American Marketer

Events / Causes

Bugatti honors legacy through new vehicle unveiling

September 11, 2013


French automaker Bugatti unveiled its second "Bugatti Legend" at the Frankfurt International Motor Show to honor the founder's eldest son who played a pivotal role in the brand's early development.

Like the rest of the models in this series, the Grand Sport Vitesse “Jean Bugatti” model is limited to three vehicles and sells for more than $3 million. Auto enthusiasts will likely treat "Les Legendes de Bugatti" with mounting excitement as the series progresses due to the event's exclusive and heritage-steeped nature.

"I think that the Jean Bugatti special edition is for the ultimate collector," said Lauren Fix, automotive expert and author of “Lauren Fix’s Guide to Loving Your Car,” Lancaster, NY.

"These are for the quarter percent and certainly not for the masses," she said.

"The story is interesting and it's great for people who are historians and for those who wish to know more detailed history."

Ms. Fix is not affiliated with Bugatti, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Bugatti did not comment by press deadline.

The black car

Jean Bugatti is known for his pioneering engine, chassis designs and concepts for vehicle bodies. The Type 57SC Atlantic is one of his most celebrated designs and acts as the inspiration for the commemorative model.

The Legend vehicle unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor show recalls an Atlantic "La Voiture Noire" model that was driven by Jean Bugatti himself.

"Jean Bugatti" legend vehicle

Bugatti's designer's aimed to emulate the Atlantic model as closely as possible. The exterior borrows the jet black look with a clear-coated carbon fiber.

Platinum is also used for the first time by the brand on the exterior. The signature of Jean Bugatti has been lasered onto the petrol and oil cap and painted Arctic grey.

To mirror the original model, the legend has a leather interior that features the same beige and brown tones. The seats, instrument panel, steering wheel, dash panel, centre console, door trim panels and windscreen crossmember are all rendered in chocolate brown.

Just four Type 57SC Atlantic vehicles in total were built between 1936 and 1938. Only two of these vehicles still exist today in their original condition.

Les Légendes de Bugatti will continue to honor important brand figures at events over the next year, starting with Jean-Pierre Wimille. Distilling a history in segmented events gives fans and consumers multiple opportunities to interact with the brand (see story).

The brand is promoting the series via its social media pages.

Bugatti's Facebook page

Different directions

Other brands are using the Frankfurt Motor Show as a platform to jump into the future rather than extol the past.

For instance, German automaker BMW is augmenting the i series mission of sustainability with the debut of the BMW i8 at the Frankfurt International Motor Show Sept. 10 that targets racing fans and environmental enthusiasts.

The show allows consumers to examine and test-drive the brand’s latest model, placing an emphasis on the i series. Following the release of the highly anticipated i3 model, the i8 may transform consumer’s conceptions of what a sustainable vehicle can achieve (see st0ry).

Also, Jaguar Land Rover is unveiling its C-X17 Jaguar concept vehicle at the Frankfurt International Motor Show Sept. 10, which introduces a modular aluminum architecture that the brand intends to use for future designs.

The automaker is offering scant information regarding the C-X17 vehicle to intrigue fans with the mystery surrounding the event. Since other luxury automakers have released in-depth looks at the models they intend to showcase at the motor show, Jaguar’s ploy to guard its secrets until the actual release will likely generate excitement among auto enthusiasts ( see story).

Although the release of the vehicles are gradual, dedicated fans will likely stay interested throughout the series.

"There are many automobile people that love to follow the story of high end cars and special edition vehicles," Ms. Fix said.

Final take
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York