Bugattis get 8 paint layers, 600-plus hours of hand work

The Bugatti Chiron reset the hypercar bar and costs millions of dollars. As a special car, it and the other extraordinary cars that come out of Bugatti’s factory in Molsheim, France, don’t just get ordinary paint jobs.

Each car features eight layers of paint and more than 600 hours of hand-finishing, according to a Bugatti press release. The automaker estimates that other luxury brands can build four or five complete cars in the time it takes just to paint one of its cars.

Bugatti paint process

Bugatti paint process

The process starts before any paint is even applied. Each panel is checked for imperfections, both visually and by touch. Workers then spend hundreds of hours applying primer and clear coat, with sanding in between to ensure a smooth finish. Only then can layers of color be applied.

As the paint goes on, each panel is checked for any differences in color. If one panel is too light or dark, it has to get repainted. This can get especially complicated on cars with multi-color paint jobs, or unpainted carbon-fiber components. Yet Bugatti relies on the trained eyes of its paint specialists. They’re even consulted by the automaker’s design and engineering departments when creating customer-requested configurations, and are sometimes the arbiters of what colors get used, according to Bugatti.

Bugatti paint process

Bugatti paint process

After the paint is applied, each car goes through four days of polishing. The paintwork is then inspected under white lights in Bugatti’s “light tunnel” for 10 hours. Again, cars are also hand-inspected for blemishes in the paint. It’s just one part of the meticulous pre-delivery inspection each Bugatti goes through before it reaches a customer.

Bugatti’s painters will soon have to switch to a new car. With production of the Chiron and derivatives like the Centodieci winding down, Bugatti is preparing a Chiron successor. Due to be unveiled later this year, it’s expected to be a hybrid developed in close collaboration with Bugatti partner Rimac.

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