The fifth addition to the six-part Bugatti Legends line.
Bugatti is paying homage to some of their most iconic and legendary historic models with their new limited-run, six-part “Les Legends de Bugatti” Edition line. So far, five of these models have been unveiled, the latest being the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse “Black Bess” that takes inspiration from the pre-war Type 18 supercar owned by aviation icon, Roland Garros.
The original “Black Bess” is one of the only three remaining Bugatti Type 18 models. Only seven of The Type 18 models were built with number 474 being delivered to Garros on September 18th, 1913. The car was named after the famous English racing horse, Black Bess, and featured a black body with gold accents throughout.
The Bugatti Type 18 models were considered the first-ever street-legal “super sports cars” and were in a league of their own. The Type 18 was powered by a 5.0-liter inline-four producing 100 PS and could reach a top speed of 100 mph, which was an incredible feat at the time. Ettore Bugatti drove the Type 18 in numerous races, even scoring a victory at the 1912 Mont Ventoux hill climb. The speed and performance of the car grabbed the attention of Roland Garros who was famous for his aviation achievements at the time, and had successfully crossed the Mediterranean in an airplane in 1912.
“Over the course of its history, Bugatti has not only been responsible for crafting enormously successful race cars, but has also created some outstanding road vehicles,” notes Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. “As the fastest road vehicle of its time, the Type 18 was in a class of its own. It truly is the legitimate forerunner for the Veyron, and is therefore a Bugatti Legend.”
The new “Black Bess” in the Bugatti Legends Edition line is based on the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse. The supercar is ahead of its time like the Type 18 was, sporting a quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W-16 engine with 1,200 bhp and 1,100 lb-ft. of torque, good enough to send it to 62 mph in 2.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 408.84 km/h (254.04 mph).
The exterior of the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse “Black Bess” has a body constructed entirely of lightweight carbon fiber with a black paint finish, just like the Type 18 model it is designed after. Bugatti took the design to the next level with the addition of 24-carat gold throughout the body on parts such as the front horseshoe around the black grille, rear EB logo, hub covers on the black wheels, and tank and oil caps with their engraved “Black Bess” nameplates. Gold is also used to create the impression of speed in the form of stripes that start below the headlights and flow into the fenders, towards the rear where they end at the doorline.
“The ’Black Bess’ Legend Vitesse is yet another fine example of Bugatti’s innovative power when it comes to creating exclusive automobiles,” explains Bugatti Head Designer, Achim Anscheidt. “We have developed a new process for individually hand-painting the leather in the vehicle’s interior, the like of which has never been used before in the automotive industry. The leather and the ink applied by the designer have been technically developed and processed so that they can withstand the stresses inside the vehicle and fulfill the valid quality requirements demanded by modern day production.”
The interior is arguably the most impressive part of the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse “Black Bess”. It starts with the innovative leather door panels. The panels are trimmed in Havanna leather and feature sketches of the original Type 18 “Black Bess” and Roldand Garros’ Morane Saulnier Type H airplane hand-painted directly onto the leather surface. The paintings go back to a time at the beginning of the 20th century when luxury cars were hand-painted. In order to protect them, Bugatti has used a special ink and impregnation process. None of the three models will feature the same painting on the door panels, making each a truly individual vehicle.
Fine leather is worn on the headliner, footwell, seats, center console, and rear bulkhead in a creamy Beige color while darker brown Havanna leather adorns the dashboard, dash panel, door trim panel, and cowl panel. A red Crimson leather steering wheel, akin to the one found in the Type 18 “Black Bess”, is featured while the same color is used as contrasting seat stitching and seat belts. The selector lever and center console panel feature a high-quality rosewood paneling while gold is worn by the EB logo on the rear storage compartment. That same compartment is covered in Beige leather and boasts a hand-painted motif of the original Type 18 model. Other exclusive touches include a “Les Legends de Bugatti” nameplate on the center console extension, a gold-finished dancing elephant, and Type 18 “Black Bess” door sills.
The new Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse “Black Bess” will be limited to just three units at a cost of 2.15 million Euros, each. The car will make its debut at the Auto China Beijing 2014 show from April 21st to 29th alongside the iconic Type 18 “Black Bess”.
Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse “Black Bess” Gallery