We human beings seem to have a strange attachment to our cars. For some people, that car in the driveway is a beloved member of the family. Other people see their cars as extensions of themselves. Perhaps this explains why your typical car buyer is as concerned about aesthetics as he is mechanics. We care deeply about what our cars look like.
In light of that, and the fact that carbon fiber is currently the darling of the sports car industry, how much would you be willing to spend on a carbon fiber hyper car? If money were no object, would you spend more than $3.3 million on a Bugatti Chiron? Feel free to spend it if you have it.
Early in December 2019 the Italian sports car builder announced two new and extremely limited versions of its popular Chiron model. They are known as Chiron Noire Élégance and Chiron Noire Sportive. The calling card for both cars is an all carbon fiber body. They scream aesthetics with a loud, unabashed voice that dares one to look and not be in awe.
Two Different Finishes
Though there are plenty of subtle distinctions between the two models, the biggest difference is found in their finishes. The Chiron Noire Élégance features an exposed carbon fiber finish that lets you see all the fine details of the fiber fabric embedded deep in its plastic resin. An exposed finish gives this car a space-age look that has the future written all over it.
As for the Chiron Noire Sportive, it boasts a black matte finish. Equally modern in style, the matte finish gives the car a look that is more of an industrial-street racing fusion. It actually looks quite stunning. Both cars are stunning, for that matter.
Worth the Price
So, are the aesthetics really worth the price? Someone who can afford to plunk down in excess of $3 million for a car is probably not worried about price anyway. He wants what tickles his fancy regardless of the cost. For the rest of us though, $3 million is quite a bit north of what we can afford to spend on a car.
It turns out that just 20 of each model will be sold. That is one of the reasons for the prohibitive cost. For the lucky few able to obtain one of these hyper cars, owning what could be one of the most coveted Bugatti’s in history will be a real treat.
The Cost of Carbon Fiber
The Chiron’s extremely expensive price tank is not exclusively the result of its carbon fiber body. Still, the overall cost of carbon fiber is a significant factor. Simply put, carbon fiber is more expensive as a material for car bodies compared to more traditional materials.
According to Rock West Composites, a Salt Lake City company that specializes in carbon fiber materials, the high costs associated with carbon fiber are the result of both initial production and fabrication. Apply those costs to building a hyper car and they quickly spiral out of control.
Producing virgin carbon fiber thread and fabric is costly enough thanks to high energy consumption. But the price goes way up when you take that virgin carbon fiber and fabricate it to create a complete car body. The process is complicated, labor intense, and unforgiving. That also makes it extremely expensive.
Bugatti isn’t worried about finding buyers for the carbon fiber Chiron. If you had the money to spend, would you buy one? A price tag in excess of $3 million seems a bit much for car.