December 4, 2023

Molsheim, France — Imagine it took your painter 700 hours to finish a job. Imagine they took four days to polish one car. You’d probably send them packing pretty fast. But, at Bugatti, they’d fit right in.

The luxury automaker issued a press release this past March detailing its whopping 600-hour process in painting a Bugatti.

“At the same time it may take a traditional luxury car manufacturer to build four or five cars in their entirety, Bugatati will only have completed the paintwork of one hyper sports car,” wrote the automaker in the release.

The process begins before the paint is even opened, as paint specialists check panels for minuscule pits that may affect the finish and other imperfections. After the car has been cleared, a layer of primer is applied and sanded, followed by a second layer.

Even after no less than 100 hours of precise and detailed work, the panels are still hundreds of hours from receiving their first coat of colour. Before the painters apply this first shade, they undertake a comprehensive process of clear coating and sanding, clear coating again and then sanding again.

“It’s a labour of love ever rushed but always carefully applied and devotedly polished. All of this preparation brings depth and richness to the final finish,” according to Bugatti.

The team also analyzes each panel individually for any minute difference in colour.

“With the complexities of contrasting colours on individual cars, as well as the combination of visible carbon fibre parts, [refinishers] face a number of challenges in blending all aspects of one of [Bugatti’s] hyper sports cars together. With the different characteristics of each material and each finish, consistency is key, and only with the talent and experience of these craftspeople, can the required level of finish be achieved,” explains the luxury automaker.

Once the car is painted to the high standards required by Bugatti, there are still four days of polishing in its future.

Finally, the paintwork is scrutinized under the bright white lights of Bugatti’s light tunnel for no less than ten hours. The bodywork is scrutinized by touch and sight to identify any near-microscopic blemishes.

In total, this extremely meticulous process of paintwork alone takes between 600 hours and 700 hours of craft, or the equivalent of one person working 24 hours a day constantly for nearly a month.

“Ettore Bugatti was a man that believed in the beauty of engineering in automotive. Grown up in a family of artists, Ettore’s canvas was the automobile, even before people considered them works of art,” said Christophe Piochon, president of Bugatti Automobiles. “We retain that ethos to this day at Bugatti, ensuring that every aspect of design and production is completed with a dedication to aesthetic excellence; an approach that undoubtedly applies to our paintwork.”

Click here for more information on Bugatti’s elaborate refinishing process.


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