With its 5th model in the 6-part “Bugatti Legends” (Les Légendes de Bugatti) Edition, Bugatti has revived the legendary Type 18 “Black Bess”, which went down in automotive history as one of the first ever street legal super sports cars. At the forthcoming Beijing Auto Show, the French luxury automaker will present as a world premiere the modern interpretation of Type 18, the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse1 “Black Bess”. As one of the world’s fastest road cars at the time, the Type 18 “Black Bess” is a direct forerunner of today’s world speed record-holding Bugatti Veyron. As with all models in the Edition, the current Legends model is limited to a run of three vehicles and is available for a net price of €2.15 million. Of the four Legend models already presented, all twelve vehicles have been sold.
Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S said: “Over the course of its history, Bugatti has not only been responsible for crafting enormously successful racecars, but has also created some outstanding road vehicles.” “As the fastest road vehicle of its time, the Type 18 was in a segment of its own. It truly is the legitimate forerunner for the Veyron, and is therefore a Bugatti Legend.”
The Type 18 was one of the most important Bugattis of the pre-war era, both ahead of its time and in a league of its own thanks to its impressive technical features. With a 4-cylinder in-line engine and 5.0 liter capacity, the vehicle was capable of producing over 100 PS. With a top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph), a feat deemed virtually unbelievable for the times, the Type 18 was a true racing thoroughbred and the fastest road vehicle around.
Bugatti delivered the two-seater bearing the vehicle identification number 474 to Garros on 18th September 1913. This Type 18, later named after the English racehorse “Black Bess”, is one of only three of the seven vehicles still remaining. Today, it can be found in the Louwman Museum, a private collection on show at The Hague in the Netherlands. Evert Louwman has kindly made the historic Type 18 “Black Bess” especially available for the world premiere of the current “Black Bess” Legend Vitesse at the Beijing Auto Show.
“Black Bess” Bugatti Legends: From Fastest Super Sports Car In The Early Days Of The Automobile To Fastest Super Sports Car Of Today
As is the case with all of the Legends, the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse1 “Black Bess” is based on the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse. Motivation for the Black Bess comes from a W16 8.0 liter engine, which is good for pumping out 1200 PS of power with an unparalleled 1500 newton meters of torque at 3000–5000 rpm. It accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 2.6 seconds, with the top speed of 408.84 km/h with the roof down; one of the fastest Vitesse production roadsters ever built.
Design – High-Quality Materials Used For The Exterior, And International Debut Of Innovative Interior Detailing
Achim Anscheidt, Bugatti Head Designer said: “The Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse1 “Black Bess” is yet another fine example of French automaker’s groundbreaking power when it comes to creating unique automobiles.” “We have developed a new process for individually hand-painting the leather in the vehicle’s interior, the like of which has never been used before in the automotive industry. The ink and leather applied by the designer have been technologically processed and developed so that they can withstand the stresses inside the vehicle and fulfill the valid quality requirements demanded by modern day production.”
The “Black Bess” Vitesse’s body is made completely of carbon fiber and, just like the previous model, is painted fully black. The gold-colored accents, which make the Type 18 “Black Bess” so unmistakable, are reflected in exquisite fashion on the contemporary Bugatti. For instance, some of the Bugatti’s body components are coated in 24-carat gold. Sporting a similarly brilliant gold finish are hub covers on the black rims, which also bear the initials of the company’s founder, Ettore Bugatti, in black and the EB logo on the rear of the vehicle. And let’s not forget the oil caps and tank that have been engraved with the “Black Bess” nameplate and stylishly finished with gold paint.
The Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse1 “Black Bess” interior has been completely upholstered using the finest leather. The footwell, headliner, elongated centre console, rear bulkhead and seats are bedecked in a light “Beige” tone with the dash panel, dashboard, cowl panel and door trim panel providing a discreet contrast in “Havanna”. Clad in red “Crimson” leather, the steering wheel rim draws a clear reference to the historic Type 18 “Black Bess”. This accent has also been picked up and continued in the red decorative stitching on the outer bolsters of the seats and in the seat belts.
New Developments In Leather Treatment
The door panels are without doubt one of the car’s most impressive details. This is actually one of the most daring projects in the design of the vehicle’s interior. Both panels are upholstered in “Havanna” leather and bear scenes which depict the historic Type 18 “Black Bess” as well as Roland Garros’ airplane, a Morane Saulnier Type H.
Of course, typical Legend features have also been included in the vehicle, namely the beige, leather-clad insert in the centre console extension which bears the “Les Légendes de Bugatti” nameplate, the relief of the dancing elephant (the symbol for the Legends Edition that has been refined with a gold finish for this model), and the door sills bearing the image of the Type 18 “Black Bess”.
Technical Description Of Type 18 ‘Black Bess’
The Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse1 “Black Bess” was designed and engineered from 1912 to 1914. At its heart was an impressive 4-cylinder 5.0 liter in-line engine with a crankshaft mounted on three bearings, an overhead camshaft and 100 mm bore and 160 mm stroke. New for Bugatti: this design was fitted with a chain drive. It sported two small intake valves, a large outlet valve and three valves per cylinder. The extremely small and lightweight transmission offered four forward gears and a reverse gear. The 1.25 m track width and 2.45 m wheelbase ensured the 100PS vehicle’s exceptional maneuverability, particularly while cornering.
Beijing Auto Show 2014 takes place from 21st to 29th April in China International Exhibition Centre in Beijing. The Bugatti stand will be situated in Hall E5.