My Favourite Car
Origin of the car & Name origin
In 1998, the Volkswagen Group purchased the trademark rights on the former car manufacturer Bugatti in order to revive the brand. Starting with the Bugatti EB118, they presented at various international auto shows a total of four 18-cylinder concept cars. At the 1999 Tokyo Motor Show, the first study of the Veyron was presented. At the time, the name of the concept car was "Bugatti Veyron EB 18.4," and it was equipped with a 3-bank W 18-cylinder engine instead of the 2-bank W 16-cylinder engine of the production version. While the three previous prototypes had been styled by Giugiaro, the Veyron was designed by the Volkswagen stylists.
The decision to start production of the car was taken by the Volkswagen Group in 2001. The first roadworthy prototype was completed in August 2003. It is identical except for a few details to the later series variant. In the development to series production, however, considerable technical problems had to be addressed, so that the start of production was delayed repeatedly, until September 2005.
The Veyron EB 16.4 is named in honour of Pierre Veyron, a Bugatti development engineer, test driver and company race driver who, with co-driver Jean-Pierre Wimille, won the 1939 24 hours of Le Mans while driving a Bugatti. The "EB" refers to Bugatti founder Ettore Bugatti and the "16.4" refers to the engine's 16 cylinders and four turbochargers.
World record controversy
At the beginning of April 2013, driving.co.uk (also known as Sunday Times Driving) began an investigation following claims from US car maker Hennessey that its 928 kW (1,244 bhp) Hennessey Venom GT was the new world’s fastest production car, taking the crown from the Guinness World Record-holding Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. With a recorded speed of 427.6 km/h (265.7 mph) the Hennessey was 3.4 km/h (2.1 mph) slower than the Veyron but Hennessey dismissed Bugatti’s official record saying that the Veyron Super Sport was restricted to 415 km/h (258 mph) in production form and that for it to achieve its record top speed of 431.0 km/h (267.8 mph), the car used was in a state of tune not available to customers. Hennessey said its Venom GT, on the other hand, was road-ready and unmodified and was therefore a production car in the strict sense of the term.
Driving.co.uk requested clarification from Guinness World Records, which investigated this claim and found that indeed the modification was against the official guidelines of the record. Upon finding this, Guinness World Records voided the Super Sport's record and announced it was "reviewing this category with expert external consultants to ensure our records fairly reflect achievements in this field."
After further review, SSC, the producers of the Ultimate Aero TT, said that they had reclaimed the record. However Guinness World Records later said they had reinstated the Super Sport's record, after coming to the conclusion that "a change to the speed limiter does not alter the fundamental design of the car or its engine."
Specifications and performance
The Veyron features an 8.0-litre, quad-turbocharged, W16 cylinder engine, equivalent to two narrow-angle V8 engines. Each cylinder has four valves for a total of 64, but the VR8 configuration of each bank allows two overhead camshafts to drive two banks of cylinders so only four camshafts are needed. The engine is fed by four turbochargers and displaces 7,993 cubic centimetres (487.8 cu in), with a square 86 by 86 mm (3.39 by 3.39 in) bore and stroke.
The transmission is a dual-clutch direct-shift gearbox computer-controlled automatic with seven gear ratios, with magnesium paddles behind the steering wheel and a shift time of less than 150 milliseconds, built by Ricardo of England rather than Borg-Warner, who designed the six speed DSG used in the mainstream Volkswagen Group marques. The Veyron can be driven in either semi-automatic or fully automatic mode. A replacement transmission for the Veyron costs just over US$120,000. It also has permanent all-wheel drive using the Haldex Traction system. It uses special Michelin PAX run-flat tyres, designed specifically to accommodate the Veyron's top speed, and cost US$25,000 per set. The tyres can be mounted on the rims only in France, a service which costs US$70,000. Kerb weight is 1,888 kilograms (4,162 lb). This gives the car a power-to-weight ratio, according to Volkswagen Group's figures, of 530 PS (390 kW; 523 bhp) per ton.
The car's wheelbase is 2,710 mm (106.7 in). Overall length is 4,462 mm (175.7 in) which gives 1,752.6 mm (69.0 in) of overhang. The width is 1,998 mm (78.7 in) and height 1,204 mm (47.4 in). The Bugatti Veyron has a total of ten radiators:
- 3 heat exchangers for the air-to-liquid intercoolers.
- 3 engine radiators.
- 1 for the air conditioning system.
- 1 transmission oil radiator.
- 1 differential oil radiator.
- 1 engine oil radiator
It has a drag coefficient of 0.41 (normal condition) and 0.36 (after lowering to the ground), and a frontal area of 2.07 m2 (22.3 sq ft). This gives it a drag area – the combination of drag coefficient and frontal area, represented as CdA – of 0.74 m2 (8.0 sq ft).
According to Volkswagen Group and certified by TÜV Süddeutschland, the final production Veyron engine produces 1,001 metric horsepower (736 kW; 987 bhp) of motive power, and generates 1,250 newton metres (922 lbf·ft) of torque. The nominal figure has been stated by Bugatti officials to be conservative, with the real total being 1,020 metric horsepower (750 kW; 1,006 bhp).
This top speed was verified by James May on Top Gear in November 2006, again at Volkswagen Group's private Ehra-Lessien test track. May noted that at top speed the engine consumes 45,000 litres (9,900 imp gal) of air per minute (as much as a human breathes in four days). The Veyron at the time had the highest top speed of any street legal production car. Back in the Top Gear studio, co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson commented that most supercars felt like they were shaking apart at their top speed, and asked May if that was the case with the Veyron at 407 km/h (253 mph). May responded that no, the Veyron was very controlled, and only wobbled a tiny bit when the air brake deployed.
The car's everyday top speed is listed at 343 km/h (213 mph). When the car reaches 220 km/h (140 mph), hydraulics lower the car until it has a ground clearance of about 9 cm (3.5 in). At the same time, the wing and spoiler deploy. In this handling mode, the wing provides 3,425 newtons (770 lbf) of downforce, holding the car to the road.
For top speed mode the driver must, while stationary, toggle a special top speed key to the left of the driver's seat. A checklist then establishes whether the car and its driver are ready to attempt to reach 407 km/h (253 mph). If so, the rear spoiler retracts, the front air diffusers shut, and normal 12.5 cm (4.9 in) ground clearance drops to 6.5 cm (2.6 in).
The Veyron's brakes use cross drilled, radially vented carbon fibre reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC) composite discs, manufactured by SGL Carbon, which have a much greater resistance to brake fade when compared with conventional cast iron discs. The lightweight aluminium alloy monobloc brake calipers are made by AP Racing; the fronts have eight titanium pistons and the rear calipers have six pistons. Bugatti claims maximum deceleration of 1.3 g on road tyres. As an added safety feature, in the event of brake failure, an anti-lock braking system (ABS) has also been installed on the handbrake.
Prototypes have been subjected to repeated 1.0 g braking from 312 km/h (194 mph) to 80 km/h (50 mph) without fade. With the car's acceleration from 80 km/h (50 mph) to 312 km/h (194 mph), that test can be performed every 22 seconds. At speeds above 200 km/h (120 mph), the rear wing also acts as an airbrake, snapping to a 55° angle in 0.4 seconds once brakes are applied, providing an additional 0.68 g (6.66 m/s2) of deceleration (equivalent to the stopping power of an ordinary hatchback). Bugatti claims the Veyron will brake from 400 km/h (250 mph) to a standstill in less than 10 seconds, though distance covered in this time will be half a kilometre (third of a mile).
Pur Sang (2007)
Launched on 11 September 2007 at the Frankfurt Motor Show the "Pur Sang" (literally Pure Blood, but more accurately translated as Thoroughbred) is a limited run of five cars. They have high-gloss bronze roadwheels with a diamond-cut glass-like finish and a clear body finish revealing the Veyron's silver oxide finish carbon fibre body, but are otherwise standard.
This special edition Veyron was made for a rich Ukrainian living in Dubai. Some reports say that the Pegaso had its power increased from 1,001 PS (736 kW; 987 bhp) to 1,200 PS (880 kW; 1,200 bhp), making it as powerful as a Super Sport. The Pegaso name comes from a Spanish coachbuilder that used to build luxury cars, such as the Pegaso Z-102.
Fbg Par Hermès (2008)
A Hermès-themed model: Hermès monogram on the front grille, roadwheels with a single H in the centre, and fuel filler door engraved with Bugatti Veyron Fbg Par Hermès. The interior is done in Hermès leather with internal door handles reminiscent of handles used on Hermès trunks – and a Hermès wallet and Hermès suitcase is included.
Sang Noir (2008)
A limited run of 15 cars with an all-black exterior colour palette and a bright orange interior. In 2012 Gemballa Racing unveiled their Sang Noir wrapped in Gemballa blue with glow-in-the-dark lightning flashes to be used as a promotional vehicle for Gemballa Racing.
Bleu Centenaire (2009)
A celebratory model unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show for the 100th anniversary of the Bugatti brand. The entire body is painted in a combination of matte and gloss "Bugatti Blue", the midsection between the two wings on the hood is expanded, and a chrome strip up the middle added.
L'Edition Centenaire (2009)
The Bugatti Centenaire Villa d’Este Limited Edition is an homage to the golden age of motorsport in the first half of the last century. As such, it is reminiscent of the historic Bugatti Type 35 thoroughbred racing car. Each of the four finishes available symbolises one of the great European racing nations of the 1920s. Only 4 cars were made and the four cars have different colours.
The drivers from which the L’Edition Centenaire was inspired are:
- Jean-Pierre Wimille from France: two tone blue and silver colour
- Achille Varzi from Italy: two tone Red and silver colour
- Malcolm Campbell from UK: two tone Green and Silver colour
- Prince Hermann Zu Leiningen from Germany: two tone Beige and silver colour
Sang d’Argent (2010)
First shown at the 2009 Dubai Motor Show, this one-off is finished in matte silver and polished aluminium. It was inspired by the two tone finish of the Centenary Villa d’Este cars and the previous Pur Sang edition. The car was sold for US$2.1 million.
Also at the 2009 Dubai Motor Show, the car was unique because of its galvanised side windows. This Veyron is distinguished by its polished aluminum line that starts at the front of the vehicle and finishes with the wide rear arches. The rest of the vehicle is coated in uniblack. Inside, it has a dark magnesium dashboard and a galvanized Platinum center console. Just five were produced, exclusively for the Middle East, for an even higher price of US$2.4 million. As the standard Veyron 16.4 sold out in 2011, this was the last special edition for the "normal" Veyrons.