Mon, Sep 14, 2015

Bugatti to unveil concept car in Frankfurt

A Bugatti super sports concept car is set to make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.

The Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo has been transformed from its virtual world of bytes and pixels into a real carbonfibre racer specially for the 66th International Motor Show (IAA), which gets under way on September 17 in the city.

The French sport carmaker unveiled the project that it designed exclusively for the PlayStation video game franchise Gran Turismo to “thank its millions of fans worldwide for their loyalty and enthusiasm”. 

Following the sale of all 450 vehicles in the Veyron series, the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo marks a new chapter in the luxury brand's history that will culminate in the unveiling of the new Bugatti super sports car. 

The Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo design pays homage to Bugatti's great racing tradition of the 1920s and 1930s, in particular its victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, and is based on cutting-edge motor sport technology. 

At the same time the virtual project also previews Bugatti’s future design language.

"Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo is the first stage on a new journey that Bugatti is embarking on following the successful completion of its Veyron chapter, and which will culminate in the unveiling of the next Bugatti super sports car in the not too distant future," says Wolfgang Dürheimer, President of Bugatti Automobiles. "This project showcases Bugatti’s new design language, which we have developed to celebrate this new chapter in our company history."

"Bugatti will remain clearly positioned in the future as a brand with a strong profile," continues Dürheimer. “We're building the world’s fastest, most exclusive, most luxurious and most powerful production super sports car.”

The collaboration with Polyphony Digital, creator of Gran Turismo, allows Bugatti to make the highly exclusive brand available to fans, gamers and high-performance aficionados of all ages. The PlayStation video game franchise has sold over 70 million units since its launch in 1997.

The Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo virtual concept previews the design language that the brand has developed for the next chapter of its history following the end of the Veyron era.


Bugatti’s designers drew their inspiration from the brand's illustrious racing tradition. Bugatti enjoyed great success in racing in the 1920s and 1930s. Company founder Ettore Bugatti was the first car maker to build street-legal versions of his compact and lightweight race cars, which he sold successfully to amateur racing drivers following victorious weekends on the track. The Type 35, probably the most successful race car of all time with over 2,000 victories and podium finishes in its day, is the most prominent example of that phenomenon and continues to embody Bugatti's racing legacy.

Historical inspiration for the virtual race car came, in particular, from the Bugatti Type 57 Tank and its victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans races in 1937 and 1939. The Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo will race in the classic blue two-tone finish of the Type 57 G Tank, which was the winning car in 1937, while also evoking the colour of the historic French race cars of that time. Blue has been the Bugatti brand colour ever since.

Although the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo will race in a class in which the racers typically bear no or little relation to actual cars and whose design is therefore far more extreme and performance-geared than that of street-legal cars, two points were important to the design team: first, the virtual car should have the distinctive Bugatti look and embody Bugatti's values of "Art, Forme, Technique", and, second, every vehicle component should have a real performance function. The virtual race car was therefore developed in close collaboration with the Bugatti engineers and is based on cutting-edge racing technology and aerodynamic analyses.

The engineers calculated that the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo can drive at over 400 kph (250 mph) on four sections of the virtual Le Mans track. To attain that goal, the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo too is driven by a W16 engine, which delivers incredible power to all four wheels.


The expressive design of the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo is marked by large convex surfaces, which contrast with concave transitions and strong lines. That lends the exterior styling precision and surface tensions of the highest quality. The proportions of the vehicle are uncompromisingly athletic and designed for maximum performance. The cockpit lies as low-slung as possible between the four dominant wheel housings and is fully enclosed by the muscular wings. The extreme mid-engined proportions with the V-shaped front end and short rear overhang indicate powerful forward thrust even when stationary. The result is a dynamic, “ready-to-race” stance that gives the impression of immense power immediately at the ready.

The designers have integrated the key features of the Bugatti design DNA into the virtual race car's design. The side profile of the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo features the famous Bugatti line, which not only divides the exterior into the signature two-tone finish, but also plays an important aerodynamic role in cooling the vehicle.

The virtual race car also features the most striking Bugatti symbol – the horseshoe - which is flanked by the eight-eye headlights. 

Another signature Bugatti design element is the centre fin, which derives from the legendary 1936 Type 57 Atlantic. The designers have used two versions of the fin for the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo: one on the wings and rear side panels, where the fins enhance the design of the vehicle and the other running the length of the roof, where the fin makes an important contribution to the car's dynamic stability. The kinematic system for the rear wing, which controls the air brake and the drag reduction system (DRS), is located here.

An interesting detail on the roof is the NACA duct, which, with its contrasting light blue finish, is not only strikingly aesthetic, but is also the most aerodynamic way to bring air into the engine at roof level without creating turbulence in the inflow of the rear wing.

The rear of the vehicle has a strong trailing edge which provides excellent driving stability, exhausts the hot air from the engine compartment and, no less importantly, shows the virtual competitor that a Bugatti is getting ahead and away from them.


The architecture of the interior continues the clean lines of the exterior. The striking centre fin of the roof is echoed in the interior, where it divides the cockpit from the rest of the interior and merges with the central console below. The interior picks up the two-tone finish of the outer shell.

All indicators, displays and controls, which are positioned where a racing driver would expect them to be, are easy to read and can be reached in a split second.

The materials used for the interior also reflect Bugatti's values. The designers followed the principles of authenticity and exceptional quality. The Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo not only uses carbon fibre, which is typically used in racing to keep the cars lightweight, but blue visible carbon fibre.

The Bugatti designers went the extra mile with the leather upholstery as well. A particularly lightweight and durable suede that until now was used only for racing shoes in Formula One has been used for parts in the cockpit that need to have a particularly good grip or be resilient such as the steering wheel, the dash panel and the headrest. The Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo is the first vehicle to be upholstered with that material.

Whether in the virtual or in the real world, a Bugatti needs to exude the values that the brand stands for, say the designers. The show car in Frankfurt is therefore the perfect realisation of the virtual concept. It was built by hand, using exclusive materials, with Bugatti's signature attention to detail and workmanship.

The Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo show car will be on display at the Bugatti stand in hall 3.0 of the IAA grounds from September 17 to 27.

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