original factory was still in the hands of Snecma, who were unwilling to part with it. At the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August 2000, VW announced that they would instead build a new modern atelier (factory) next to and south of the Château. The atelierwas officially inaugurated on 3 September 2005.

Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen AG

Early concept cars:

Italdesign Giugiaro designs:

Volkswagen commissioned Italdesign’s Giorgetto Giugiaro to design a series of concept cars to return the marque to prominence. The first example, the EB 118, was a two-door coupé and was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1998. It was followed by the four-door EB 218 touring sedan, introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1999. Later that year, the18/3 Chiron was shown at the IAA in Frankfurt.

Volkswagen designs:

Volkswagen designed the final Bugatti concept, the EB 18/4 GT in house. Bugatti introduced the EB 18/4 at the 1999 Tokyo Motor Show.

W18 Engine:

All of these early concepts featured a 555 PS (408 kW; 547 hp) 18-cylinder engine. This was the first-ever W-configurationengine on a passenger vehicle, with three blocks of 6 cylinders each. It shared many components with Volkswagen’s modular engine family.

Production cars:

 Bugatti EB110 GT

In the 1980s the Bugatti brand was brought back as Bugatti Automobili S.p.A. in Italy, and produced in the 90s the EB110 which put Bugatti back on the modern super-car enthusiast radar and was the company bought by VW at end of the 20th century

Veyron 16.4:

 Bugatti Veyron (Veyron 16.4)

Development of this vehicle began with the 1999 EB 18/4 “Veyron” concept car, which itself had a chassis based on that of the Bugatti 18/3 Chiron concept car. It was similar in design and appearance to the final Veyron production car. One major difference was the EB 18/4’s use of a W18 engine with three banks of six cylinders. The Veyron’s chief designer was Hartmut Warkuss, and the exterior was designed by Jozef Kabaň of Volkswagen, rather than Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign, who had handled the three prior Bugatti concepts.

The then – Volkswagen Group chairman Ferdinand Piëch announced the Veyron at the 2000 Geneva Motor Show. It was promised to be the fastest, most powerful and most expensive car in history. Instead of the W18, it would use a VR6/WR8-style W16 engine. First seen in the 1999 Bentley Hunaudières concept car, the W16 would have four turbochargers and produce a quoted (metric) 1001 horsepower (see engine section for details on the power output). Top speed was promised at 407 km/h (253 mph), and the price was announced at €1 million.

Development continued throughout 2001 and the EB 16/4 Veyron was promoted to “advanced concept” status. In late 2001, Bugatti announced that the car, officially called the “Bugatti Veyron 16.4”, would go into production in 2003.

Piëch retired that year as chairman of the Volkswagen Group and was replaced by Bernd Pischetsrieder. The new chairman promptly sent the Veyron back to the drawing board for major revisions. Neumann was replaced as Bugatti president by Thomas Bscher in December 2003, and substantial modifications were made to the Veyron under the guidance of a former VW engineer, Bugatti Engineering chief Wolfgang Schreiber.

The Veyron costs €1,100,000 (net price without taxes); prices vary by exchange rates and local taxes (like value added taxes). Prices for the UK or the US are over £880,000, or around $1,400,000. It was noted in an April issue ofLive magazine (weekly men’s magazine with The Sunday Times) that customers are free to order additional extras which can push the price up by the cost of a Rolls Royce Phantom. During an episode of Top Gear, the car was compared to the Concorde as a feat of technology.

Bugatti 16C Galibier:

The 16C Galibier was first unveiled during Celebration of the Centenary of the Marque in Molsheim. The presentation was only for Bugatti customers. The car show in Molsheim showed the car in blue carbon fibre and aluminum parts. One year later Bugatti showed the world the 16C Galibier Concept at “VW Group Night” at the Geneva Auto Show in a new black and aluminum color combination.

The Galibier, a 1000 HP sedan, was first shown as a concept in 2010 and when they planned to put it into production in 2015, It would have cost about $1.4 million. It would use the same 16-cylinder 8.0-litre engine as the Veyron but instead of four turbos, the 16C Galibier would instead use two superchargers to deliver better torque. Production would require new facilities in Molsheim, France, to be refitted, which pushed back potential deliveries until 2015.

In 2013 it was announced that the car will never be produced as they wish to focus on a Veyron replacement.

Bugatti Chiron:

At the 2016 Geneva Auto Show, Bugatti premiered the Bugatti Chiron as a successor to the Veyron.  The pricing is set at 2.4 million euros. The car is expected to have 1500 horsepower and will be capped at 420 km/h (260 mph) for road use. It can accelerate from 0-100 kp/h in 2.5 seconds. Production is limited to 500 units. Unlike the Veyron, the Chiron is expected to make a profit.

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