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Bugatti’s Most Expensive Car Ever Made Sold Before It Was Even Unveiled

Bugatti is known for its slick, stunning hypercars that appear to come straight from a superhero film. Cars such as the Veyron and the Chiron showcase Bugatti’s attention to detail in a vivid manner. Other automakers try to imitate but can’t quite replicate it.

Even someone with no desire to sit behind the wheel may suddenly find themselves becoming a car enthusiast when they set eyes on a Bugatti for the first time. With such effort put into each and every car, it’s no surprise that a Bugatti comes with such a high price tag.

Pushing the bar further than ever, Bugatti revealed its latest hypercar, the La Voiture Noire, at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland this past May. There may have been many potential buyers who showed up specifically to buy the La Voiture Noire, or the Black Car as it’s known in French, but they left disappointed.

Mysteriously, the La Voiture Noire was purchased by an anonymous buyer with a soft spot for Bugattis. It sold for the astronomical price of $18.9 million before it could even make its public debut. Only one was even produced. This means, even though the La Voiture Noire is a brand-new car, it is officially one of the rarest cars in the world.

The inspiration behind the La Voiture Noire

Rear view of the Bugatti La Voiture Noire
Rearview of the Bugatti La Voiture Noire | Uli Deck/picture alliance via Getty Images

Ettore Bugatti, the founder of Bugatti, had a dream to build cars that were works of art. His focus was on creating the finest race cars and the most luxurious cars of his era, and he succeeded.

His experiments began with a tricycle that he added an engine to. After that, his designs became more and more elaborate. Many of today’s cars are inspired by Ettore Bugatti, and the La Voiture Noire is no exception.

Jean Bugatti, Ettore’s son, had a love for automaking just as fierce as his father. He created the Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic 80 years ago. The Le Voiture Noire is the modern interpretation of the now legendary Atlantic, and anyone who has seen the Atlantic can see why it would be so inspiring.

There were only four of these cars ever made, which only adds to the rarity. One went missing in France, shortly before the start of WWII. This created one of the great mysteries of the auto world.

Is the La Voiture Noire the most expensive car ever bought?

Yes and no. Even though $18.9 million sounds impossibly high to the average car enthusiast, there are cars that have sold for more. According to Autoblog, the most expensive car ever purchased was the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO.

One sold in a private auction for a whopping $70 million. This is almost 4 times as much as the La Voiture Noire sold for. While the 250 GTO is not nearly as rare as the La Voiture Noire or its predecessor the Atlantic, with only 39 cars ever produced, it’s still a rarity in its own right.

That being said, the La Voiture Noire is the most expensive new car to ever be purchased. Other cars that have been purchased for higher prices are classics that have a little history to cushion the high price tags.

Bugatti La Voiture Noire specs

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Even though it will be years, if ever, that the La Voiture Noire comes back on the market, that doesn’t mean no one wants to know the gritty details about this extremely rare hypercar.

Motor 1 reports that the La Voiture Noire has a quad-turbo W16 8.0-liter engine with 1,500 horsepower, and 1,180 pound-feet of torque. This is the same as its predecessors the Divo, Chiron, and Chiron Sport.

Since Bugatti didn’t show off the interior at the Geneva Motor Show, we’ll just have to use our imagination for what the inside looks like. Considering how much it resembles the Batmobile, the La Voiture Noir may very well have high tech gadgets that the public at large couldn’t see.