This white gold Bugatti is our cup of tea.
The Bugatti Veyron is an icon of automotive engineering and performance. But it’s not just about the 0-62 mph time of less than 2.7 seconds and the 250+ mph top speed, it’s about passion and design; both hallmarks of the Bugatti brand. The new Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport L’Or Blanc is a stunning example of the emotion, craftsmanship, and artistry that goes into the design of the supercar.
The new Bugatti L’Or Blanc is a special one-off model that was built and designed in cooperation with renowned German porcelain manufacturer, Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin (KPM). For 250 years KPM has employed some of the most skilled craftsman and produced fine works of art using porcelain. The use of the new material may be surprising to many; however Ettore Bugatti enjoyed experimenting with new materials in his automobiles.
“At first, it seems to be an unusual idea to use porcelain in a car, especially in the world’s fastest convertible,” comments Dr. Stefan Brungs, Director of Sales and Marketing at Bugatti Automobiles. “But this is what Bugatti stands for: the realization of exceptional ideas whilst striving for the utmost in quality and aesthetics. This allows us to continue Ettore Bugatti’s heritage, who himself loved to experiment with new materials.”
During the design process, the goal for Bugatti’s team was to create an automobile that “redefines automobile art.”The car was pre-painted in a vibrant white tone then designers spent weeks using precision tape made from Japanese soft tissue to form dynamic bends and lines that transform the Veyron into a work of art. After the designers outlined the car with tape, the paint specialists spent three weeks painting the marked lines by hand in a unique blue paint. Upon completion, the Bugatti L’Or Blanc was given five coats of clear lacquer and given twelve different exterior porcelain elements manufactured by KPM.
“The ‘L’Or Blanc’ is evidence of the capabilities of the craftsmen at both brands,” says Achim Anscheidt, Head of Design at Bugatti. “The distinctive structure of lines does not only mirror the elaborate hand painting on porcelain but also the process of modeling in automotive design.”
The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport L’Or Blanc is the first car to use porcelain elements for the exterior and interior design. KPM craftsman created handmade plaster molds to craft the porcelain elements over the course of several weeks to ensure the utmost in quality. Each mold was tested and checked for the impact of the 16 percent natural shrinkage that occurs during firing and drying, resulting in a perfect fit for the Veyron. The porcelain elements were also tested to ensure the utmost in safety and quality in the event of an accident. Twelve porcelain elements are used on the exterior including the center wheel badges, fuel filler cap, oil filler cap, and rear “EB” badge.
“Porcelain is one of the strongest materials but the grade of quality depends significantly on the excellence of the manufacturing process. We had to assure that the inlays perfectly fit to the filler caps, it has been a challenge for us to exactly calculate the shrinkage of porcelain,” explains Thomas Wenzel, Head of Design at KPM.
Porcelain has also been used in the interior of the Bugatti L’Or Blanc. Both sides of the center console feature signed inlays. Between the rear seats sits a fine porcelain intarsia bearing a relief of the famous elephant in an upright standing position that was originally created by Rembrandt Bugatti. The original draft was used by Ettore Bugatti to cast the radiator mascot for the Bugatti Royale. Atop the center console sits a removable fine porcelain dish with diamond-polished edges that is part of the picnic set designed by KPM for the L’Or Blanc.
“The impulse for that partnership came from Rembrandt Bugatti’s renowned elephant,” tells Jörg Woltmann, owner of the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin (KPM) and car aficionado. “At the beginning, we wanted to integrate the sculpture in our product range, then we thought about the potential for a comprehensive service and finally the synthesis of ideas led us to this outstanding Grand Sport.” Woltmann is enthusiastic about the “L’Or Blanc”. “A number of superlatives are associated with porcelain from the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin: one says it has the most beautiful shapes and decors, it has the hardest weight and the whitest tone. Now, it is also the fastest porcelain.”
The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport L’Or Blanc will be a one-off model and be priced at € 1.65 million (+/- 2.388 million USD). The model will still retain the same Bugatti Veyron top speed and engine specifications as the “base” model. The partnership between Bugatti and KPM will continue, giving rise to the possibility of future porcelain appointments to Bugatti models.
Bugatti L’Or Blanc Veyron Grand Sport Specifications
Displacement: 8.0 liters
Number of Cylinders: W-16
Maximum Horsepower: 1,001 at 6,000 RPM
Maximum Torque: 922 lb-ft. (1,250 Nm) from 2,200 to 5,500 RPM
Type: Seven-speed DSG
Acceleration 0-62 mph: Less than 2.7 seconds
Acceleration 0-124 mph: 7.3 seconds
Acceleration 0-186 mph: 16.7 seconds
Top Speed: 252.9 mph (407 km/h)
Bugatti L’Or Blanc Veyron Grand Sport Gallery
What do you think of the design and use of porcelain in the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport L’Or Blanc? Leave a comment and let us know!