The name Bugatti speaks volume of class and style. Bugatti cars aren’t the mass-production vehicles you’d buy from any car dealer and are instead the milestone of wealth and exquisite quality. Some of the world’s most expensive and fastest cars carry the Bugatti trademark. While the name has gone through different hands over the ages, its association with quality hasn’t changed.
Ettore Bugatti founded the first iteration of the company in 1909 and was one of the first developers of “art” vehicles. Ettore often considered himself both a constructor and an artist and his work with first and second generation mass produced cars reflected this concept. Many of his concept vehicles became notable race cars for the time, such as the Type 41 Royale and Type 57 Atlantic.
Unfortunately, the company experienced a myriad of financial complications following the First World War and this continued to the Second World War. Ettore Bugatti passed away in 1947 and the company was distraught for several years until they declared bankruptcy in the 1950s.
From the 1950s onwards, the company had undergone several hands such as Hispano-Suiza, Snecma, and Romano Artioli. In 1998, the Bugatti brand finally came into the hands of Volkswagen AG. From then on the brand has continued to produce high-end quality vehicles that push for speed and eloquent designs. As a matter of fact, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport is debated to be the world’s fastest car produced.
Of the original line up of vehicles under Ettore Bugatti’s guidance, the most notable are the Type 35 Grand Prix, Type 41 Royale, and the Type 55 Sports Car. Unfortunately, many of the classic cars are no longer being produced (production halted after Ettore Bugatti’s death). The estimated number of classics is around 2,000 or less.
There are also a few exceptional cars from the 1990s such as the Bugatti 218 and the EB 118. The rest of their lineup for this period were not as remarkable due to failed road tests and discontinued lineups.
From the mid-2000s onwards, the Bugatti cars have reached a pinnacle in speed with the Bugatti Veyron 16.4. As mentioned above, it is the world’s fastest car and is capable of pushing up to 267 mph.
Most of the innovations of Bugatti are in regards to their design philosophy: engine blocks were always manually hand scraped and did not bolt springs to axles the way most car manufacturers did. Their method of crafting a well-measured hole made for a much smoother transition. Their other innovations include faster twin-turbo superchargers and aerodynamic but classical chassis.