Photos by Bugatti
Customers of the French luxury brand appreciate something special. With the recently completed Divo “Lady Bug”, Bugatti is once again demonstrating its high level of expertise in outstanding customization and handcraft. Within around two years, in close cooperation with the customer, a very special Divo with a paintwork specially developed for him was created.
2021 Bugatti Divo "Lady Bug"
"Every Bugatti Divo is unique. With the customer vehicle 'Lady Bug', Bugatti shows its entire customization expertise. What initially seemed impossible, designers and developers have created to perfection together with the customer“, Says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. "We are proud to have met the personal taste and expectations of the customer with this one of a kind Divo. The vehicle shows once again what creative performance and high level of craftsmanship the brand is capable of.“The work on this automotive masterpiece is a symbiosis of art, design and technology. In the spirit of company founder Ettore Bugatti, who once said: "If it's comparable, it's not a Bugatti."
The story of an elaborate development process!
In collaboration with the customer, shortly after the world premiere of the Divo in August 2018, the idea for a geometric-dynamic algorithmic fading pattern on the body was created. The collector from the USA has a strictly geometric grid of diamond-shaped diamonds in a special color contrast in mind. Together with him, the Bugatti design and development team then developed the special colors “Customer Special Red” and “Graphite” - both metallic tones - that are intended to contrast the effect. The diamond pattern should run from the front over the sides to the rear - exactly and adapted to the silhouette of the Divo.
The team has been looking for technical and graphic solutions and implementing them for over a year and a half. But that it will be so complex and difficult to paint the diamonds precisely and precisely defined on the body, nobody had expected this before the start of the project. Because the digital patterns in the CAD program have little to do with reality: Because of the three-dimensional, sculptural shape of the Divo with its curvatures, curves and beads, the rhombuses of the 2D print on the surface of the exclusive hyper sports car were distorted. They therefore had to be digitally adapted. One millimeter difference was enough to destroy the overall impression of the optics. For a clean visual finish, the diamonds also have to fit perfectly against the roof line, doors and the rear edge of the fender. In cooperation with the customer, CAD modelers develop and simulate a design of the diamond pattern with around 1.600 diamonds. A highly complicated and time-consuming job.
During the first calculations, software and reality do not match one hundred percent, and slight distortions arise. It takes weeks for the designers to be satisfied with the result. Six-meter-long foils, which are precisely placed on the body of a test vehicle, are used to control the pattern. With a lot of patience, manual dexterity and skill, the designers finally find a way to adapt the CAD data to reality and to pull the film over the strongly concave surface without distorting the diamonds or throwing creases.
a special challenge
"'Lady Bug 'was a special challenge and an unforgettable experience at the same time. Due to the nature of the project to apply a 2D graphic to a 3D sculpture, after several failed ideas and attempts to apply the diamonds, we were on the verge of giving up and saying: We cannot implement the customer's request“, Explains Jörg Grumer, Head of Color & Trim at Bugatti Design. "But it is our deep conviction never to give up and always have the motivation in the foreground to make the impossible possible for the customer. We are proud of our competence to have created a high quality and complex product with this Divo, based on pure craftsmanship and the excellent teamwork between design and development."
When Bugatti informs the customer that his vision is becoming a reality, he is impressed by the effort and process behind it. "The realization of this project was an exciting experience for me, based on a long-cherished dream - I was absolutely thrilled when it was delivered. Working with the Bugatti design team on the development of the Lady Bug will be remembered as an extraordinary time, not only in terms of the limitless dedication to the flawless execution of the unique design, but also in terms of the true commitment of all of them Employees who were involved in the implementation right through to the final vehicle. The automobile is not only an incomparable masterpiece and work of art, but also the most complex and best developed vehicle I have ever owned and thus the highlight of my collection to date. I owe this to the Bugatti team, who are masters of their trade and take every little detail into account in the manufacture of their hyper sports cars."
Every single one of the 1.600 diamonds is checked!
The diamonds in the foil are released and transferred to a transfer foil, which is then glued to the body. Every single one of the 1.600 lozenges is checked, some of them realigned. At the beginning of 2020, countless hours will pass on a test vehicle before the process satisfies both developers and designers. Shortly before the customer vehicle is delivered, the general rehearsal takes place on another test vehicle. "Every move had to be perfect for this difficult work, which is why we decided to start another trial run before the final work. Because there could only be one attempt with the customer vehicle. And it had to be done without errors“, Says Dirk Hinze, expert for individual sizes and surfaces at Bugatti. With a lot of patience and instinct, the employees first apply the film to the roof line with millimeter precision and permanently check the correct position in relation to the door gap line and the rear.
When the Divo “Lady Bug” was finally edited, there were no more major complications. Employees checked each diamond for its exact position for several days, sometimes cutting it by hand or replacing the shapes. This was followed by the actual painting work and the laborious, meticulous removal of each individual diamond. The “Customer Special Red” effect finish is followed by “Graphite” and clear varnish to invert the structure. In between: grind, level, check, correct and grind again. The lacquer artist needed over two weeks before the result of his work was finally perfect.
special challenge of the painting process
"The main challenge of the painting process was not to damage the carefully applied structure. In the final phase, our painting competence was the decisive component so that we could give the vehicle the finishing touches it needed to meet our demands for absolutely uncompromising and perfect quality“, Explains Dirk Hinze. The multi-layer lacquer structure now embeds the ruby-colored diamonds in an anthracite-colored gradient. The repeated leveling of the pattern creates an unusual depth and color brilliance. Months of manual work in perfection.
"From the beginning we knew about the sensitivity of the customer's vehicle and the very special challenge of this technically very demanding and at the same time artistic project. The necessary attention and the fact that we had to strive for a zero-defect strategy on the final car met us with respect. Our ethos in the Color & Trim department as part of Bugatti design was and always has been to implement the customer's vision to perfection and we have succeeded again this time“, Says Jörg Grumer.
Highly individualized, high-performance and exclusive. With the Divo, Bugatti has developed a hyper sports car that revives the luxury automobile manufacturer's coachbuilding tradition. It is powered by the iconic 1.500 hp 8-liter W16 Bugatti engine and is limited to a top speed of 380 km / h. In total, only 40 Divos are produced in the Molsheim studio at a unit price of 5 million euros each plus options. The first deliveries of the hyper sports car took place in August 2020 and all Divo will have passed to their owners in the first few months of 2021.
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