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What's crazier than buying a $2 million car? Buying a $2 million car that you haven't been able to see pictures of — let alone test-drive.
Bugatti said Monday that it will unveil its new hypercar, called the Chiron, at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Despite the fact that there are no official pictures of the car, and no one has been able to test-drive it, the company has already received 100 orders for the car.
That's especially impressive because while Bugatti has yet to announce a price, wealthy car collectors who have attended special preview events for the car tell CNBC that the sticker price for the Chiron will be $2.4 million. To order the car, buyers are required to put down a $200,000 deposit.
The sales are further proof that the very tippy top of car market — really the preserve of billionaires and near-billionaires — remains strong, despite the economic jitters around the world. It also suggests that parent VW's cost-cutting in the wake of the emissions scandal has not sidelined the costly but highly visible Chiron.
The Chiron is the successor to the Bugatti Veyron, which launched in 2005 and became the fastest production car on the planet, with the Super Sport version hitting a top speed of over 260 miles per hour with 1,200 horses. It sold out of its production run of 450 cars and the last version of the Veyron rolled off the production line this year.
The Chiron reportedly has even more horsepower, speed and other superlatives.
"The development brief for the Chiron can be summarized in one sentence and is probably the shortest in the history of the automobile: We want to make the best significantly better," said Wolfgang Durheimer, president of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. "The Chiron will set new standards in every respect. We will continue to produce the world's most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car. This is the claim of Bugatti and our customers."
Spy photos taken of the Chiron during testing suggest the car is more of an evolution than revolution. The basic shape of the car remains the same: wide, flat with the swooping side vents and the arched grill. But the front end has a slightly sharper wedge shape with thinner headlights.
There's no word on when the car will start being shipped. But the company said it is currently being road-tested "in several continents" in a variety of road and climate conditions.
The Chiron was named after Louis Chiron, a legendary race driver for Bugatti in the 1920s and 1930s.