For more on the man behind the supercar, scroll below.
Louis Alexandre Chiron was born on August 3, 1989 in Monte Carlo, son of the maître d’ at the famous Hôtel de Paris. He was brought up by a wealthy Russian noblewoman, whose chauffeur provided Chiron his first driving lessons at the age of 15. This would be a definitive moment.
Following World War I, Chiron became a car dealer in Nice where he first became familiarized with the Bugatti brand thanks to ex-racer and dealer, Ernest Friderich. He soon began running cars from Bugatti’s Molsheim factory to the Côte d’Azur and became well acquainted with Ettore Bugatti himself.
His racing career began in earnest in the mid 1920s with a number of hill climb competition wins behind the wheel of a Bugatti Brescia and Type 30 race car. Later his connections earned him a Type 35 in 1926 at which point bigger victories followed. In 1927 he won the Grand Prix of the French Automobile Club at only 28-years-old.
In 1928, Chiron became the ace of the Bugatti works racing team, claiming a dozen victories that year. Success would continue for the next four seasons, and in 1931 he became the first (and to this day, the only) Monaco-born racer to win the Monaco Grand Prix.
In 1933, Chiron departed the team, reportedly due to arguments with racing boss Meo Costantini, to start his own racing outfit, and he later moved to Ferrari and Mercedes. Interestingly, Chiron’s last race came in the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix, at which point the 56-year-old became the oldest Formula One driver ever to compete.
In the latest announcement, Bugatti president Wolfgang Dürheimer said the Bugatti Chiron will be the “world’s most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car.” That’s quite a fitting tribute for such a distinguished racer.
Of interesting note, the Chiron moniker isn’t a newcomer to modern Bugatti creations. Back in 1999, Italdesign crafted the 18/3 Bugatti Chiron concept car, which fashioned an even more exotic W18 engine and foreshadowed the arrival of the EB 18/4 Veyron concept, and as such the production-ready Veyron 16.4 in 2005.
Buzzing with excitement yet? Various spy photos confirm the Bugatti Chiron does indeed look like a stripped-down version of the 2015 Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo (pictured top), sans enormous rear wing of course. Stay tuned for more as the Bugatti Chiron debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show inches closer.