Bugatti is auctioning off its last purely gas-powered car and it’s accidentally one-of-a-kind

Dec 24, 2022, 10:00 AM
The Bugatti Chiron Profilée has an aerodynamic wing to increase pressure on the rear wheels at hig...
The Bugatti Chiron Profilée has an aerodynamic wing to increase pressure on the rear wheels at high speeds and is painted in a special color called Argent Atlantique, a hue developed just for this car. (Photo courtesy of Bugatti Rimac)
(Photo courtesy of Bugatti Rimac)

(CNN) — Bugatti will sell its very last purely gas-powered supercar at a Paris auction on February 1, 2023. The one-of-a-kind model is expected to sell for millions of dollars.

It’s a car that, Bugatti says, was never originally expected to be sold 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 has also made a few other models, such as the Mistral and Divo, that 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.

So 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 Chriron 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 name, Profilée, comes from a type of elegant teardrop-shaped body design used on some famous Bugatti cars of the 1930s.

At some point, though, 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 car has been certified to drive legally on European roadsand will now be sold.

The French ultra-luxury car maker had previously indicated that the convertible W16 Mistral, revealed last August, would be its last gas powered car 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.

RM Sotheby’s did not respond to questions about the Profilée’s estimated value. Hagerty, a company that closely tracks collector car values and which owns a competing auction company, Broad Arrow, estimated that it could be worth between $6 million and $8 million. The car’s uniqueness makes it difficult to gauge it’s value, though, since there has literally never been one just like it for sale before.

“All it takes is two motivated bidders for that to go much higher,” Hagerty spokesperson Jeremy Malcolm said in an email.

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Bugatti is auctioning off its last purely gas-powered car and it’s accidentally one-of-a-kind