Is the Bugatti Divo the most valuable production car of the 21st century?
During the 21st century we have seen a huge increase in the value and the retail asking prices of super and hypercars. Cars such as the Ferrari Enzo, Maserati MC12 and Pagani Zonda, released relatively soon after the turn of the century began to push the boundaries of what car manufacturers could do and the prices they could fetch. The real breakthrough came when VW awakened Bugatti, a sleeping giant of the supercar industry and spearheaded this extreme market with the fastest production car in the world and the first supercar to cost in excess of €1 million; the Bugatti Veyron. This seemingly opened the flood gates on a trend of car manufacturer’s building ever more rarefied and exclusive hypercars where money was no object. What is even more interesting is that many of these cars have proved highly lucrative investment opportunities and have become almost immediately more valuable on the open market than their initial retail price. Below is a table of some of the most expensive road legal hypercars (excluding 1-offs) that have been released since the turn of the century, including approximations of their current market values.
|Car||Year of Release||Production Number||Estimated Current Market Value|
|Bugatti Divo||2018||40||£4.5 million – £6.5 million|
|Lamborghini Veneno||2013||5||£5 million – £6 million|
|Koenigsegg Agera RS||2015||25||£4.5 million – £5.5 million|
|Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta||2016||210||£4 million – £5 million|
|Bugatti Chiron||2017||500||£2.75 million – £3.25 million|
|Pagani Huayra BC Coupe||2016||20||£2.5 million – £3 million|
|McLaren P1 GTR||2015||58||£2.5 million – £3 million|
|Bugatti Veyron SS World Record Edition||2010||8||£2 million – £3 million|
|Maserati MC12||2004||50||£2 million – £3 million|
|Mercedes McLaren SLR Sterling Moss||2009||75||£2.2 million – £2.7 million|
Sitting at the top of this list and with a limited production run of just 40 cars, the Divo is up there with some of the rarest and most valuable hypercars of the modern era. The cars have all been sold to existing Chiron owners at €5 million each and it is rumoured that a few of the buyers bought a Chiron just to be eligible to buy the Divo! We actually believe the cool €7 million outlay to be a wise investment. It remains to be seen how quickly these cars trickle on to the used-car market and what sort of values they begin to fetch. One thing is for sure Bugatti have written another exciting chapter in the performance history books and pushed the envelope even further in terms of just how exclusive and valuable a car can truly be.
Exploring the New Bugatti Divo
The Bugatti Divo represents a new direction for Bugatti in the modern-day era. Whilst previous iterations of its cars such as the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport have been focused on increasing top-end speed, the Divo concentrates on something that has always been seen as a slight chink in its armour for Bugatti; cornering. The ‘standard’ Chiron has no doubt made some leaps forward in this area over the Veyron with respected journalists such as Chris Harris commenting that, “This is a profoundly different car to a Veyron. I suspected and feared it would just be another Veyron with more power. In other words, a car that was immensely impressive in a straight line, at very high-speed, but didn’t really like corners. This car (the Chiron) loves corners!” But the Divo takes this a giant leap further.
Following some relentless teasing from the French car marque in the previous months, the Divo was finally unveiled at The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California last week, much to the delight of it’s adoring fans and the automotive community, including us! The crowd and media were talked through the new car by none other than Stephan Winklemann, the genius behind Lamborghini’s product differentiation over the last few decades. Stephan has the ability to keep honing and reinventing the same car, keeping the public and customers excited and engaged, whilst in the background working on the next generation. The hugely charismatic president of Bugatti confirmed the Divo’s cornering focus with this statement, “The Divo has significantly higher performance in terms of lateral acceleration, agility and cornering. The Divo is made for corners.”
With the Divo Bugatti has continued its tradition of naming cars after historic and successful racing drivers, such as Pierre Veyron and Louis Chiron before it. This time it was the turn of Albert Divo, a revered racing driver of his generation, who consecutively won the Targa Florio twice in the late 1920’s in his Bugatti Type 35C. The Divo also revives another long-standing tradition of Bugatti from the 1930’s, when they were known for dropping unique bodies on to existing chassis to create bespoke models for their wealthy and discerning clients. This is in effect what has been done with the Bugatti Divo as it shares most of the chassis and monster drivetrain from the Chiron. The 8.0L quad-turbo W16 engine produces 1479bhp, fed through a 7-Speed twin clutch gearbox to all 4 wheels and is capable of catapulting the Divo from 0-62mph in just 2.4 seconds. Quite a feat for a car that weighs in at nearly 2 tons. However, let us take a look at what differs this phenomenal car from it’s Chiron underpinnings.
Firstly, the all new body has been designed to increase downforce whilst reducing drag, allowing for higher cornering speeds and retaining maximum acceleration. The body takes more functional design cues than the Chiron and yet still retains it’s distinctive ‘horse-shoe’ front grille and side C-shaped contour lines, ensuring it is immediately recognisable as a Bugatti. The designers seem to have taken a smoother more elegant approach on the top half of the car, transitioning to more aggressive lips, flaps and aero spoilers on the bottom half. Starting from the front, the much larger front splitter picked out in Divo Blue, gives increased front end down force and turn in bite. Whilst gaping front air intakes allow more cooling air to be gulped in for the engine and the cars many radiators. Changes to the front bonnet include features such as S-duct intakes which channel cooling-air down to the carbon-ceramic brakes. Flaps down the sides of the Divo form an aero-device which Bugatti call the “air-curtain” smoothing out turbulent air flow from the front wheels. Pressure vents on the front wheel arches, similar to those seen on the Porsche GT3 RS, add to this car’s sci-fi looks but are also functional. The “NACA-Duct” is positioned above the engine bay and used to help fast flowing air from the roof stick to the body and hit the wider hydraulic rear wing face on, providing maximum downforce for the rear wheels. The rear diffuser has been enlarged helping increase under-car airflow speeds, creating negative pressure, sucking the rear of the car on to the road. The cars styling is finished with an awesome central quad exhaust, which has more than a sniff of Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce about it. In-fact, the whole car is quite Lamborghini-esque in terms of how aggressive, angular and outrageous the functional styling is, we love it!
Other major differences include the headlights which have been completely restyled into a vertical C-shaped arrangement and pushed right to the extremities, accentuating the width of this imposing car with a positively menacing look. The LED taillights are something very similar to the ‘light-blade’ setup seen on the Aston Martin Vulcan and Vanquish Zagato but with an even more futuristic arrangement that make the car look like it is blurring with speed even at a standstill. The electric steering, which already used 7 different overlaid algorithms on the Chiron has been sharpened for the Divo, which combined with stiffened springs and dampers all add to this cars cornering ability. The car runs a degree of negative camber which unfortunately combined with the additional downforce generated by the new body work has resulted in an increased load being placed on the tyres, meaning that Bugatti has limited top speed to 237mph as a safety precaution. A weight reduction of 35kg has been achieved through lightening cuts being taken from the alloy wheels, a thinner rear windscreen and even more components being constructed from carbon fibre. The interior features deeper seats to keep the occupants in place during the higher cornering speeds and a driver focused full Alcantara asymmetric interior design with contrasting driver and passenger layouts. Finally, a stunning and distinct paint palette, Divo Blue detailing, tyre wall stripes and French flags make this car instantly recognisable and a truly spectacular vehicle.
So, what do all these engineering changes and talk of cornering ability translate to? Well, the Divo has been driven and tested around the 6.2km Nardo test track, where Bugatti are reporting a full 8 second improvement in lap time. Cornering G-forces have now been measured at 1.6g, thanks to all those updates giving the car more lateral grip. Unfortunately, there are no official plans as yet for Bugatti to take the Divo to the Nürburgring and set a lap time, but we can always keep our fingers crossed!