Bugatti's $18 Million 'La Voiture Noir' Concept Wins Top Design Honors at Villa d'Este

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At this year's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, the annual classic and luxury car extravaganza held in Lake Como, Italy, Bugatti just walked away with one of the most coveted awards given to contemporary works of automotive art. The famed marque's La Voiture Noire one-off hypercar, rumored to have cost a celebrity client more than $18 million, won the Design Award in the prestigious Concept Cars and Prototypes class. 

La Voiture Noire, equipped with an 8.0-liter turbocharged W16 engine that gives it an unholy top speed of 260 mph, was unveiled for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year in honor of Bugatti's 110th anniversary. 

The one-of-a-kind brute, based on the Bugatti Chiron, pays homage to a legendary 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Aéro Coupé which disappeared in France during World War II. The only other examples are widely considered to be the world's most valuable cars; Ralph Lauren owns one of them. 

Given that the Voiture Noire's mysterious owner – at one point rumored to be soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo – is extremely rich and equally private, the car may never again be exhibited in public. And it is most likely far too valuable to actually be driven, adding to the likelihood that it will remain locked away in a private collection.

Bugatti's dapper CEO Stephan Winkelmann, who was formerly in charge of Lamborghini, accepted the Design Award to thunderous applause. “The Concorso d'Eleganza at the Villa d'Este is a major event for the world of luxury sports cars,” he said. "The models that can be seen here every year are iconic and the setting in which they are displayed could not be better! ”

The sinister speed demon certainly contrasted well with the majestic architecture and Italian Renaissance gardens of the iconic Lake Como luxury hotel, near to where scenes were shot for the 2006 Bond film Casino Royale. 007 only wishes he could get his hands on a car like this....