Here to celebrate Bugatti’s connections with aviation and legendary pilots

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Few people know that Ettore Bugatti sometimes found inspiration in aviation and he even designed aircraft engines back in 1915, a hobby that culminated in 1937 with a full aircraft design mean to break speed records.

The brand itself has worked with race drivers that had a love affair with flying, including the likes of Albert Divo, Robert Benoist, Meo Costantini, and even Roland Garros drove a Bugatti Type 18. The Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” (French for legends of the sky) is here to celebrate that bond.

  • 2020 Bugatti Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel”
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    W16
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    1479
  • Torque @ RPM:
    1180
  • Displacement:
    8.0 L
  • Top Speed:
    261 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
2020 Bugatti Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” Exterior
- image 949846
Bugatti is set to build just 20 units of the Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel,” each priced at €2.88 million or about $3.4 million.

Before you start rolling your eyes, please know that this Chiron iteration is actually REALLY special.

First things first: the paint. Called Gris Serpent (which translates to snake grey in English), the paint is of the matte variety and was used to evoke the exterior color of airplanes crossing the skies back in the 1920s.

2020 Bugatti Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” Exterior
- image 949848

The horseshoe grille has also been tweaked in an artsy way, so that the thin-slat pattern mimics a squadron of planes flying in formation during an air parade. What’s more, there’s a white gloss stripe running the whole length of the Chiron, from front to rear, and the W-16 engine’s cover is made of exposed black carbon fiber, just like the front area of door sills and part of the exhaust cover.

On the inside, lucky owners will be greeted by a full Gaucho light-brown leather cabin, a not back to the cockpit of older airplanes. The added spice inside the Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” comes from diamond-cut aluminum trim and the optional Sky View glass roof.

2020 Bugatti Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” Exterior
- image 949849

In our opinion, la pièce de résistance lies on the door panels, where Bugatti sketched a Nieuport 17 airplane and a Type 13 racing each other. The Nieuport 17 was a much-praised French biplane that stood out for its speed, agility, and reliability. It was also powered by a nine-cylinder engine good for around 130 horsepower.

There are no performance bumps for the Bugatti Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel”, which means the 8-liter W-16 engine still cranks out 1,479 horsepower and 1,600 Newton-meters (1,180 pound-feet) of torque for an electronically-limited Vmax of 420 kph (261 mph).

Bugatti Chiron specifications
Engine 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W-16
Horsepower: 1479 hp.
Torque: 1,180 lb-ft.
0-60 MPH: 2.5 Seconds.
0-250 MPH: 32.6 Seconds.
60-0 Braking: 103 ft.
Top Speed: 261 mph.
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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Hand-sketched racing scenes on and in the vehicle, diamond cut aluminum and a reminiscence that have come true of Bugatti’s glorious Grand Prix days. Bugatti is honoring its “Daredevils”, famous racing drivers from the last century, with the Chiron Sport1 “Les Légendes du Ciel”. Many of them were former flying aces, daredevils, technically skilled pilots who flew without fear.

“Bugatti has had close associations with aviation since the company was established more than 110 years ago. Many successful Bugatti racing drivers, such as Albert Divo, Robert Benoist and Bartolomeo ‘Meo’ Costantini, flew for the French Air Force, the French aviator legend Roland Garros privately drove a Bugatti Type 18 to be as fast on the road as in the air,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “It is therefore almost an obligation for us today to pay tribute to the legends of that time and dedicate a special edition to them.”

Company founder Ettore Bugatti admired the fearless character and technical expertise of his drivers who were fascinated by high speeds – and also mastered them. On the road, the racing drivers benefited from the experience gained in aircraft cockpits. They in turn admired Ettore Bugatti for his talent as an engineer and were fascinated by his agile, light and speedy vehicles, embodying on the road what their planes were in the sky. Roland Garros even called him the “incomparable artist who alone knows, how to give life to steel.”

Ettore Bugatti has always been inspired by aviation. In around 1915, Bugatti himself designed aircraft engines and from 1937 he also developed an entire aircraft intended to break speed records. The project was stopped because of the outbreak of the Second World War. Ettore Bugatti kept in close personal contact with the pilots throughout his life.

The "Les Légendes du Ciel“ edition

Bugatti is honouring these legends of aviation with the "Les Légendes du Ciel“ edition, based on the Chiron Sport and limited to 20 vehicles. The new edition references many features of the historic aircrafts in which Bugatti pilots gained profitable experience. In addition to the unusual colour of the paintwork, the vehicle includes a special full leather interior with hand-drawn sketches and diamond cut aluminum.

Exceptional paintwork

A striking feature of the Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” is its special, matt-grey “Gris Serpent” paintwork, a modern interpretation of the exterior colour of the aircrafts from the 1920s. This stretches across the entire vehicle and is traversed from the front to the rear via the extending rear spoiler with a high-contrast, white gloss center stripe. The front wings are adorned with the "Les Légendes du Ciel“ logo. The “Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge” tricolour in Blue, White and Red decorates the front area of the side sills made of exposed black carbon fiber.

The horseshoe shaped radiator grille also has a black gloss finish. The radiator grille mesh is made of laser-cut and deep-drawn aluminum, on which the dynamic pattern of the stitched seams is repeated on the leather seats, reminiscent of planes flying in formation in an air parade. The door entry lights project the edition logo onto the ground when the doors are opened. The door sills are made of brushed aluminium with the "Les Légendes du Ciel“ logo on the middle console inlays also characterises the new edition. The W16 engine cover is made of black exposed carbon fibre. These lightweight components are contrasted by white lettering. Black exposed carbon fibre and a black-coated exhaust trim cover made of 3D printed, high-temperature-resistant Inconel dominate the rear.

Detailed interior almost completely in leather

The interior also visually evokes aircraft from the past century. Bugatti uses fine “Gaucho” leather for the entire vehicle interior of the Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel”. The light brown leather is reminiscent of natural leather in these aircraft of days gone by. The natural material is contrasted only by aluminum trims, an aluminum inlay with the logo "Les Légendes du Ciel" that can also be found on the headrests as well as the special edition numbering “1 of 20”. Bugatti optionally offers comfort seats and the glass roof “Sky View” through which occupants can gaze into the sky like in open-top aircraft of the past century.

On the door panels there is a hand-sketched racing scene between the Nieuport 17 aircraft and a Bugatti Type 13, which symbolizes the two souls honored by the edition.

The Nieuport 17 is a very special aircraft: it is a French biplane aircraft that was built from 1916 and was very popular with its pilots due to its reliability, speed, agility and manoeuvrability. The single-seater aircraft was powered by a 9-cylinder engine that delivered up to 130 PS.

The Bugatti Type 13 is a very special vehicle in Bugatti’s history spanning 110 years. It was the first model to bear the name Bugatti. From 1910, the Type 13 impressed with its lightweight design, agility and the high output for the time of more than 15 PS. More than 110 years ago, the "Pur Sang" (thoroughbred) already reached speeds of almost 100 km/h and won many races over the following years. The vehicle laid the foundations for Bugatti’s racing success. The perlée-finish, polished aluminum of the armrest tray and the centre console insert, are also reminiscent of the historic racing cars.

“The Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” with a W16 engine and a capacity of 8.0 litres delivers 1,500 PS and 1,600 newton metres of torque. Its maximum speed is electronically limited at 420 km/h. Bugatti will start production of the Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” towards the end of 2020. The edition, limited to 20 units, costs 2.88 million euros net each.

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