It's been a full year, boys and girls, since Bugatti revealed the first of its "Les Légendes de Bugatti" series, and now it's preparing to return to the same spot on the lawn at Pebble Beach to reveal the final version you see here.
Now nine years since its introduction, the Bugatti Veyron has given rise to more special editions than it has cylinders and turbochargers combined. But while the Veyron may be nearing the end of its production run with barely a few dozen left to go – Grand Sport and Vitesse roadsters all – Bugatti isn't quite done with the special editions.
To this year's Beijing Motor Show, Bugatti showed up with a special Veyron called Black Bess. It's the fifth in a series of six Legend editions that pay homage to a figure from the Alsatian marque's considerable history – in this case legendary French aviator Roland Garros. Now it's released a promo video showing off the stunning (if mechanically unaltered) black Vitesse roadster.
Say what you will about all the special editions Bugatti makes out of the Veyron. The fact of the matter is that they sell, and sell quickly. In fact, each of the four Legend editions to date – all of which have been limited to three examples, amounting to twelve cars – has sold out at prices hovering around the $3 million mark, helping Bugatti sell the last few dozen examples of the Veyron roadsters it has to build before the model is retired entirely. And you can bet this one will
While it wouldn't be fair to say it stumbled upon it, having invested unprecedented amounts to develop the Veyron in the first place, Bugatti has certainly arrived at a winning formula with its special editions. Take on the world's most expensive and desirable supercars, give it a special paintjob and name, and presto! You've got a multi-million-dollar prospect on your hands of which collectors just can't seem to get enough.
Remember when the Bugatti Veyron first came out? You'll have to go back the better part of a decade to 2005. People were taken aback by the million-dollar asking price. But now there are plenty of cars with price tags in the seven-figure range.
If you name your son Jeeves, you're pretty much guaranteed he'll grow up to be a butler. (Don't even get us started on stripper names, because Mercedes and Portia aren't just German auto marques anymore.) Well the same could be said of a name like Rembrandt – name your son that and you can be sure he'll become an artist. And that's just what Ettore Bugatti did.
You may have balked at the release of each of Bugatti's Legend edition Veyrons and dismissed them as simple a way for the Alsatian marque to sell the last 50 cars it needs to move before it can put the series to rest. But what you can't argue with is the fact that it's working, because Bugatti has sold every last one of them.
Bugatti is in the habit of recalling names from its storied history on the nameplates of its new models. The Veyron, after all, was named after Pierre, one of its most accomplished racing and test drivers. So, too, was the concept that preceded it named after Louis Chiron, another Bugatti racing driver of yore. And lately, the Alsatian marque has been reviving other names from its history with a series of special editions.