2015 is shaping up to be a big year for Bugatti, as its legendary, 250mph-plus Veyron supercar ceases production, its successor is prepared for launch, and the brand intensifies its retail push in fashion and accessories.
Speaking to CAR at the launch of Bugatti’s first retail boutique, on London’s Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, boss Wolfgang Dürheimer confirmed that only eight of the 450 Veyrons remained unsold. After those are built, does Bugatti’s Molsheim factory in France face a lengthy production shutdown? ‘There won’t be any downtime, we need to get ready with the pre-series cars to support the launch of the next car.’
So the Veyron successor could have its premiere in late 2015, even if full series production is unlikely before 2016.
What can we expect from the new Bugatti supercar?
‘We will stick to our basic principles. Setting up lifestyle boutiques doesn’t mean we won’t push hard on luxury sports cars in the future. Our DNA is producing the most luxurious, fastest cars in the world,’ said Dürheimer.
‘We have the world’s fastest production car record; I have close links to motorsport where everyone goes for the [record holder]. There’s one crazy American that wants to beat us,’ he says, referring to Hennessey, the maker of the almost-as-rapid Venom. ‘So we will have to do our homework and get prepared for the future,’ he continued.
So expect Bugatti’s new hypercar to be faster than the 268mph Veyron Super Sport, as well as surpassing its 2.5sec 0-62mph acceleration time. Today’s 16-cylinder engine will be carried over, but with peak power cranked up from the Super Sport edition’s 1200bhp.
Bugatti goes into fashion retailing
Bugatti chose to launch its first lifestyle boutique, stocking clothes, leather goods and accessories such as cuff links and watches, in London in November 2014. ‘London is the perfect city for the first store: there is no metropolitan area in the world where more Veyrons have been sold,’ said Dürheimer. Some 55 Veyrons have their home in the UK capital.
‘[The Knightsbridge store] is an important moment in the brand strategy and history of Bugatti. We have built the most powerful and exclusive road car in the world. The circle of people who can own such a car is very exclusive, but the circle of people who are fascinated with our brand is very big.’ That’s why Bugatti is following Ferrari’s lead in selling merchandise to a broader audience: the store’s products range from £100 cufflinks to a £6000 overcoat, and a Parmigiani watch costing £250,000.
The fashion collection features Bugatti detailing, such as the elephant emblem, the horseshoe grille and two-tone colour schemes reflecting some of Bugatti’s iconic paintwork. In 2015, boutiques will open in Tokyo, Dubai and Doha, with Paris, Milan and the USA coming on stream in 2016. What will the initiative do for Bugatti’s bottom line?
‘It’ll be negligible initially but when we have 30 stores, it will be a considerable line in the profit and loss account. This concept is not designed to lose money!’ concludes Dürheimer.