Unless I end up marrying a billionaire — and look, I’m extremely open to that — I’m probably never going to own a. And that really sucks because I’m a massive Bugatti stan, and I have been since even before the very first concept was unveiled in 1999. Because of this, the nice folks at Bugatti have taken pity on me, and while they annoyingly aren’t just giving me a Chiron of my own, they did let me loose in the secret customer configurator for an hour. Naturally, I went wild.
Now, this isn’t how I would actually spec my Chiron if I had the means to do it. The configurator is fairly limited in things like color choice and interior options, but in reality Bugatti can do literally whatever a customer wants. Jascha Straub, Bugatti’s design and sales representative, joins me on Zoom for this configurator experience, and he’s the one making the magic happen per my instructions. Straub used to be a designer at Bugatti, working on cars like the Divo and Centodieci, but he’s now the direct point of contact for customers customizing their own cars, helping them make decisions and finalize bespoke designs.
I follow a lot of Bugatti accounts on Instagram, from actual owners to carspotters to registry pages that collect info and photos of every Chiron built, and I’m constantly disappointed by the lack of vision that so many customers have. There are distressingly dozens of Chirons in extremely similar blue paint schemes inspired by the launch spec, and far too many that are in boring colors like black, silver or a simple red. Luckily, I am not lacking in vision when it comes to potential hypercar specs.
The first major choice I have to make is the color split. The Pur Sport has a new option that has much of the lower body finished in exposed carbon fiber, adding to the car’s track-ready look. You can also choose a single-color finish that just leaves a little bit of carbon on the lower body side, as well as on the Pur Sport’s redesigned front fascia and huge rear diffuser. But I want to create a contradiction. Despite its massive wing and race car-like styling elements, I want my Chiron to look classy, luxurious and unique.
So I go for the Chiron’s traditional color split, which has the front end finished in a different color from the entire rear of the car. This scheme also makes the best use of the Chiron’s iconic C-line that wraps around the windows and side scoops. For the front half of the car I choose a lovely metallic copper color that’s almost rose gold, while the rear is finished in spectacular Twilight Purple. The configurator offers more than half a dozen colored exposed carbon-fiber finishes that can be used in place of paint, ranging from black and grey to red, green and three different blues. There is no purple option, though — if I could have done the rear in purple carbon instead of purple paint, I would have.
Unlike the regular Chiron, which has a chrome horseshoe grille surround and accents on the side intakes, the Pur Sport’s grille surround and entire front bumper is completely made from carbon fiber with black mesh intakes. But like the standard car, the Pur Sport has the option to have either just the horseshoe mesh or all of the front grille mesh finished in the bright matrix, but to really drive home my Pur Sport’s dichotomy, I choose to have all of the exterior grille mesh finished in bright chrome. This means I can’t get racing numbers put on the horseshoe, but the chrome finish is a much more special look, as very few Chirons in the real world have this. Having the chrome mesh at the rear is especially impactful given the Pur Sport’s open back end. I choose to keep all of the lower carbon trim black — because again, I can’t do purple — as it’s subtle enough to blend in with the rest of my scheme.
The exterior choices don’t stop there. I get the C-line finished in chrome, too, though it does look pretty sweet in the copper paint, and all of my exterior badging is chrome, as well. You can get the trim surround for the full-width taillight in a contrasting or matching color, but I choose chrome instead of the standard black for maximum cohesiveness. The side mirror caps get a split finish with the two exterior paints, which looks especially good from the front. My rear wing has copper accents and “Bugatti” script, too.
The Pur Sport is available with three different wheel designs, only one of which is available with a chrome finish. It’s one of the standard Chiron Sport wheels, though, so I go with the incredible Pur Sport-specific aero wheel design instead. They’re magnesium wheels, hence the inability to do chrome, but I’m able to get the turbofan-look discs in a different color from the main wheel. I go with the main wheel in purple and the discs in copper, with copper EB center badging. Having the contrast with this wheel design would look amazing in motion, but it’s cool even at a standstill. The Chiron’s giant brakes are still visible through these wheels, and I pick a white finish for the calipers as it’s the closest to chrome that I can get.
The final exterior option might be my favorite one. Like on the Veyron before it, the Chiron’s mid-mounted quad-turbo W16 engine is exposed to the elements, with the cylinder heads prominently visible. As standard these caps are painted silver, though Bugatti offers the option to have them painted in any color you’d like. However, I go for what Straub says is one of the rarest options: a polished aluminum finish. The polished finish gets easily dirty and scuffed and will gain a patina over time, which is why most customers opt against it, yet that’s exactly why I want it.
Moving inside, I’m similarly limited to the couple dozen leather and Alcantara color options in this configurator. That’s OK, though, as I’m able to create an interior that’s nearly identical to what I’d do with no restrictions. Most Pur Sports will have a super simple interior, with mostly black upholstery and some contrasting trim and a ton of suede and carbon fiber. But again, I want my Pur Sport to be luxurious, and I want the interior to be cohesive and fully tied into the exterior color.
The main color for my Chiron’s interior is a vibrant purple leather covering the dashboard, door panels, headliner, the outside portion of the seats and other parts. The available copper color doesn’t go super well, so for my secondary color I pick a pure, bright white leather that ties in with the chrome and white exterior components. I think the two-tone split works well with these colors, especially when you view the car from the outside and can see how it integrates with the exterior. I also go for the Sky View option, which adds two glass panels to the roof to bring in more light and make the striking interior even more visible from outside — the Chiron is pretty low to the ground, after all.
While it’s hard to tell from these compressed configurator images, all of the interior stitching is copper except for the embroidered dancing elephant on the headrests, which is white for maximum contrast. (This elephant sculpture was one of the most famous works of Rembrandt Bugatti, Ettore’s artist brother, and it was used as the hood ornament on the Bugatti Royale.) The rearview mirror, center line running down the dashboard and the lit-up C-line between the seats are also finished in copper.
As standard the Pur Sport has tons of carbon fiber trim, but I don’t want any of it. The steering column and gauge cluster pod are the only things I can’t change from carbon. All of the interior trim like the buttons and switches, air vents, door handles and steering wheel spokes are normally finished in a dark aluminum, but I go with the bright aluminum finish instead. I make the knee pad aluminum with a copper script, and the entire door sill painted to match the exterior colors instead of the typical carbon treatment.
So there you have it, that’s my dream Bugatti Chiron. I finish my configuration with just a few minutes to spare in my allotted hour-long time slot, and I’m happy with what I’ve created. But I’m even more happy with the reaction I get from Bugatti’s PR people and from Straub. “I’ve never seen a Bugatti done this way before,” he says, “it’s a different approach. But I actually really like it, it’s cool.” When you’re spending around $4 million on a one-of-60 hypercar, that’s exactly what you should want to hear. Mission accomplished.
Bugatti’s secret Chiron configurator is what dreams are made of
See all photos