Bugatti’s design director Achim Anscheidt works in Wolfsburg. On weekdays he travels by bicycle, train, or Golf GTI. But on weekends he drives his 911. Anscheidt designed the Bugatti Chiron—the world’s most luxurious series-produced super sports car. For his own personal
What Anscheidt finds especially appealing about his 911 is the reduction in form. “It’s been fascinating to dismantle this car a number of times, and to use only the quintessential parts in putting it back together. At some point I also grasped how you can work in targeted ways with lightweight materials to achieve an interesting performance-to-weight ratio,” he remarks. While shaping the Chiron—the fastest, most powerful, and most luxurious series-produced super sports car in the world—as the head of design at Bugatti, he was pursuing a completely different vision with his
On this Wednesday, Anscheidt is wearing Red Wing boots, jeans with the cuffs turned up, a discreetly patterned shirt, vest, and a freestyle bowtie. It’s the day of the week when he works with his team in Berlin instead of commuting to Wolfsburg on the Intercity-Express. Frenchman Etienne Salomé, the 30-something head of interior design at Bugatti, attests that his boss has a motivational leadership style, an extraordinary feel for the brand, and a “meticulous eye for detail”—which applies to his personal style as well.
Anscheidt produces a royal blue fountain pen and quickly sketches frontal views of his Type 35 and his 911 for his visitors. “Ettore Bugatti and Ferdinand
Anscheidt takes a long view of design, which is essential in this particular field of work. At 53, he has been at Bugatti for twelve years. In addition to working on versions of the Veyron, he has spent ten years on what could be a second super car for Bugatti. For a while it wasn’t clear when or even if the Chiron would come onto the market. “You have to have confidence in the Group and a clear vision of the valuable substance and potential perspectives for our brand. But in contrast to mass-produced cars, a Bugatti has to be an icon of automotive engineering and still be perceived as authentic in 20, 30, or 50 years,” he says. Anscheidt had worked for Volkswagen in Spain for eight years, near Barcelona in the beautiful coastal town of Sitges, before assuming new responsibilities at the Volkswagen Advanced Design Center in Potsdam. Two of his daughters live in Spain, and the youngest is in Berlin.
The Chiron—which is the most valuable and powerful street-legal super sports car and which can accelerate to 300 km/h in 13 seconds—celebrated its premiere this past spring at the Geneva Motor Show. “These days, even we designers only rarely get a chance to test the prototype. Which is too bad, because its accelerative power is an incomparable experience even for real sports car enthusiasts.” For the Chiron, Anscheidt employed a different type of reduction program, including interpreting the old design adage of “form follows function” somewhat more strictly as “form follows performance.” As he describes it, “The major design features of the Chiron are born of technical necessity and reflect the enormous increase in power over its predecessor. This focused approach distills the sculpture of a Chiron to an authentic design statement.”
When Anscheidt drives his
Anscheidt’s love of his reductionist
And what inspired him to change careers? “It was very clear to me that you can’t drive motorcycles on into old age. In my fifth semester I met Harm Lagaaij, who was the head of the
That, of course, makes it all the more understandable why Anscheidt drives a
By Antje Wewer
Photos by Theodor Barth
Weight: 820 kg
Power: 290 hp
* Data determined in accordance with the measurement method required by law. Since September 01, 2017 certain new cars have been type approved in accordance with the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), a more realistic test procedure to measure fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. From September 01, 2018 the WLTP will replace the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). Due to the more realistic test conditions, the fuel consumption and CO2 emission values determined in accordance with the WLTP will, in many cases, be higher than those determined in accordance with the NEDC. This may lead to corresponding changes in vehicle taxation from September 01, 2018. You can find more information on the difference between WLTP and NEDC at www.porsche.com/wltp.
Currently, we are still obliged to provide the NEDC values, irrespective of the testing method used. The additional reporting of the WLTP values is voluntary until their obligatory use. As far as new cars, (which are type approved in accordance with the WLTP) are concerned, the NEDC values will therefore be derived from the WLTP values during the transition period. To the extent that NEDC values are given as ranges, these do not relate to a single, individual car and do not constitute part of the offer. They are intended solely as a means of comparing different types of vehicle. Extra features and accessories (attachments, tyre formats etc.) can change relevant vehicle parameters such as weight, rolling resistance and aerodynamics. Additionally, weather and traffic conditions, as well as individual handling, can affect the fuel consumption, electricity consumption, CO₂ emissions and performance values of a car.