Bugatti sold its last purely gas-powered supercar at a Paris auction Wednesday for more than $10 million, setting a world auction record for a new car.
Originally a special development model that was never intended to be sold, the one-of-a-kind Bugatti Chiron Profilée sold at RM Paris collector car auction for a bid of $9.5 million. With fees paid to the auction house, the final selling price was about $10.7 million.
The price was far above the $4.5 million to $6 million RM Sotheby’s had estimated the car to be worth. The eight-figure price eclipses previous auction sales of new cars, according to Hagerty, a company that tracks the collector car market. (But, privately, a trio of new bespoke, highly customized, Rolls Royces sold in 2021 at about $25 million apiece.) The previous record for a new car sold at auction had been a Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta, an open-topped hybrid supercar that sold for €8.3 million — about $9 million at today’s exchange rates — in 2017, at another RM Sotheby’s. The proceeds of that sale went to charity, though, a factor that tends to result in much higher sale prices.
Bidding for this gleaming blue supercar went so high because it is unique and, in cases like this, collectors “bid knowing they won’t get a second chance,” said John Wiley, manager of valuation and analytics at Hagerty.
Going from zero to 100 kilometers an hour, or 62 miles per hour in just 2.3 seconds, the Profilée is the fastest-accelerating Chiron model, according to Bugatti. It’s capable of up 200 kph, or 124 mph, in 5.5 seconds. Able to reach 236 miles an hour, it also has a higher top speed than the Pur Sport, but still not as high as some other Bugatti models that can, at least in theory, reach 300 miles an hour.
The French ultra-luxury car maker had previously indicated that the convertible W16 Mistral, revealed last August, would be its last gas powered model. Only 99 of those cars will be made at a cost of at least $5 million each. Mate Rimac, chief executive of Bugatti Rimac, Bugatti’s parent company, has said that Bugatti’s next high-performance model will be a plug-in hybrid with a a different sort of gas engine.
As it turned out, Bugatti had one more purely gas-powered car to sell, though – and really just one. But this Bugatti wasn’t originally intended to be for sale at all.
The Bugatti Chiron Profilée was being developed, starting in late 2020, as one of several versions of the Chiron, Bugatti’s primary model. Bugatti had always said that only 500 Chirons would ever be made. Included in that 500 have been a few variants, such as the Chiron Sport, Chiron Pur Sport and Chiron Super Sport, each with varying degrees of top speed, acceleration and cornering aggressiveness. (Bugatti also made a few other models, such as the Mistral and Divo, which share engineering with the Chiron but are considered separate models.)
While the Chiron, with its turbocharged 16-cylinder engine capable of producing nearly 1,600 horsepower, offered amazing performance, the Pur Sport provided more aggressive steering and suspension and even quicker acceleration. But some customers were interested in something that was a mix of the two, offering the Pur Sport’s performance but with a mellower style.
As a result, Bugatti engineers and designers started work on a new Chiron variant with the performance capabilities of a Pur Sport but with a more elegant, fluid design. The Profilée has a larger grille and wider front air intakes than the base Chiron to take in more air to cool the big engine. The transmission was also revised for shorter gear ratios to provide quicker acceleration and the engine is allowed to run up to higher speeds.
The Profilée is the fastest-accelerating Chiron model, according to Bugatti. It’s capable of going from zero to 100 kilometers an hour, or 62 miles per hour, in just 2.3 seconds and up 200 kph, or 124 mph, in 5.5 seconds. Able to reach 236 miles an hour, it also has a higher top speed than the Pur Sport, but still not as high as some other Bugatti models that can, at least in theory, reach 300 miles an hour.
The car’s name, Profilée, comes from a type of elegant teardrop-shaped body design used on some famous Bugatti cars of the 1930s.
At some point, executives realized that all 500 Chiron models would already have been ordered before the Profilée could be offered to customers. Nonetheless, they decided to bring this one car, the development model engineers had been working on, to completion. The buyer, whom the auction company did not identify, will take delivery of the car directly from Bugatti.
While this is the last car sold with the W16 gasoline engine it will not be the last delivered to a customer. Bugatti, which builds roughly 80 cars a year, still has a backlog of paid orders through 2025, a company representative said.