Eleven Bugatti masterpieces are illuminated by the dappled sunlight trickling through palm trees on the Arabian Gulf. A fresh sea breeze fills the air and a fleet of pioneering hyper sports cars is ready to take to the road. Heading south west from Dubai and down to the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi, the 2nd Annual UAE Bugatti Owners Drive got under way.
Known for its towering skyscrapers, Dubai is a city of vision and innovation. Home to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa served as the ideal backdrop to the equally extraordinary Bugattis – eleven cars in total – as they gathered in the morning at the famous luxury hotel and resort, Habtoor Palace.
For the second consecutive year, the event was hosted by Al Habtoor Motors, the official Bugatti partner in the UAE, in collaboration with Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. Joseph Tayar, the General Manager of the Prestige Division overseeing the portfolio of luxury brands, commented on the occasion: “The Bugatti Owners Drive is a wonderful opportunity for us to reconnect with our customers and show our appreciation towards their support and passion for the brand. We believe in establishing best practices in the region and we are confident this event will soon become a brand staple.”
176 cylinders were ready to be fired up as the cars stood proud between the tall pillars of stone that decorate the hotel’s entrance. Among the highly exclusive group of cars was a Chiron Sport, four Chiron, one Veyron, one Veyron Grand Sport, and one Veyron Sport Vitesse. Two Chiron Pur Sport and one Chiron Super Sport completed the model line-up.
Before getting underway, it was time for a quick briefing from Andy Wallace – motor racing legend, Le Mans-winner and Bugatti Pilote Officiel. Joined by Al Habtoor Motors management, the official Bugatti partner for United Arab Emirates, customers were guided through their route for the day, before it was revealed what their final destination would be, which had been kept secret until the last minute.
Kostas Psarris, Regional Director Middle East & Asia, commented: “The UAE is home to many of Bugatti’s most passionate and loyal customers. Witnessing eleven of Bugatti’s greatest creations drive in convoy through downtown Dubai and Abu Dhabi was a true representation of the brand’s presence and popularity in the region. The 2nd Annual Bugatti Owners Drive is just a small gesture of our appreciation for our UAE owners, and there will no doubt be many future occasions during which we will celebrate our shared admiration for some of the finest automobiles in the world.”
Along a route of 150 kilometers, customers set off in convoy on a scenic coastal road towards Saadiyat Island – a cultural hub with natural white sand beaches – in the complete luxury of their W16-powered machines. The cabin of both the Chiron and the Veyron are famous for their unrivalled attention to detail and quality of materials. Stunning the automotive world when it rolled out of the Molsheim Atelier, the Veyron’s leather-filled interior fitted with expertly finished aluminum switchgear remains a truly sumptuous environment.
Joined by its younger sibling, the Chiron is the fastest, most powerful and sophisticated hyper sports car Bugatti has ever made, and its original formula has continued to be refined since its launch in 2016. Now in its final production phase after extraordinary levels of customer demand, the fewer than 40 Chiron build slots left to be allocated as part of the car’s 500-long production run. Fitting therefore that Bugatti brought along two Chiron Pur Sports and one Super Sport, as these editions of the iconic road car will exclusively make up the final 40 units.
As the most dynamic and fastest-accelerating Chiron, the Pur Sport has yet to find an apex it cannot hit. With its enlarged rear wing and high-downforce setup, the Chiron Pur Sport is built to conquer corners, and to do so with the utmost composure. A tuned chassis combined with dynamic torque vectoring compliment the 1,500 PS produced by the hyper sports car’s 8.0-liter W16 engine.
Prowling alongside on the E11 highway between Dubai and Saadiyat Island is the Chiron Super Sport, which demonstrates the true depth of the Chiron family’s performance. Known as the ultimate Grand Tourisme for its ability to cover ground like no other automobile, with a top speed of 440 km/h it is the fastest Bugatti production vehicle. With a completely revised version of the 8.0-liter W16 engine producing 1,600 PS housed within the car’s “longtail” bodywork – extended by approximately 25cm for optimal airflow – the Chiron Super Sport knows no equal when it comes to longitudinal performance.
As the journey nears its end, the final destination is now in sight. The Emirates Palace Hotel, known for its hosting of royalties, presidents and diplomats appears on the horizon as the convoy arrives into the nation’s capital of Abu Dhabi. A private marina overlooking a dazzling natural bay and Qasr Al Watan – the Presidential Palace of the UAE – awaits the drivers as they park up in a semi-circular fashion outside the venue. As a finishing touch to the unforgettable 2nd Annual UAE Bugatti Owners Drive, the sounds of an electric harpist filled the marina where a four-course lunch was served.