The Bugatti Chiron Profilée: an automotive solitaire
The Bugatti Chiron Profilée is an automotive solitaire. A one-of-a-kind member of the Chiron line-up envisioned as a less radical interpretation of the Pur Sport, it is unique in character, in design and in its details. With all build slots for the Chiron spoken for, the auction of the Profilée in Paris on 1 February 2023 is the sole opportunity to acquire one of the final W16-powered Bugatti creations directly from the Molsheim Atelier.
With the reveal of the Chiron Pur Sport¹ in 2020, the world was shown the most extreme personality of the Chiron² family yet. With a six-foot-wide fixed rear wing, shorter gear ratios, advanced magnesium wheels and a raft of other innovations, the Pur Sport was designed for corners. It would sell out quickly, but some customers had asked if a Chiron model could be made that would integrate aspects of its character, while maintaining the timeless elegance of models like the Chiron or the Chiron Sport³. It was here that the Profilée was born.
Christophe Piochon, President of Bugatti Automobiles, said: “Taking customer wishes to explore a less radical version of the Pur Sport seriously into consideration, we started with the design and development of the Chiron Profilée in Autumn 2020. By the time we saw the pre-series vehicle coming out of production, all Chiron slots limited to just 500 were assigned for. But we knew that what we had created was too beautiful to be hidden away. It is – in every sense – a unique piece in Bugatti’s history and a true collector’s item. And we wanted to give a fair chance to any devotee of the Bugatti brand to acquire this unique car, so we decided to partner with RM Sotheby’s to auction it."
It’s rare for manufacturers to spend the time and effort to bring a car to full production specification when they know only one can ever be produced. But the Profilée has been fully developed, tested and has passed each of the high-quality standards that Bugatti applies to all of its cars, allowing it to acquire a single type of approval for Europe.
The Profilée is a bespoke design featuring a sweeping fixed tail at the rear, which carries out two crucial functions. Firstly, the wing ensures stability and control right up to the Profilée’s 380 km/h top speed by increasing downforce over the rear axle, and secondly, it uses negative pressure to suck hot air out of the engine compartment via two interior tunnels in the high-temperature carbon wing. Air flows both over the top of the wing to generate downforce, but also under the wing to draw air from the engine compartment.
Frank Heyl, Deputy Design Director at Bugatti Automobiles, said: “With the wishes of the customer in mind, we incorporated an elegant, fixed sweeping tail that is both aerodynamically and thermodynamically optimized for the incomparable performance available to the Chiron Profilée’s owner, while keeping the graceful and timeless shape of the original Chiron. The name Profilée takes inspiration from one of Jean Bugatti’s first creations – the Type 46, which also carried that elegant flick in the tail.
At the front of this unique hyper sports car, the Profilée was given wider air inlets and an enlarged Bugatti horseshoe grille to help funnel more cooling air into the radiators. A revised front splitter works in tandem with a sculpted underbody to further increase downforce and maximize airflow. As with any Bugatti, the mastery of airflow for both cooling, drag reduction and downforce is fundamental in delivering the extraordinary performance that has become a hallmark of modern Bugatti cars.
In character, the Profilée maintains much of the purity of the Pur Sport; designed for lateral grip and ultimate acceleration. It is powered by the same 1,500 PS development of the Bugatti W16 engine, with 15 per cent shorter transmission ratios than the Chiron Sport. The Profilée accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.3 seconds and up to 200 km/h in 5.5 seconds. It has a top speed of 380 km/h compared with the Chiron Pur Sport’s 350 km/h.
Chassis tuning includes a change in the camber angles of the wheels on the front and rear axles and harder springs with a front-heavy balance. The springs are ten per cent stiffer compared with the Chiron Sport and the rear axle carries 50 per cent more negative camber, offering improved grip in bends, without forfeiting any driving comfort. It is a blend of the best characteristics of the Pur Sport with a beautiful, elegant design.
The Profilée is presented in a primary color of Argent Atlantique, exclusively developed for this car. No other Chiron model has been configured in this shade. The lower part of the car is finished in exposed carbon fiber, tinted in the existing Bugatti color of Bleu Royal Carbon. The wheels are – again – unique, especially designed, manufactured and tested for the Profilée, and finished in a shade of Le Patron, created to match the carbon tint of the lower half of the body. Polished aluminum elements reflect the famous shape of the Bugatti horseshoe grille.
The interior of the Profilée is familiar to Chiron owners, finished by hand at Bugatti’s Atelier in Molsheim. Designed around authentic and high-quality materials, such as leather, carbon or solid aluminum, each component is worked and refined by hand for hours. The design itself follows a philosophy of defined minimalism, reducing each component to its simplest and most beautiful form.
However, the Profilée becomes the first Chiron fitted with a woven leather finish in the interior, applied to the dashboard, door panels and center console. In total, more than 2,500 meters of leather strips are used to create this complex and beautiful finish. The Profilée is equipped with comfort seats finished in Gris Rafale and Deep Blue leather, featuring the quilting pattern, ‘air parade’. A black anodized frame inlay in the center console features the Profilée signature; one final unique touch applied to this special creation.
The Bugatti Chiron Profilée will be auctioned by RM Sotheby’s on 1 February, with a percentage of the proceeds going to benefit charitable causes.