These are the first official glimpses of the new Bugatti Royale – the legendary limousine reinvented for the 21st century. Bugatti is readying the new Royale to celebrate the company’s centenary this autumn, where it will be shown to prospective customers on the eve of the 2009 Frankfurt motor show.
We’ll be the first to admit that the original teaser photo, scanned from a VIP invite by an eagle-eyed CAR reader, doesn’t reveal too much of the new Bugatti Royale – but today a second image popped up on Pistonheads which we've reproduced here, revealing more of the Rapide. It’ll eventually replace the Veyron, which is nearing the end of its 300-strong production. The last is due to roll out of Molsheim in 2010.
The secret new 2010 Bugatti Royale
We can see little of the new Royale from this shadowy, restricted rear view – but it does offer up some clues to Bugatti’s new luxury car, which CAR first scooped in our artist’s impressions back in 2007.
The badge bearing Ettore Bugatti’s initials sits proudly amid the rear deck, flanked by a pair of very techy-looking rear lights. A simple C-shaped hoop of LEDs is visible, lending the rear a more modern appearance than the rakish Veyron’s rump.
And check out the vertical brake light – a thin strip of red lamps that appears to rise up splitting the rear screen. Very different, very Bugatti.
When can I buy the new Bugatti Royale?
Heir to Veyron will be shown at customer previews in autumn 2009, before sales kick off a few years later, most likely late 2011 or beyond. Will it be another hypercar like the Veyron? Hardly. This car is a modern-day interpretation of the Type 41, better known as the Royale – a fully paid-up member of the roadgoing aristocracy.
Just six production Royales were built between 1929 and 1933 and you’ll still spot them today at events such as Goodwood. You’ll hardly miss them: their unfeasibly long bonnets house the mother of all 13-litre straight eights.
The new 2010 Bugatti Veyron will be powered by the Veyron’s W16 engine, but mounted up front this time. So don’t expect the price to be significantly lower than the current Bug’s €1.4 million price tag.
But while the Veyron has lost money for Volkswagen’s upmarket sports brand on account of its painfully long gestation and development costs, future Bugattis will sing for their supper.
>> Royale: hit or miss? Click ‘Add your comment’ and sound off