Motoring News

Bugatti Divo: Start of a new era at Molsheim

Bugatti says it has reinvented coachbuilding with its Divo hyper sport car. After two years of development, the first vehicles are now being delivered...

– Stephan Winkelmann

MOLSHEIM, France – Customised, high-performance, exclusive. Since its world premiere in August 2018, Bugatti says, its Divo ”has been among the world’s most extraordinary hyper sport cars.

Now, we’re told, the first of only 40 are being handed over to customers from the Atelier in the Alsatian town of Molsheim – at a net unit price of €5-million. Which, Bugatti adds, ”marks the end of two years of challenging development”.

2021 BUGATTI DIVO. Image: Supplied

”It is starting an era at Bugatti – one of modern coachbuilding. The Divo is a highly customised masterpiece of automotive craftsmanship a must-have for any Bugatti collection.”


Stephan Winkelmann, president of Bugatti, told The Corner in a media release: “The Divo is a milestone in Bugatti’s 110-year history. It will enter our history alongside the Veyron and Chiron2 hyper sport cars.

The car is named for Albert Divo, a French pilot and racing driver who was also a Bugatti works driver for quite some time.

Through 20 years he had many victories, including six Grands Prix and two Targa Florios.

2021 BUGATTI DIVO. Image: Supplied

Bugatti says ”coachbuilding” is equivalent to haute couture in the fashion sector: it describes customised cars for individual tastes. In 1932 Jean Bugatti, son of company founder Ettore Bugatti, had at age 23 already created the elegant roadster body for the Type 41 Royale luxury vehicle.

It was for textile magnate Armand Esders so is known today as the “Royale Esders”. However, Jean’s masterpiece is considered to be the Type 57 SC Atlantic – a sport coupé delivering more than 150kW. Only four were assembled.


Bugatti believes early master body-makers simply tailored bodies to a chassis – they hardly ever modified the technology. The new Divo development designers and engineers, however, modified the technology and boosted the performance.

2021 BUGATTI DIVO. Image: Supplied

 Deputy design director Frank Heyl explained. “We took a host of liberties when we developed the Divo because we limited the top speed to 380km/h so were able to generate more downforce and turn the Divo into a visually and technically independent model.”

The result: the car, Bugatti says, became much more agile. It also differs from the Chiron in appearance: a slimmer sideline and extra air intakes to cool the brakes have made the cars – Bugatti’s words – ”look flatter and more sporty”.


The bonnet has air intakes that reduce the front surface of the car to improve airflow. An optimised Aero Curtain is said to have improved side aerodynamics front and rear and a new font spoiler had added downforce and directs more air to the front intakes.

2021 BUGATTI DIVO. Image: Supplied

Eight independent air sources – four on each side – of the vehicle cool the brakes. The compact and light diode headlights have only a 35mm light opening – described as ”eye-catching”. Bugatti says the slots extend far into the wings to create the illusion that the radiator is floating.


The 3D rear lights are also complex as part of the 3D-printed rear grille: 44 illuminating fins. And the an air duct on the roof, masquerading as a fin, supplies the eight-litre W16 engine that can generate 1185kW. It simultaneously guides air to the 1.83m-wide rear spoiler to minimise turbulence.

‘Heyl again: ”We’ve structured the Divo in top and lower sections to underline the vehicle’s width and make it look even more sporty.”

Striking blue lines on the tyres make the wheels seem larger ”and thus more sporty”.

2021 BUGATTI DIVO. Image: Supplied

The Divo, The Corner was told, is the first digitally-created Bugatti. Designers and developers assessed the model using virtual reality goggles and life-sized milled hard-foam models to gain a better feeling for shapes and proportions.

Heyl again: “The symbiosis between designers and CAD modelling staff was inspiring – very creative teamwork. Thanks to close co-operation we created a new model in a mere five months – an extraordinarily short time.”

Since then, Bugatti says, every model has been digitised to improve development processes: ”Aficionados of the brand can look forward to the future!”

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