Bugatti began building its success in the automotive world on the achievements of the Type 35 and then sealed it with the Chiron, which underlined 110 years of history. The common denominator of almost all the models was that each model was conceived in the color blue, which in the Molsheim brand was the emblematic “French Racing Blue”.
This emblematic tone is one of the pillars of the identity of the company founded by Ettore Bugatti and a way of life summed up in four simple words: “La Vie en Bleu” (Life in Blue) An aspect that became central to each of the cars associated with unique engineering and design, reflecting the origin of the brand , according to the brand’s official website.
According to Achim Anscheidt, the design director of Bugattiexpanded the meaning of this color by indicating that “French Racing Blue it means passion, it means motorsports pedigree and it means patriotism.” “Early French racing cars, including many of the models Type 35 who conquered all, dressed in a vibrant shade of blue that crowds instantly recognized as they roared by at over 100 mph.”
The legend around the color of the Bugatti
Like any brand, Bugatti is full of secrets and one of them is the mystery of the true origin of the color of the brand’s cars. According to legend, Ettore Bugatti’s wife, Barbara, was a smoker and his favorite cigarettes were the Gauloises, in their blue package, and that this could be the starting point for which the founder of the firm was inspired to conceive the traditional Blue France of Carrera.
Anscheidt, for his part, revealed that the “early 1920s pre-war copies used a very light turquoise shade that became a more saturated neutral of darker blue in the mid-1920s, the tone that most Bugatti and fans of the brand primarily identify with the racing cars from Molsheim”.
However, well into the 1930s, when the company was taken over by Jean Bugatti, Ettore’s son, touring and racing cars began to come in two shades: one responded to vibrant blue combined with a light turquoise blue. According to the company’s reference, this two-tone “became the identification mark of the tanks Type 57 Le Mans winners, a predecessor to the duotone identity that is still part of the design DNA of Bugatti”.
The designer added that, over time, each model and “shades of blue became so closely connected that, over time, ‘French Racing Blue’ would become informally known as ‘Blue Bugatti‘”
Towards a new blue color
By the early 2000s, when the Veyron was reinvented, experts at Bugatti searched for a new blue and, in 2007, new modern interpretations of the color were introduced when the brand was under the command of the Volkswagen Group. The result, without distancing itself from the essence, was a “warmer and a cooler tone, a neutral blue and, important for the new carbon fiber era of Bugattia carbon dyed blue”.
“Early paints were often made from what was available at the time and by today’s standards we just couldn’t use them today. We need to create something that is timeless, but also reflects the lines and style of classic and modern Bugattis.” Anscheidt.
Currently, the “French Racing Blue” crosses the boundaries of the exterior of cars, which has moved into the interior of some models. While, on the outside, it went through an “aluminum anodizing process”, an oxidation process, in which the surface of the part turns into a hard and porous layer of oxide.
This blue tone is heading towards a new evolution, under the fusion Bugatti-Rimac, and defined as “Bugatti Blue”, which is a throwback to the brand’s origins and will be applied to the brand’s next models. “The creation of a new ‘French Blue Racing’ focused on sustainability. We are looking at the entire cradle-to-grave process and re-evaluating all of our materials,” Anscheidt concluded. How do you imagine the next color of Bugatti?