Bugatti’s Centodieci, which debuted in Pebble Beach earlier this month, clearly proved the French company knows how to build special edition models. It may seem like the beginning of a new collectors-inspired coachbuilding approach but, in fact, the automaker has no intentions to let its customers decide what’s the next one-off or few-off Bugatti project.
The special projects team of the brand travels to events like California's Monterey Car Week around the world to meet the most important and passionate Bugatti customers. While these conversations provide helpful feedback and are sometimes even used for inspiration, the marque wants to keep taking the ultimate decision of future projects on its own. Pierre Rommelfanger, the company’s head of special projects, explains why.
Gallery: Bugatti Centodieci
“Of course, as a designer, I could get my head easily around saying yes to [customer requests]. As an overall company structure, I think that could be something difficult for Bugatti just to make that work. Just putting one prototype-ish car together and then giving it to the people would be way too irresponsible. So that sounds exotic and flamboyant, but it’s actually, in reality, easier said than done,” Rommelfanger told Autocar in a recent interview.
Not only that, but Bugatti doesn't want to sell a limited edition model to just any customer. Currently, there’s a list of collectors ready to buy a Divo if one of the 40 original clients cancels his order. The company routinely turns buyers away but still has an extremely loyal customer base – most of the clients buy a new Bugatti without even driving it, knowing they’ll have to wait two or more years for delivery. Speaking of delivery, Bugatti expects to start delivering the Divo next year, followed by the La Voiture Noire in 2021. Production of the Centodieci won’t start until 2022.