At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, one car was stealing the show from all others, Which was quite a feat considering the kind of vehicles on display there. We should know—we went to the event. We are, of course, talking about the Bugatti La Voiture Noire, a one-off hypercar that attracted huge crowds who marveled at its deep-black bodywork and unique design. At the time of the exhibition, the French automaker was keeping mum about who had ordered (or commissioned) this ultimate custom automobile, leading to all sorts of rumors about the wealthy buyer. Some said it was Volkswagen patriarch Ferdinand Piëch, while others suspected a rich Arab sheikh to be behind the creation of the world’s most exclusive Bugatti. And now, reports from some Spanish and German news outlets suggest that the owner is none other than football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
But is he really?
The 34-year-old Portuguese footballer is known to be a car nut, and already has an impressive collection of four-wheeled treasures including a Bugatti Chiron, the car that the La Voiture Noire is based upon. He almost certainly also has enough coin to pay for this one-off land rocket, which is said to carry a price tag of at least €11,000,000 (P638 million). According to Forbes, Ronaldo earned a total of $108,000,000 (P5.6 billion) in 2018 alone, making him the third-highest-paid athlete in the world after Floyd Mayweather and Lionel Messi. So, on the face of it, it all seems to stack up: Super-rich supercar fan buys super-expensive hypercar. Except it seems that all those news reports are not really accurate.
The American celebrity gossip generator TMZ claims that Ronaldo’s spokesperson has been in touch to flat-out deny that the superstar ball-kicker is really the buyer. This means we’re pretty much back to square one when it comes to figuring out who the loaded petrolhead is. The only detail we do know about the VVVIP customer is that he (or she) seems to have a thing for symmetry. Bugatti design boss Achim Anscheidt told one German media firm in the past that the car had initially been meant to have five tailpipes as a homage to Bugatti’s Type 57 SC Atlantic from the 1930s, but that the client didn’t like the idea and insisted on it having six tailpipes instead. We guess that’s the kind of problem keeping you awake at night when you’re rolling in cash.