Geneva: Bugatti is continuing its six-part edition series, “Les Légendes de Bugatti”, at the Geneva International Motor Show (6–16 March) to honour some of the more important people in the company’s history. Last year the long-established French brand successfully presented the first three Legends models. All nine vehicles of these model series have been sold. Now Bugatti is celebrating another high point with its fourth legend – named in honour of Rembrandt Bugatti, brother of company founder Ettore and one of the most important sculptors of the early 20th century. One of his most significant works is the sculpture of a dancing elephant. It decorates the radiator of the Bugatti Type 41 Royale and became the brand’s symbol. The Legends model is based on the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse1. As with the other Legends models, only three will be manufactured. The “Rembrandt Bugatti” Vitesse costs €2.18 million Euro net (Rs. 18 crore approx).
“Rembrandt Bugatti was an exceptional sculptor. He represents the strong artistic roots of the Bugatti family, as did his father, Carlo,” said Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S., at the presentation of the Legends edition. “As vehicle developer and founder of the Bugatti brand, Ettore was also inspired by this artistic heritage. Art is of course one of our three brand values, namely ‘Art, Forme, Technique’. This makes Bugatti unique in automotive history, and was the reason we dedicated this striking Legends model to Rembrandt Bugatti.”
The art world views Rembrandt Bugatti as one of the most notable and artistically independent sculptors of the early 20th century. He became famous through his animal sculptures, and cast a large part of his work in bronze. The pieces are now on display in several collections and museums across the world. In the same way that Ettore saw automobile creation as an artistic process, Rembrandt Bugatti’s fame was based on his extraordinary artistic talent and his formidable manual abilities in manipulating surfaces.
The “Rembrandt Bugatti” is the fourth Legend from the brand. To launch the “Les Légendes de Bugatti” edition last year, Bugatti presented “Jean-Pierre Wimille” at California’s Pebble Beach, “Jean Bugatti” at the IAA in Frankfurt and “Meo Costantini” at the Dubai Motor Show.
All nine vehicles of these three Legends have been sold.
“The Legends edition is a great success for Bugatti. The response from our customers is amazing,” said Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.
The “Rembrandt Bugatti” is based on the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse. Its 8 litre W16 engine achieves an unparalleled torque of 1,500 Nm from 1,200 PS at 3,000–5,000 rpm, and can accelerate from 0–100 km in 2.6 seconds. With a maximum speed of 408.84 km/h with the roof down, the Vitesse is the fastest production roadster ever built. Rembrandt Bugatti has a fuel economy of 4.3 kmpl.
Rembrandt Bugatti (1884-1916) ranks among the most remarkable and individually artistic sculptors of the early 20th century. Born in Milan, Rembrandt was Ettore Bugatti’s younger brother. His exceptional talent was discovered early on, though his father Carlo Bugatti, himself successful as an artist and designer, had initially planned a future as an engineer for the young Rembrandt. After Rembrandt began sculpting at an early age, his father sent him to the Brera Art Academy in Milan. His very first exhibitions in Venice and Paris caused great sensations. Over the course of his short life, Rembrandt’s oeuvre came to include over 300 bronzes, paintings and drawings.
Rembrandt’s great artistic passion for animals emerged at an early stage. He began modelling cows, horses and dogs, and was later inspired by the more exotic forms on display at the zoological gardens in Paris and Antwerp such as anteaters, tapirs, hippopotamuses and elephants.
Rembrandt created a great many elephant sculptures, but it was his dancing elephant that became perhaps the most recognisable symbol for the Bugatti brand. It is, after all, the silver hood ornament that adorns the Type 41 Royale. Because of his incredible flair for capturing the very essence of the animal in a sculpture, he was known across Europe and America.
The First World War drove Rembrandt Bugatti to take his life in Paris in 1916. He was only 31 years old.