If you have the means, you can buy a Bugatti pushbike that is almost as exclusive as the latest Chiron car. Just not as fast. Matthew Carter reports
So, you’re ready to splash out
€2.4 million on your brand new Bugatti Chiron. You’ve visited the UK’s only Bugatti showroom, on Berkeley Square, and been flown over to the atelier in Molsheim, in Alsace, where the cars are built by hand.
You’ve chosen your colours, your optional extras, your trim materials and you’ve had a test drive – though you didn’t quite manage to get it to its top speed, which is limited to 260 mph (yes, really).
But now you have a nine-month wait before conception turns into delivery. How can you fill that hole in your garage?
Well, it won’t be with another car, that’s for sure. According to the urbane Wolfgang Dürheimer, the CEO of both Bugatti and Bentley, the average Bugatti owner – and it’s not often you can use the word ‘average’ in connection with a Bugatti owner – has 83 other cars, three jets and a yacht. And to that you can add houses, art collections, jewellery and goodness knows what else.
Pity the poor old Bentley owner who can only stretch to having eight cars in their collection.
What you might not have in your collection, though, is a Bugatti bicycle. But thanks to a collaboration between the marque and PG, a German bicycle manufacturer, you can now put that right.
The PG Bugatti bike was, in true new-car fashion, launched at the recent Geneva Motor Show. It was designed – and named – by Bugatti, but engineered and built by PG, which stands, rather charmingly, for Pimp Garage.
As you might expect, the bike is at the cutting edge of two-wheel design. It is made, almost entirely, of high-strength carbon fibre, with a smattering of titanium and aluminium used for mechanical parts. As a result, it weighs less than five kilograms and is said to be the lightest urban bike ever made.
All the carbon components, which together account for 95 per cent of the bike, are handcrafted using techniques found in the motorsport and aeronautic industries. The aim is to provide a light-weight design with rigidity. This high tensile fibre performance material is used for the frame, fork, wheel rims, seat, crank and brake (note, just the one brake).
The cross-sections of the frame are oversized for additional strength and then ‘optimised for the aerodynamic demands of high speeds’. High speed is clearly a relative term, bearing in mind Chiron’s maximum velocity.
The frame is also unusual in that it has just one seat stay and one chain stay – on opposite sides – while there’s a toothed-belt drive rather than an oily chain to turn the back wheel. It’s a single-speed affair, no fancy 24-gear set here.
Comfort comes courtesy of handlebars equipped with shock absorbers and, being a Bugatti, personalisation is the name of the game. An owner can specify special colours for the frame, coloured carbons and different leather types for the saddle. But don’t expect to use this bicycle to nip to the pub. According to its maker, this is a ‘piece of sports equipment that is not intended for use on public roads’.
And what does this all cost? Well, if you have just ordered a Chiron to squeeze into your packed garage, the price tag of around £39,000 – rising to £69,000 if you want to go for the full custom treatment – won’t be too troubling.
That said, you might be worried about how common it’s going to be. Bugatti is going to make a mere 500 examples of the 1,500 hp Chiron (and 200 of those were ordered within days of the car being launched), but PG plans to make 677 examples of the one-person-power Bugatti bike.
Just think, 177 people will be given access to the machine without having to own a Chiron first.