Why The Bugatti La Voiture Noire Is So Unbelievably Expensive

French supercar maker Bugatti, now under the helm of Croatian EV expert Rimac, has unveiled multiple limited-edition variations of its Chiron hypercar. However, none are as expensive or exclusive as the mythical La Voiture Noire. It's among the most expensive production cars ever sold — and only one La Voiture Noire exists.

With its astronomical $18.7 million price tag, only the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail is more expensive at $30 million a pop. However, the Bugatti is a different animal with a fascinating history. La Voiture Noire (or "The Black Car") pays homage to the missing Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic, the personal car of Jean Bugatti, which got lost in the aftermath of WWII. Bugatti only made three Type 57 SC Atlantics from 1936 to 1938.

La Voiture Noire symbolizes the long-missing car regarded by experts as the greatest mystery in automobile history. The original Type 57 Atlantic could fetch upwards of $100 million at auction, possibly making it the most extraordinary barn find if found.

Why is the Bugatti La Voiture Noire so expensive?

Besides being a one-off rendition, the Bugatti La Voiture Noire is not merely a dolled-up Chiron. Instead, it has a longer wheelbase and a bespoke carbon fiber body that Bugatti calls "Black Carbon Glossy," a finish that generates zero reflections but offers "plenty of tension and drama," said Bugatti. Furthermore, the front and rear bumpers are part of the bodywork, creating an uninterrupted visual silhouette that makes it seem like the vehicle is a single piece of carbon material.

More importantly, the La Voiture Noire has no giant rear wing to disrupt its vintage-inspired good looks. Hiding silently behind the front seats is a similar 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine as a standard Chiron, pumping out 1500+ horsepower and 1,180 foot-pounds of torque. With that much power, La Voiture Noire could scoot from 0-60 mph in 2.4 seconds — impressive numbers given its grand-touring DNA.

Furthermore, La Voiture Noire has exquisite detailing not found in a regular Chiron. The headlights contain 25 individually-milled light elements per side, while the one-piece taillamp and lightbar are bespoke to La Voiture Noire. The cabin has period-correct Havana Brown grain leather upholstery, polished aluminum trim, and a rosewood switch to adjust the driving mode.

Bugatti has since delivered the one and only La Voiture Noire to its well-heeled owner, and supercar fans in Zurich and Croatia spotted the car on a few occasions. Some say footballer Christiano Ronaldo owns La Voiture Noire, but he ordered a Bugatti Centodieci in 2020.