The Veyron Story...
It is a machine that changed the fortunes of a company. It is a symbol of mans true engineering potential. It is today one of the most globally recognizable cars on the planet. The Bugatti Veyron is many things to many people but what it is in isolation is an achievement. This is its story...
In 1909 Ettore Bugatti set out to build some of the worlds most exclusive cars for the wealthy that could afford them. Italian born Ettore set up shop in France building his first road car in 1910. Named the Type 13, it proved not only popular with customers but also saw success in motorsport. Many more powerful and prestigious models followed as well as victories at Le Mans. Ettore始s son, Jean, took over the company in later years however his death and the following war saw Bugatti sold in the 1950始s. 1987 brought a revival of the Bugatti name as it was acquired by Romano Artioli. The Bugatti EB110 came into being in 1989 and became the worlds fastest road production car in 1991. Due to a following recession the company again failed producing just 139 examples of the EB110. VW bought the rights to the name in 1998 and showed a range of luxury saloon concepts featuring the worlds first W16 engines for the road. However it was at the 1999 Frankfurt motor show where the first production concept of what we today call the Veyron was shown. Named the 18/3 Chiron. It was to become the brands future.
The mandate was clear after the reaction of the concept car that claimed so much. Build the worlds most powerful, fastest and desired road car. This task was given to Hartmut Warkuss (Chief Designer) under the guidance of Wolfgang Schreiber. Produced under the official title of Bugatti Automobiles SAS in Ch창teau St. Jean France, the yet to be named project was not designed to be beautiful but functional. Delivering biblical speeds had been done time and again but coupling that with unrivaled luxury was to be a huge challenge. With this much power how do you craft refinement? Testing began of the 8.0 litre W16 quad-turbocharged monster producing results that even surprised the engineers that built it. Traveling at speed in excess of 250MPH required some of the most focused technologies the world has to offer as the car must adapt to its rapidly increasing speed. Signed off in 2003 this incredible machine now had a name. The Bugatti Veyron.
They had done it. The laws of physics had been challenged and banished. This 253MPH was the trophy for the engineers responsible. The Bugatti Veyron became the worlds fastest road production car but better yet, a genuinely comfortable experience and not just two seats with a rocket attached to the back. Critics have said time and again
that this extraordinary machine is as tranquil at 30MPH as it is 230MPH. Collecting multiple awards the Bugatti very quickly became THE car to own. However its ÂŁ839,000 price-tag reserved it strictly for the worlds most wealthy. VW built this car to show what can be achieved with pure engineering and so make no profit at all on
all 350 cars. In fact the car costs ÂŁ4,000,000 more to build than what it is sold for. Over the following years the Veyron became a name that everyone knew...
Despite its exclusivity of just 350 units the mega wealthy still demanded more from the car in terms of individuality. After all who wants to turn up to the Monaco GP and find someone with the very same car after spending such a vast amount. Bugatti obliged and for considerably princely sums came a series of special editions.
Pur Sang The Bugatti Veyron Pur Sang was limited to only 5 units globally and featured a silver-oxide finish paired with naked carbon fibre. With such limited numbers available it is hardly surprising that all were sold within 24 hours despite their $1,400,000 asking price.
Fbg Par Hermès Pairing with world famous leather works, Hermès, the Fbg Par Hermès edition was upholstered by the firm. Included were a set of exclusive luggage cases and wallet.
Only 15 Sang Noir始s were produced each sporting a unique tone of black and clashing orange interior. Bare carbon fibre was again on show blending into the moody demeanor of this edition.
In 2009 Bugatti celebrated its 100th anniversary. The milestone was marked with this Bleu Centenaire edition. Painted in â€œBugatti Blueâ€? it became quite the collectors item. The nameplate was also shared with four aluminum/ special tone cars.
What you see before you is an impossibility; a glacier of ice that does not melt at the core of the sun, an unstoppable force VS an immovable object. This car simply took the laws of physics and redefined them. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport... This 253MPH anti-Christ may look much like its predecessor and that is for a very good reason, ITâ€™S THE SAME CAR! It still produces the same 1000+ BHP with the very same 16.4 quad-turbo engine.
There is one vital difference between the Grand Sport and its base model. They cut off its head! Letâ€™s take a moment to reflect on that. Here we have a car with over 1000BHP and a top speed of 253MPH and the engineers thought it was a good idea to remove the most structurally integral part of the car. This then should be a disaster waiting to happen, like one of those DIY kites, it should just blow inside out. But instead of turning its occupants into hurricane victims it hugs them with its swollen bolster seats. This protection comes from the shape of the car that was formed using very big numbers and methods only Stephen Hawkins could understand. In essence the whole car is made from maths to ensure that it does not leave you upside down at the top of MT. Everest. The car is quite and civilised, it whooshes from bend to bend with the majesty of a swan. The air conditioning is silent, the dials require no effort to alter and Bugatti have even removed the smell of a new car.
All this is very good but with most cars that have been beheaded it leaves the drive powerless thanks to extra weight, the steering limp thanks to the people who would buy it and the car ruined. But thankfully because the men at Bugatti are also the men at VW they have not turned the legend into a basket of fruit. The shear amount of engineering that has gone into this to keep it just as staggering as its forefather is monumental. Each part of this car must withstand the pressure of all 1000 of those BHPâ€™s for not just a week or a year, but the cars entire life. And to have succeeded in doing that was achievement enough, but to now challenge themselves further has created in my mind, the ultimate driving machine. Behind the wheel itâ€™s just like the original Veyron; blisteringly fast yet tranquil all the way up to its top speed. But now you can look and see for yourself that the sky is the limit.
Grey Carbon Based on the Grand Sport this Grey Carbon edition was a one-off and sold for ÂŁ1,500,000. Unpainted carbon fibre and aluminum trim made this Veyron very unique.
Grand Sport Sang Blue
With Blue carbon fibre and unpainted aluminum, the Grand Sport Sang Bleu became one of the most desired Veyrons.
L’Or Blanc This is the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport L’Or Blanc and it costs a phenomenal £1,490,280. The name means “white gold” reflecting upon the rarity of this machine. The body is made of porcelain allowing for the incredible effect you can see before you. The interior is also reupholstered to match the unconventional body. A very worthy addition to the closing chapters of a car that made history.
Super Sport The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport became the world始s fastest production car. At VW始s secure test facility this 1,200BHP goliath set the biblical speed of 267.81MPH! The new car has 1,106 pound-feet of torque as well as a modified aerodynamic profile. The black carbon and orange paint will be donned upon the first 5 examples. All production models are limited to 257.9MPH, as if the car was set free the tyres would only last 7 minutes. The Super Sport makes up the last 30 units of the Veyron.
Only 350 of these breathtaking machines exist making them rarer than gold, diamonds or any other element. The Bugatti Veyron has captured the imagination of children and the inspiration of adults. Its time may have now come but its impression on the industry will remain. Bugatti may not be producing any more Veyrons but they have said its successor is on the way...