Automobiles Ettore Bugatti was founded in 1909 in Molsheim, Germany and was one of the most elegant pre-World War II car makers. Ettore Bugatti brought to life some of the most extraordinary luxury sports cars, mixing tremendous amounts of power with extravagant designs.
From the first car of the company, the Type 13 (1910), Bugatti focused on simple, yet extremely efficient designs. The Pur-Sang managed to take second place in the endurance French Grand Prix at Le Mans in 1911, and this was just a foreboding of times to come.
It was also a sales success. It was followed in 1920 by the Type 23 Brescia Tourer, the first multi-valve production car in history. The 1920s also saw the Bugatti 8-cylinder line being developed. Starting with the Type 30, it soon expanded to another five touring car models (Type 38/40/43/44/49).
Some of the interbellum models were magnificent pieces of art: the Bugatti Type 41 Royale (1932), for example, is one of the most expensive cars ever made. At 6.4 meters long, with a 4.3 m wheelbase and a 12,763-liter engine, it was created to compete head-to-head with Rolls-Royce. Type 57 (1934) was a spectacular luxury car that spun off Bugatti's first winning car at the LeMans, in 1937 (a Type 57G Tank with a modified 57S chassis). It won the historic race twice, but it also killed Jean Bugatti, Ettore's designated successor.
Bugatti also shined in motorsports with the Type 32 `Tank`, followed by the Type 35, dubbed as the most successful racing car of the century (more than 2000 wins) and the extremely fast Type 51.
Production ceased in 1956, but the brand was purchased in 1987 by the Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli and revived in 1991, with the EB 110, dubbed "the world’s first supercar with a carbon-fibre chassis, a six-speed gearbox, a 12-cylinder engine with five valves and four turbochargers, and permanent four-wheel drive." It developed 560 hp and reached a maximum speed of 351 km/h.
After the 1985 bankruptcy, the brand was eventually acquired by Volkswagen in 1998. Its first model, the EB 118, appeared in the same year. It was soon followed by three car concepts, the EB 218, the EB 18/3 Chiron and the EB 18/4. The latter was developed further in 2000, when it received the name Veyron. Production of the 1,001-hp Veyron finally started in 2005.
Followed the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport (2008), the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, that broke the speed record for the fastest production car (431.072 km/h, in 2010), and Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse (2012), the world's fastest roadster in the same year. In 2016, the Veyron was replaced by the Chiron, a 1,500-hp car able to reach speeds of up to 463 km/h.