Soft leather surrounds its purist dashboard. The interior is filled with flowing, organic forms. Anyone experiencing a Bugatti Chiron1 from the inside for the first time will be astonished. Instead of small parts and pompous waste of space, the interior is dominated by defined minimalism. The French luxury hyper sports car manufacturer's reduction to the essentials is at the heart of its design philosophy.
"When I began to develop the design of the Chiron interior, it was clear that the DNA of the new hyper sports car would be characterised by the technology with its iconic 16-cylinder eight-litre engine. So I started to adapt the idea of the exterior design to the interior and make it as technical as possible – without sacrificing the high demands of Bugatti," says Etienne Salomé, Director of Interior Design at Bugatti.
The Paris-born car designer, artist and automobile enthusiast has been contributing significantly to Bugatti's brand image as a designer for over a decade. "Bugatti's primary concern is to create and preserve an icon. But the Chiron is much more than an automobile; it is a timeless work of art, a breath-taking masterpiece on four wheels," says Etienne Salomé. The forms must possess an eternal force.
Distinctive Bugatti C-line also in the interior
Like the symbolic horseshoe grille and the striking Bugatti C-line on the side of the Chiron. They are repeated in a similar vein in the interior – the implied horseshoe in the centre of the steering wheel and the C-line in several positions. As a striking design feature, it runs in the middle of the interior, dividing it symmetrically. The C-line integrates clearly structured and neatly arranged central functions via four instruments, the selector lever and the armrest. Each of the four round instruments is a reflection of the four headlight elements on each side. "The unusually highly placed gear selector is unique and gives the interior a sense of speed. At the same time, it suggests to the driver: You have the power, but are also always in control," says Etienne Salomé. The Bugatti colour "la vie en bleu" appears discreetly in parts such as the engine start button or the launch control button – a few tributes to the historic Bugatti models. The origins of the French racing colour date back to the beginning of the 20th century and it has accompanied the brand almost since its foundation 110 years ago.
With its symmetrical lines and clear architecture, passengers feel safe and comfortable in this so powerful vehicle. The belt line sloping to the rear lends a sense of tranquillity and comfort, as do the symmetrical lines and the longest light strip used in vehicles as a welcome light. The austere and clear architecture is possible because Bugatti, with Chiron1, Chiron Sport2 and Divo3, is a small and exclusive range of models whose interior differs in just a few, albeit clear, details.
A love of detail
Attention to detail, high craftsmanship and a combination of high-quality materials and colours are aspects that characterise all vehicles. Like French fashion, Bugatti has typical recognition features in its interiors. These include the use of exclusive materials and a combination of two different colours. "About half of our customers opt for the two-tone interior with different colours or leather types. No two vehicles are the same, each is configured individually, every single one is unique," says Etienne Salomé.
The configuration of a Bugatti hyper sports car is comparable to paying a visit to a tailor: He advises customers on fabrics, materials and colours, suggests a few styles before getting to work. The result fits perfectly, is unique and of exquisite quality.
The same goes for Bugatti. The experts at the French luxury brand have always relied on authenticity and high-quality materials such as leather, carbon, platinum or solid aluminium when selecting materials. Each component is worked and refined by hand for hours. High-quality stitching highlights the exclusive craftsmanship. The mechanical beauty of the central instrument blends in perfectly with this. Drivers feel just as comfortable here as in front of the fireplace of their home. The analogue speedometer shows the power and potential speed of the hyper sports cars. Even when the engine is at a standstill.
Timeless design for timeless vehicles
"Every designer strives for a timeless interior. But many vehicles force you to compromise. Not at Bugatti. Our vehicles are timeless. Timelessly beautiful and unique, and therefore virtually perfect," says Etienne Salomé. Not just built for a decade, but for a long time to come. This is one reason why Bugatti dispenses with a central screen. "We have thus created a new feeling of luxury: high-quality, minimalist, intuitive and timeless," says the designer with confidence.
Because luxury is more than merely a matter of material quality and workmanship. In a luxurious interior, it is also a question of reducing the interior to the essentials. "True luxury is simple and supports our customers. They are not inundated with information, the few switches are in the right place and accentuate the performance of the engine," emphasises Etienne Salomé.
That also applies to the future. No matter what, wherever Bugatti's journey takes us. "Our design, whether outside or inside, must continue to be unparalleled, unique, high-quality and timeless.” This is what Bugatti will continue to stand for in the future. Not only visible from the outside, but also tangible in the interior.
1 Fuel consumption, l/100km: urban 35.2 / extra-urban 15.2 / combined 22.5; CO2 emissions combined, g/km: 516; efficiency class: G
2 Fuel consumption, l/100km: urban 35.2 / extra-urban 15.2 / combined 22.5; CO2 emissions combined, g/km: 516; efficiency class: G
3 Fuel consumption, l/100km: not subject to Directive 1999/94/EC as overall type approval is currently not yet available