The production building for the Chiron, which Bugatti calls “Atelier“, has a floor space of more than 1,000 square metres. It was inaugurated in 2005 and has an oval configuration, based on the French brand’s logo, the Bugatti “Macaron”. It was designed by the renowned architect Professor Gunter Henn from Munich.

For more than 10 years, the Veyron 16.4 and its derivatives were built here. For the Chiron, many modifications were made to the Atelier and associated facilities to take account of the new product properties and increased complexity of the production process. For example, exterior components are now pre- assembled at the technology centre in the plant area, where they are already subjected to initial inspection. In addition, a new rolling dynamometer was developed to accommodate the 1,500 PS developed by the Chiron.

The most striking change is the floor in the Atelier. It is made from epoxy and is conductive, ensuring the dissipation of any electrostatic charges. In addition, the reflecting glossy white creates an atmosphere comparable with the catwalk of a fashion house. “We are building a super sports car. That is quite clear,” says Christophe Piochon. “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‘“.

1The Atelier

The Chiron is built in the “Atelier“ at the company’s headquarters in Molsheim. It was inaugurated in 2005 and has an oval configuration, based on the French brand’s logo, the Bugatti “Macaron”.

2The Glossy Atmosphere

The Atelier has a floor space of more than 1,000 square metres and has undergone many modifications for the Chiron. The new floor with its reflecting glossy white creates an atmosphere comparable with the catwalk of a fashion house. At Bugatti, no conveyor belts nor robots can be found. People work at stations, as in the workshop of a Formula One team. All in all, there are 12 stations.

3Hand Assembly

The only electronic tool used in chassis assembly is the new EC nutrunner system, which gives the assembly worker a signal when the right torque value is reached. This allows a data curve of each bolt tightened on the chassis to be stored on a computer connected to the system, which then gives the assembly worker a signal when the right torque value is reached. There are more than 1,800 bolted joints on a Chiron, with documentation required for 1,068.

4Chassis in Stages

The high point of chassis assembly is the marriage – the operation of joining the monocoque and the rear end. 14 titanium bolts ensure that the bond between the two units is durable and extremely strong. Titanium was selected to save weight; each bolt only weighs 34 grams.

5The Most Powerful Dynamometer

The Bugatti rolling dynamometer is the most powerful of its type in the world. The new unit is so powerful that it can produce electricity with a current of up to 1,200 amps during operation. Bugatti feeds the excess power generated to the local grid in Molsheim. This is the part of the production facility that called for the greatest investment in preparation for the Chiron. The modifications, including larger electric cables, were necessary as the old rolling dynamometer could not absorb the 1,500 PS and 1,600 Nm developed by the Chiron.

6External Body Pre-Assembly

When the Chiron has passed all its tests on the rolling dynamometer, it is fitted with its exterior skin at the following station. Here, the exterior parts, which are made entirely from carbon in the case of the Chiron, are installed on the vehicle. As some of the individual lightweight parts are very large and fragile, this work is extremely demanding, which is why a pre-assembly stage was introduced for the Chiron. Pre-assembly is completed in Bugatti’s new technology centre, which is located only 200 metres away from the Atelier. The body parts are installed here on special mobile frames, with assembly points identical to those of the Chiron.

7Interior Assembly

The interior fittings are fitted after weather testing. Here, two team members make sure that all the parts are installed in the right place in the interior of the Chiron, a process that normally takes about three days. Customers can choose between a luxurious variant with full leather trim or a more sporty combination of leather and carbon fibre.

8Final Inspection Drive

During the final inspection test drive, the Chiron is driven 300 km through the Vosges to the airport in Colmar, where it completes test of functions requiring speeds in excess of 250 km/h on the runway. The return trip is covered at a more “relaxed” pace on the Autobahn to allow the vehicle to cool down. If the test driver gives the Chiron the thumbs up following the trip, the transmission oil is changed and the original wheels and underbody are installed in the Atelier. The car then completes a last test drive over 50 km before final dynamic approval is given.

9Paint Finish

At this stage, the Chiron is transferred to the paint booth, where it is prepared for the finish. All the protective foils are removed and the vehicle is then cleaned and polished. The cosmetic preparation of the Chiron takes two days before it is transferred to the light tunnel. Here, a team member carries out a relentless inspection of the finish for more than six hours, after which the Chiron returns to the paint booth. The team member then devotes himself to intensive optimization until all the visible blemishes have been remedied. This can take between three hours and three weeks if a highly personalised component needs to be produced again.

10Signed Sealed Delivered

After about two months, the Chiron leaves the Atelier. During this time, 20 employees, including two women, have assembled a total of about 1,800 individual parts to create the world’s most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car. They are supported by 17 logistics employees and 15 quality assurance colleagues. Following production, their colleagues in Customer Service, the famous Bugatti Flying Doctors, assume responsibility for individual support to ensure that each vehicle remains in perfect condition and owners can be sure of having added the crowning glory to their collection – the ultimate super sports car.