Bugatti Chiron Profilée | CAR Magazine

Final W16-engined Bugatti hypercar sells at auction for £8.7m

Published: 02 February 2023 Updated: 02 February 2023

► Final one-off Bugatti Chiron Profilée sold
The last W16-powered hypercar is gone
► Sells for €9,792,500 at RM Sotheby’s auction

The final W16-engined Bugatti has become the most expensive new car ever sold, raising €9,792,500 (£8.7 million) at auction on 1 February 2023. The dramatic sale price brings to an end an era of hypercar excess stretching all the way back to the 2006 Veyron and through several iterations of Chiron.

The one-off Bugatti Chiron Profilée was sold at RM Sotheby’s sale in Paris. It is now impossible to buy a new W16 from Bugatti, as future models switch to a powerful hybrid powertrain that’s more in tune with the times.

Bugatti’s W16: the end of an era

The world was a very different place when the Chiron succeeded the Veyron in reborn, VW-era Bugatti’s one-car model range. That was back in 2015, pre-virus, pre-Trump, and certainly pre any real sense that to launch a supercar with a quad-turbocharged, 8.0-litre W16 is to risk being seen as in any way out of touch with reality.

Bugatti pledged to build 500 Chirons and now their number is up…

Molsheim will spend 2023 building the remainder of those cars. After that we’re into a brave new world, one currently taking shape in the incredibly fertile/febrile mind of Bugatti Rimac CEO Mate Rimac. 

So, the Chiron Profilée is a run-out special? 

Of sorts, though the Profilée is a cut or two above the customary bang-some-stickers-on-it special edition, not least because there’ll be only one.

What’s more, because all the Chirons, Mistrals (drop-top Chirons) and Bolides (track-special Chirons) are spoken for, the Profilée represents something of a W16-engine last chance. It’ll be one of the last cars of its ilk to come off Bugatti’s ‘production line’ (it’s more artisan assembly space – think SpaceX meets haute couture).

Bugatti Chiron Profilée: the lowdown 

The Profilée owes both its existence and its rarity to the Pur Sport, the sportiest Chiron that’s not a Bolide (keep up – what do you mean you get your ultra-niche Franco-German hypercars mixed up?).

Bugatti was apparently inundated (so, maybe a dozen emails?) with requests that it kindly explore the idea of a slightly less hardcore Pur Sport. So still dynamic, and with that car’s short-ratio gearbox, but with a vibe more Louvre than Le Mans. 

Thus, the Profilée was born, complete with full homologation… only for Pur Sport orders to exceed expectation, hoover up a tonne of Chiron units and leave Bugatti with an expensive development cul-de-sac on its books. Hence the lateral thinking, the car’s one-off status and the sale at auction. Because what could be fairer than a bidding war? 

For their money (a chunk of which will go to charitable causes), the owner will get a piece of history in a rather fetching shade of blue (Argent Atlantique if you’re in Halfords looking at the spray paints) and exposed carbonfibre, its weave tinted in royal blue. Inside, another unique finish – woven leather, put together from 2500 metres of leather strips – will elevate this Bugatti above the standard Chiron riff-raff.

Mechanically, the Profilée sits between Pur Sport and Chiron Sport, with semi-fruity camber angles and spring rates, but melds that sporting intent with a more modest wing and comfort-spec seats. Straight-line speed is predictably mighty – 2.3sec 0-62mph and 5.5sec 0-124mph acceleration and a 236mph top speed (the Pur Sport, with its greater downforce, tops out at 217mph).

We just hope the new owner – whose identity has not been published – enjoys landmark toy, and doesn’t merely lock it away in an air-conditioned garage for posterity.

By Ben Miller

The editor of CAR magazine, story-teller, average wheel count of three