To refer to a 2019 Bugatti Divo merely as an exotic sports car is a major understatement of what it really amounts to. After all, a car costing €5 million must have something very special to brag about compared to ‘mundane’ rivals from Ferrari and Lamborghini. Its pace at the top end is higher than the cruising speed of some turboprop aircraft and you’ll hit 100 km/h in a blinding 2.4-seconds, but performance isn’t the full story here.

The Divo can only be described as ‘the car as art’ and when its attributes are totalled up, there’s almost justification for a price that’s easier to associate with hammer prices at Sotheby’s for sought-after works by internationally recognised artists.

This latest Bugatti is named after French driver Albert Divo who twice won the famed Targa Florio race for the company in the 1920s. It is based on the Bugatti’s Chiron model, which sells for about half the price. Performance modifications are considerable and Bugatti describes the car as ‘track focused.’

Bugatti points out that the Divo has significantly higher performance in terms of lateral acceleration, agility and cornering. It’s 35 kg lighter than the Chiron and upgraded bodywork enhances downforce, critical for optimal handling. Aerodynamic updates are many and include a height-adjustable rear spoiler, which also functions as an air brake.

The Divo differs from the Chiron in many ways and Bugatti has embraced a more progressive design language. One thing that does remain is the famous horseshoe grille, a legacy dating back to the earliest days of Bugatti sports cars. The overall look of the car is very distinctive and uses styling cues Bugatti has relied upon since the days of the Veyron. It has a unique appearance and it’ll never be confused with supercars from rivals like Lamborghini and McLaren.

The Divo’s other-worldly performance includes that blazingly fast acceleration and an electronically limited top speed of 380 km/h. Behind this astonishing performance is possibly the most remarkable engine produced by any manufacturer. It’s a 16-cylinder unit laid out in ‘W’ fashion, a configuration developed by the Volkswagen Group, Bugatti’s corporate parent. It has no less than four turbochargers and the result is an astounding 1,500-horsepower.

Just 40 Divos will be built and Bugatti tells us they are all spoken for, but cars in this lofty class attract speculators and there are bound to be a few offered on the world markets. Although this car is all about performance, creature comforts have not been forgotten and the cockpit is arrayed with every comfort and convenience feature you’d expect to find in a top-end luxury car. It must have been something of a gamble for Bugatti to embark on a project like the Divo, as sales of cars in this heady price class tend to reflect the ups and downs of world money markets. Even so, Bugatti is reporting a strong order book so perhaps there are more people than we imagine willing to pay the price of a twin engine business jet for a sports car.

ENGINE: 1,500-horsepower W-16 with four turbochargers.

TRANSMISSION: Seven-speed dual clutch automatic.

ACCELERATION: Zero to 100 km/h in 2.4-seconds.

TOP SPEED: 380 km/h.

I LIKED: Standout styling that will turn every head in town. Exceptionally high level of technical sophistication. Remarkable performance and handling rarely found, even in the exotic car class. Interior design and layout that adds to the Divo’s desirability. The Divo is probably the finest limited edition supercar ever built.

I DIDN’T LIKE: Perhaps the Divo is just a little too exclusive. Even the wealthiest owner might be reluctant to take it out into the traffic considering its astronomical price.

MARKET ALTERNATIVES: Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita, Lamborghini Veneno, Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio, Aston Martin Valkyrie.

WHO DRIVES ONE? Obviously, someone with very considerable amounts of cash. It’s a car for the billionaire who must truly have the best of everything.