$12 Million Atlantic-Inspired One-Off Bugatti Somehow Looks Less Like Atlantic than the Chiron it was Based On

Certain pre-war cars have achieved a level of notoriety that can only be described as legendary. These are the Bentley Blowers, the Dusenbergs, the V16 Cadillacs. Few, though, are as legendary as the Bugatti Atlantic. Which may explain why someone paid 11 million Euros for an Atlantic-inspired, rebodied Chiron.

Called simply La Voiture Noire (French for The Black Car), Bugatti says that the one-off is an homage to the Type 57 SC Atlantic. The name is inspired by the deep black carbon fiber that the body panels are made out of.

If this Voiture Noire doesn’t quite look like the Atlantic to you, you’re not alone. But there are a few reminiscent design cues. The seam down the middle of the car, for instance, is a nod to the Atlantic. That car was made in two halves and riveted together, which was unnecessary on the aluminum-bodied production cars, but was necessary on the Aerolithe concept car because it was made out of Elektron composite, which was flammable and thus couldn’t be welded.

The silver bullseye on the c-pillar, meanwhile, is a nod to the Atlantic’s gas cap. And that’s about it. Frankly, the Chiron, with its rounder rear quarter panel looks more like the Atlantic to our eye, but that’s okay, says Bugatti CEO, Stefan Winkelmann.

“For Bugatti, ‘La Voiture Noire’ is more than just a reminiscence of the Atlantic. We are paying tribute to a long tradition, to France and to the creative work of Jean Bugatti,” he explains. “At the same time, we are transferring extraordinary technology, aesthetics and extreme luxury to a new age.”

So there you go.

In case you were curious, the Atlantic was based on Bugatti’s Type 57 chassis. Designed by Jean Bugatti, it underpinned cars from 1934 until 1940 and made use of a twin-cam 3.2-liter engine.

As mentioned above, the concept that predated the Atlantic was made out of a flammable composite, so it had to be riveted together. That made it a lot like the airplanes of the day (also often riveted), and Jean Bugatti decided to name the car after his friend Jean Mermoz, who was the first pilot to fly across the South Atlantic.

Only four were built and of that, only three are known to have survived. So if you’ve got a hot tip on a pre-war car with rivets down the middle in a barn near you, send your tips to [email protected].

But that’s not all that Bugatti brought to Geneva. The brand is also celebrating its 110th anniversary and so has created another limited run car.

Also based on the Chiron, 20 of these cars, known as the “110 Ans Bugatti,” will be built. Like the Divo, the 110 Ans Bugatti has been modified to have more downforce, which should help with cornering speeds. At 3 million Euros, it’s a bargain next to the La Voiture Noire, and the world’s super-rich have noticed because they’re all sold out.

“In 2019, we are celebrating a special anniversary. Bugatti was established 110 years ago. These two models pay homage to our long tradition and to our French homeland,” says Winkelmann.