After all the hype and weeks of build up, the opening days of Geneva featured many a show-stopping machine. From Koenigsegg's awe-inspiring Jesko, to the ground-breaking Pininfarina Batista, via a trio of Aston Martin reveals, but there was one car which generated more debate than any other.
Bugatti's 'La Voiture Noire' pays homage to one of four legendary Type 57 SC Atlantics, designed and driven by Jean Bugatti himself. While that design is heralded as a classic piece of automotive art, however, universally recognised as one of the most beautiful four-wheeled sculptures ever created, its namesake has met with a more mixed reception.
Whether or not the black car is attractive will depend on who you ask; beauty, beholder, etc. But the debate over Bugatti building it in the first place seems a curious one. This isn't merely a case of a prestigious marque rebodying an existing platform and slapping the result with an obscene price tag to wring every last pound, euro or dollar out of customers with more money than taste. La Voiture Noire was commissioned as a one-off by a client who knew exactly what they wanted, and how much they were willing to spend to get it. The craftsmanship is of the very highest order and the finished product is absolutely staggering in its attention to detail.
It's coachbuilding in the finest tradition, then, and one can't help but feel that reaction would be less dismissive if it came with a Zagato, Touring, or Pininfarina badge on the side. Luckily for us, the burden of having to judge whether it's worth the money is not one we have to bear. Instead, we can simply gaze upon it for free through our screens as the Palexpo lights accentuate every perfectly executed curve and crease. Or not, up to you.