Buyer of Most Expensive New Car Ever Remains a Mystery

By Samuel Allegri

Bugatti’s “La Voiture Noire” hails as the most expensive car of all time with a price tag of $19 million (16.7 million euros), according to CNBC.

To celebrate Buggati’s 110th anniversary, this prototype hypercar was developed, representing the zenith of Bugatti’s production line.

La Voiture Noire, which sounds as fancy as the car looks, means simply “black car.” It boasts an 8-liter 16-cylinder engine, six tailpipes, and 1,500 brake horsepower. It debuted at the Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland on March 5.

“We are paying tribute to a long tradition, to France and to the creative work of Jean Bugatti,” said Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S, in a statement, USA Today reported. “At the same time, we are transferring extraordinary technology, aesthetics and extreme luxury to a new age.”

Bugatti is a French sports car brand that is now owned by the German automaker Volkswagen. Speculation points to former Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Ferdinand Piech as the new owner. Although Piech’s name is not mentioned by Bugatti, the owner was described as an “enthusiast.”

The fact that it was Piech who signed off on some flagrant development costs, points to him as the prime suspect, reported Bloomberg.

“The windscreen seems to flow seamlessly into the windows at the sides like the visor on a helmet,” Bugatti said, also mentioning that the car is “more than a modern interpretation” of Jean Bugatti’s Type 57 SC Atlantic.

Only four such cars were ever made, Fortune reported. One of them was built between 1936 and 1938, and was owned by Jean Bugatti, the son of designer Ettore. It was also driven by his friends, including Le Mans winner Robert Benoist. Nazis seized a Bugatti factory in 1940 during World War II and the car was shipped by train to Bordeaux, but when the train arrived, the La Voiture Noire was gone.

Bugatti 57 C atlantic
A Bugatti 57 S(C) Atlantic 1938. (Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images)