Bugatti hyper sports cars are engineered with aesthetics in mind, but the final flourish is the bodywork; painted by hand with eight layers and lovingly perfected over 600 hours
The amount of care and attention Bugatti devotes to the paintwork of a car is unheard of, but only a flawless, mirror-like finish will satisfy its strict standards before it is delivered to its customers. Because the process is so complex, so involved and so dedicated to achieving an incomparable finish, Bugatti will only have finished painting one hyper sports car in the same amount of time it might take a traditional luxury car manufacturer to build four or five cars.
Only the most accomplished paint specialists can achieve this level of perfection, possessing both a strong knowledge of each paint and layer they use as well as an understanding of how they will interact with the components that make up these ultra-luxurious Bugatti Hyper Sports Cars. Working on the body panels one by one and away from the car, each section is treated like an individual canvas for them to express their artistry on.
Christophe Piochon, President of Bugatti Automobiles, said: “Ettore Bugatti was a man that believed in the beauty of engineering in automotive. Grown up in a family of artists, Ettore’s canvas was the automobile, even before people considered them works of art. We retain that ethos to this day at Bugatti, ensuring that every aspect of design and production is completed with dedication to aesthetic excellence; an approach that undoubtedly applies to our paintwork.”
Creating a final result of such unparalleled quality requires a great deal of patience. Each panel is thoroughly checked for minute pits that could affect the finish, even before the paint specialists apply a single layer of color, clear coat, or primer. It takes years of experience, a keen eye for imperfections, and a sensitive touch to really identify the perfect panels for a Bugatti hyper sports car.
The master craftsmen apply a primer to create a base on which they can work after the inspection shows they are of flawless quality. They then sand the primer to create a smooth and consistent surface over all parts before applying a second primer coat. Painting experts work meticulously and precisely to clear the layer of even barely perceptible bumps, waves, and pits.
Despite spending more than 100 hours precise and detailed on the panels, they are still hundreds of hours from receiving their first coat of paint. Painters undergo a comprehensive process before applying this first shade, including clear coating and sanding, and again clear coating and sanding. The final finish is a labor of love, never rushed but always carefully applied and polished. All of this preparation gives the finish its depth and richness.
The body color is applied with absolute precision and dedication, and the result must always be the same: a deep, lustrous paintwork that is unparalleled in quality.
“The painting of a Bugatti hyper sports car not only requires incredible expertise but also the commitment and ambition to always meet the high quality standards of the brand, week after week, car after car” says Simon Vetterling, Bugatti Body and Painting Specialist.
The team also takes a close look at each panel, checking for any slight variations in color. With their many years of experience and keen attention to detail, they can quickly spot any discrepancies, such as if one is just a shade lighter or darker than the rest. Then it must be given a fresh coat of paint. Working with the complexity of contrasting hues present on individual vehicles, paired with the mix of visible carbon fiber components, they are faced with countless obstacles while trying to integrate all parts of the Atelier’s hyper sports cars. As each material and finish has its own distinctive qualities, keeping consistency is essential, and only with the expertise and knowledge these craftspeople possess can this level of excellence be accomplished.
A four-day polishing process is still required after the car has been painted to the high standards Bugatti requires – the most comprehensive polishing process in the industry. After ten hours of scrutiny in Bugatti’s light tunnel, the bodywork is examined by touch and sight to identify near-microscopic blemishes on the paintwork.
This extremely detailed process of paintwork alone takes 600-700 hours or the equivalent of one person working 24 hours a day continuously for a month. The result is a jewel of precision and beauty that is designed to last a lifetime.
The painting craftspeople carry a huge responsibility in their work- to bring customers’ visions to life in color. Not only that, they can also be the ones turning a customer’s desire for a certain color into reality- tailoring it perhaps to reflect the golden hues of a beloved sunset, or to mirror the shade of a cherished handbag. In this process they must always meet Bugatti’s strict standards, making them the expert mediators between design and engineering.
It is Bugatti’s intention to craft these cars with all the dedication and passion of the world’s greatest artists, with the expectation that their owners and enthusiasts all over the world will admire and revere them for decades to come.