The Bugatti Veyron is a quite exceptional car. It has broken boundaries and records in car manufacture and performance. It’s the ‘Concorde’ moment of car construction (probably even more so with the move towards eco-cars). But it’s a ‘halo project’ for VW – more about showing what is possible rather than making a profit on the cars themselves (which VW don’t – yet).
It was claimed when the Bugatti Veyron first arrived that VW was subsidising every car built to the tune of €4 million, effectively making a loss on every car built. True, there are now more Veyrons being made than were originally planned (the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport for example), but still, it’s a loss maker for VW on a car by car basis. So how do Bugatti change that? Well, the only way is to make more Veyrons. That way the development costs are spread over a wider base. But there is a limit (a very small limit) to the number of people in the world who can afford, and want, a £1,000,000 2-seater supercar.
So from the very beginning, the rumour mill has been running on a 4-door Bugatti Veyron. And the same old chestnut keeps cropping up – a revival of the Bugatti Royale name.
The Royale was a Bugatti from the 1930s, built for the Heads of the Royal Families of Europe, which ended up being only six cars as the depression hit Europe and Royal families decided not to play Ettore Bugatti’s game.
It does make sense, but we have seen no real evidence that it is going to happen. But despite that motoring publications around the world revive the story at regular intervals, and run the headline ‘Bugatti Royale on the Way’.
The latest to play this game (and pay a digital artist to produce a competent rendering) is Auto Express. They claim the picture you see here is how the Bugatti Royale will look when it comes to the market in three years time. Well, it’s not a great stretch of the imagination, I must say. Just a stretched Veyron – no ‘Homage’ to the Royale.
Still, it creates a story and keeps digital artists in work. Not totally convinced, though.