Achim Anscheidt’s Retiring: Bugatti’s New Design Chapter

Bugatti, the iconic luxury car brand, bids farewell to Achim Anscheidt, the visionary Director of Design who has overseen the brand’s stylistic evolution for an impressive 19 years.

With his retirement, Anscheidt leaves behind a remarkable legacy and paves the way for new horizons at Bugatti. Let’s delve into the journey of Achim Anscheidt’s career and his significant contributions to Bugatti’s design language.

Achim Anscheidt's Retiring: Bugatti's New Design Chapter

Early Days and Road to Bugatti

Achim Anscheidt’s passion for automotive design was deeply rooted in his upbringing, with his father being the three-time motorbike racing world champion, Hans-Georg Anscheidt. Starting as a motorcycle stunt acrobat, Achim’s artistic talents and fascination with motorsport led him to pursue a career in car design. After graduating from ACCD in Pasadena in 1993, he began his journey at Porsche Design Weissach.

In 2004, Bugatti appointed Anscheidt as its Design Director, a critical moment as Veyron’s design was nearing completion, but the brand required further stylistic development. Under his guidance, Bugatti created iconic models like the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse and Veyron Super Sport, solidifying the brand’s reputation for high-performance vehicles.

Achim Anscheidt's Retiring: Bugatti's New Design Chapter

Moreover, special edition models like the Veyron L’Or Blanc, Veyron Edition Hermès, and Legend Editions showcased Anscheidt and Bugatti’s pioneering approach to bespoke craftsmanship, enhancing the brand’s stature and sales.

The Visionary Bugatti Design DNA

Under Achim Anscheidt’s careful guidance, Bugatti’s modern design language evolved to evoke wonder and joy in anyone who encounters these masterpieces on the road. Characterized by elegance and sovereignty, Bugatti cars stand out with refined bodywork, devoid of overly aggressive lines. The goal is to create a charming moment of automotive excellence for onlookers, akin to appreciating a unique artwork.

Bugatti’s distinct DNA is anchored by core design elements present in every model, including the horseshoe grille, the duotone split, and the iconic ‘Bugatti Line.’ This instantly recognizable side view profile, subtly developed over time, gives each Bugatti model a unique identity. Additionally, the expressive centerline pays homage to the Type 57 SC Atlantic’s full-length fin, ensuring that Bugatti’s design is firmly connected to its rich heritage.

Achim Anscheidt's Retiring: Bugatti's New Design Chapter

Form Follows Performance: A Philosophy of Beauty and Functionality

Achim Anscheidt’s design philosophy, known as ‘Form Follows Performance,’ is based on the belief that true beauty and authenticity in car design should not come at the expense of engineering excellence. For a Bugatti, the technical requirements and design must evolve hand-in-hand, especially considering the complex aerodynamic and thermodynamic demands of a high-speed hyper sports car.

With an 8.0-liter engine capable of reaching speeds over 400 km/h, a Bugatti car must delicately balance downforce, lift, and cooling. Bugatti designers work closely with the brand’s ambitious engineers, ensuring that the final product is not only a high-performance marvel but also a masterpiece of engineering beauty.

Coachbuilding Renaissance: Embracing Individualization

Achim Anscheidt championed the revival of the coachbuilding tradition at Bugatti, allowing for greater personalization and unique one-off or few-off masterpieces. From the Veyron Pur Sang, showcasing authentic materials like carbon fibre and polished aluminium, to collaborations with luxury brands like Hermès, Bugatti’s bespoke creations pushed the boundaries of quality perception and craftsmanship.

The coachbuilding era of Bugatti, which began with the Veyron and continued with the Chiron and its variants like Divo, Centodieci, and La Voiture Noire, has produced some of the most stunning and exclusive Bugatti cars to date.

Achim Anscheidt's Retiring: Bugatti's New Design Chapter

Looking Back to Look Forward: Capturing Timeless Elegance

Achim Anscheidt’s challenge in modern Bugatti design was to capture the essence of the brand’s timeless elegance without resorting to retro imitations. By understanding the core elements that made past Bugatti cars so iconic, designers could create new masterpieces that resonate with contemporary culture and uphold the brand’s heritage.

Bugatti designers draw inspiration from the purpose-driven design choices of historical models, incorporating elements that symbolize performance and functionality without mimicking the past directly.

Passing the Torch: Frank Heyl’s Leadership

Achim Anscheidt's Retiring: Bugatti's New Design Chapter

With Achim Anscheidt’s retirement, Frank Heyl takes the helm as the new Bugatti Director of Design. Having been an integral part of the design team for many years, Frank brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for automotive beauty. Working closely with Bugatti Rimac CEO Mate Rimac, Frank will lead Bugatti’s design team into a new era of automotive excellence.

Achim Anscheidt’s vision and dedication have laid the foundation for Bugatti’s future, ensuring that the brand’s design language remains as compelling and alluring as ever.

As Bugatti looks forward to unveiling the Chiron successor and beyond, the legacy of Achim Anscheidt’s artistic vision will continue to inspire generations of car enthusiasts and automotive artists.

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