Bugatti gives insight into Molsheim 'dream factory'

Benjamin A. Monn, BAM Photography, Bugatti Chiron

The Bugatti Chiron is the luxury manufacturer's next 'hypercar', and throughout the next few years, 500 of them will be built.

The successor of the mind-boggling Veyron is even more powerful, with the 8.0-litre quad-turbocharged W16 engine fitted to the Chiron producing 1,479bhp – 300bhp more than the most powerful Veyron, the Super Sport – which means a theoretical top speed of 288mph.

At the company's Atelier plant in Molsheim, Alsace, 20 employees assemble the £1.9million model in the 1,000 sq ft factory space, which accommodates all areas of production from chassis construction to trim fitting and painting.

Currently, the first 12 customer Chirons are being built, with Bugatti aiming to build 70 by the end of 2017.

Before the nine-month building process even begins, configuration of the driver must be confirmed and each Chiron is built to the customer's preference, with 23 top coat colours and 39 interior trim options just the start of the customisation. However, the more unusual the customer's preference, the longer their Chiron will take to be built.

When the customer's order slot is organised, more than 1,800 individual parts are ordered and shipped to the Atelier so that the Chiron can be assembled.

Bugatti gives insight into Molsheim ‘dream factory’

Bugatti gives insight into Molsheim ‘dream factory’

The process doesn't take place on conveyor belts, with the building of the vehicle performed on 12 separate stations. Only one electronic tool is used in chassis assembly, the EC nutrunner system, which gives the technicians the torque values of each bolt to ensure the chassis is in the right condition for any performance.

When the powertrain assembly, inner workings and body work are fitted, the Chiron is tested on the world's most powerful dynamometer to ensure its extremely powerful and torquey engine runs smoothly.

If the Chiron passes all the technical checks in the factory, it is taken on a 300km test run through the Vosges mountains, the Colmar airport for a high-speed run and a 'relaxed' drive back along the German Autobahn.

Following another drive with the final underbody and wheels fitted, the Chiron gets its multiple layers of paint applied to ensure the smoothest finish and the customer is able to then pick it up.

Bugatti's head of production and logistics, Christophe Piochon, said: "We are building a super sports car. That is quite clear. But it is the way we do it, hand-crafting an individual product for each customer in this very special atmosphere, that makes us unique. This is 'Haute Couture de l'Automobile'."

Written by Jack Healy