Press release8/1/2023

Frank Heyl begins new chapter as Bugatti Director of Design

Frank Heyl begins new chapter as Bugatti Director of Design


After 15 years with Bugatti, Frank Heyl has been named Director of Design in place of the recently retired Achim Anscheidt, who moves to an advisory role with CEO Mate Rimac. Frank worked as Achim’s Deputy since 2019, shaping the timeless designs that have come to define this most recent era of Bugatti history.

Frank Heyl, new Bugatti Director of Design
Frank Heyl, new Bugatti Director of Design and his predecessor Achim Anscheidt
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Fuel consumption and emissions

  • 1Chiron: WLTP fuel consumption, l/100 km: low phase 44.56 / medium phase 24.80 / high phase 21.29 / extra high phase 21.57 / combined 25.19; CO2 emissions combined, g/km: 571.64; efficiency class: G
  • 2Divo: WLTP fuel consumption, l/100 km: low phase 43,33 / medium phase 22,15 / high phase 17,99 / extra high phase 18,28 / combined 22,32; CO2 emissions combined, g/km: 505,61; efficiency class: G
  • 3Bolide: This model is not subject to Directive 1999/94/EC, as type approval has not yet been granted.
  • 4W16 Mistral: This model is not subject to Directive 1999/94/EC, as type approval has not yet been granted.
  • 5Chiron Super Sport 300+: WLTP fuel consumption, l/100 km: low phase 40.31 / medium phase 22.15 / high phase 17.89 / extra high phase 17.12 / combined 21.47; CO2 emissions combined, g/km: 486.72; efficiency class: G

Having started as Senior Exterior Designer at Bugatti in 2008, latterly Head of Exterior Design and then Deputy Design Director, he has guided the visual identities of models like Chiron1, Divo2, Bolide3 and W16 Mistral4, developing an intimate appreciation of the importance of design in the Bugatti legacy, drawing from a century of history and the values of a brand founded by a family of artists and genius engineers.

“Cars are, and always have been center stage of my life – from designing them to driving them. At Bugatti, I have always sought to combine this fascination with my love for technology and innovation, just as the founders of the brand had done, creating shapes that fulfil the core essence of the brand: performance. For me, true beauty and timeless elegance only springs from cars designed for purpose – no unnecessary flourishes or lines – but a pure focus on form following performance. In this way, we can create cars that transcend automotive design and lean into pure artistry, cherished by connoisseurs for generations.” he said.

Taking responsibility for the design future of an iconic brand like Bugatti, as well evolving the relatively young identity of the cutting-edge Rimac Automobili brand in his dual role as Director of Design for Bugatti Rimac, requires not only a natural talent and a deep-rooted fascination for style, but also a foundation in the history and techniques of automotive design. This education in Frank’s case came courtesy of the Royal College of Art in London, an institution known for nurturing some of the most talented minds in the industry.

During his rise from Senior Exterior Designer to Director of Design over the past 15 years, Frank has developed, under the guidance of Achim Anscheidt, a clear vision for the brand, its design ethos, and the unique characteristics that define a Bugatti. His designs are perfectly attuned to the spirit of Ettore and Jean Bugatti, who each sought to create beauty in every detail. As Ettore Bugatti once said: “Nothing is too beautiful.”

“Beauty comes from the aesthetic of purpose, and the purpose of our vehicles is performance. Therefore, ‘form follows performance,’” said Frank. He and his team create shapes that are tailor made to their purpose and yet tie into the iconic DNA of the brand in every detail seamlessly. “This dedication and design discipline enables us to create authentic products, and only a product that is authentic can be timeless. Ultimately a Bugatti needs to be timeless because it will be around for generations. On this level of automobile couture a Bugatti is perceived as an art piece. These are collectable items, being cherished by their automobile connoisseur owners and passed on from generation to generation to be enjoyed through the centuries.

“My dream is to one day walk the lawns of a Concours d’Elegance with my grandchildren and be able to show them some of the cars that we created in this time.”

For Frank, Bugatti design must also continually push boundaries. How does it challenge the status quo? How does it exceed what was believed to be the limit until now? It is this pioneering spirit that speaks though every fiber of his designs. True innovations were also at the center of attention to the brand’s ingenious founding father Ettore Bugatti, who invented groundbreaking new technologies like the alloy wheel or the hollow light weight front axle for his Type 35 race car. Then his son, Jean Bugatti, had a talent for combining aerodynamic innovations like the raked windscreen of his Type 46 Surprofilée with breathtaking elegance.

Frank strives to continue this philosophy with the most technologically advanced, breathtakingly beautiful and authentic designs. “It is with great humility, respect, honor, pride, and joy that I take on this new responsibility to write the next chapter in this legendary brand’s ethos with dignity.”

Just like Ettore, Frank himself has helped to develop new innovations as part of the quest for performance, without sacrificing design. Among them is a special boot lid with an integrated vacuum effect for the Chiron which, instead of simply using ventilation holes for the engine, features a dual-shell boot lid with a sandwich-design air guide element that opens only when the car is in motion. This ingenious design extracts hot engine air towards the rear without creating additional ventilation holes, preserving the timeless lines.

All of Frank’s technical knowledge of advanced aerodynamics and thermodynamic requirements came to bear in one of the most ambitious undertakings in automotive history: the Chiron Super Sport 300+5. For this hyper sports car, it was necessary that the engineering teams and design teams worked closer than ever before to develop the visual appearance and aerodynamic concept to deliver a car that was faster than any other road car. In 2019, it set a record top speed of 490.484 km/h (304.773mph). This unique relationship, where engineers and designers work in harmony to deliver a car perfect for its purpose, is possible only with the kind of low-volume, no-compromise production of Bugatti.

Now, the next-generation of Bugatti design begins, guided by the ingenious spirit of Ettore and Jean Bugatti, and blended with Frank’s own vision to craft cars that are not just timeless works of art, but enduring symbols of innovation and performance. The design of the successor to the Chiron will capture the purest essence of Bugatti. An homage to the three strands of Bugatti history – Speed, Luxury and Elegance – it will be authentic, timeless and, most importantly, completely incomparable, set to spark an entirely new era of Bugatti design that will be guided by Frank’s watchful eye.

Press Contact

Nicole AugerHead of