Leave it to the richest man in Austria and the 53rd richest person in the world to buy the most expensive new car ever sold.
Ferdinand Piëch, scion to the Porsche/Piëch clan (Austria's wealthiest), is said to have paid close to $19 million or €16.7 million (including taxes) for the one-off Bugatti La Voiture Noire (The Black Car). Bugatti calls this coupé with the comfort of a luxury limousine and the power of a hyper sports car the most expensive new car of all time.
A long-time fan of Bugatti's fabulously expensive motor cars, Piëch is also the proud owner of two Bugatti Veyron sportscars that can sell for as much as $3 million. He regularly drives one Veyron while his wife drives the other.
The Bugatti La Voiture Noire will be a grand addition to the famous and vast car collection owned by Piëch. There will only be one Bugatti La Voiture Noire to be made and it now sits in Piëch's cavernous garage.
Bugatti made an effort not to reveal Piëch's identity, but the sheer expensiveness of the Bugatti La Voiture Noire and Piëch's well-known reputation as a Bugatti man could lead to only one conclusion.
A titan in the international motor vehicle industry, Piëch was chairman of the executive board of Volkswagen Group from 1993 to 2002, and chairman of the supervisory board of Volkswagen Group from 2002-2015.
Piëch was named the Car Executive of the Century in 1999 and was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2014.
Bugatti said that with its extended front end and the distinctive Bugatti C-line, the Voiture Noire creates an elongated impression "with the elegant waistline defining the contours of the coupé. Purism and elegance are reflected in the surfaces and the clear lines."
Without any irritating lines, the surface is "all of a piece" and there is nothing to disturb the optical flow. This means that the hyper sports car has changed its attitude and become a grand tourisme ideal for comfortable travel on long trips.
According to Bugatti, the heart of the new creation is the iconic 16-cylinder engine, which it claims is unique in the automotive world and the peak of the engineer's art.
"This is not only an engine but the heart of the vehicle and a technical masterpiece," said Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann.
"There is no other car in the world with such an engine. It is not only extremely powerful but also beautiful to look at."
The 16-cylinder engine with a displacement of 8 litres develops 1,103 kW/1,500 PS and 1,600 Newton-meters of torque. Six tailpipes at the rear release the road emanating from this incredible power.
This article was first published in IBTimes US. Permission required for reproduction.