|Designer Jozef Kabaň||Class Sports car (S)|
|Manufacturer Bugatti Automobiles (Volkswagen)|
Production 2005–2011 (Veyron 16.4)2009–2015 (Grand Sport)2010–2011 (Super Sport)2011–2015 (Grand Sport Vitesse)
Assembly Molsheim, Alsace, France
Body style 2-door coupé (16.4, Super Sport)2-door targa top (Grand Sport, Grand Sport Vitesse)
- World record controversy
- Specifications and performance
- Engine output
- Top speed
- Bugatti Veyron 164 Grand Sport 20092015
- Bugatti Veyron 164 Super Sport World Record Edition 20102011
- Grand Sport Vitesse 20112015
- Special editions
- Future development
- Last production
- Top Gear
- Martin Roach
- Gordon Murray
The original version has a top speed of 407 km/h (253 mph). It was named Car of the Decade and best car award (2000–2009) by the BBC television programme Top Gear. The standard Bugatti Veyron also won Top Gear's Best Car Driven All Year award in 2005.
The Super Sport version of the Veyron is recognised by Guinness World Records as the fastest street-legal production car in the world, with a top speed of 431.072 km/h (268 mph), and the roadster Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse version is the fastest roadster in the world, reaching an averaged top speed of 408.84 km/h (254.04 mph) in a test on 6 April 2013.
The Veyron's chief designer was Hartmut Warkuss, and the exterior was designed by Jozef Kabaň of Volkswagen, with much of the engineering work being conducted under the guidance of engineering chief Wolfgang Schreiber.
Several special variants have been produced. In December 2010, Bugatti began offering prospective buyers the ability to customise exterior and interior colours by using the Veyron 16.4 Configurator application on the marque's official website. The Bugatti Veyron was discontinued in late 2014.
In May 1998, Volkswagen AG acquired the rights to use the Bugatti logo and the trade name Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. To succeed the EB 110 model produced under previous ownership, the maker quickly released a series of concept cars that would culminate in the Bugatti Veyron 16.4.
Between October 1998 and September 1999, Bugatti introduced a series of Giugiaro-designed concept vehicles, each with permanent four-wheel drive and powered by the Volkswagen-designed W18 engine. The first, the EB118, was a 2-door coupé presented at the 1998 Paris Motor Show. The next, the EB218, was a 4-door sedan presented at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show. A third, the 18/3 Chiron, was a mid-engined sports car presented at the 1999 International Motor Show in Frankfurt.
In October 1999, Bugatti unveiled a fourth concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show. The EB 18/4 Veyron was a mid-engined supercar styled in-house under the direction of Hartmut Warkuß. In 2000 a modified version, the EB 16/4 Veyron, was displayed at motor shows in Detroit, Geneva, and Paris. Rather than the three-bank W-18 of the four previous concepts, the EB 16/4 featured the four-bank W16 engine architecture installed in every production example of the Bugatti Veyron.
The decision to start production of the car was made by the Volkswagen Group in 2001. The first roadworthy prototype was completed in August 2003. It is identical to the later series variant except for a few details. In the transition from development to series production considerable technical problems had to be addressed, repeatedly delaying production 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 4 turbochargers.
World record controversy
A controversy developed in 2013 over the Veyron Super Sport's status as the world’s fastest production car, ultimately resolved in the Veyron's favour.
In early 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 entitled to the Guinness World Record. 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 431.1 km/h (267.9 mph), the car used was in a state of tune not available to customers. Hennessey said its Venom GT 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 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."
SSC North America, the producers of the Ultimate Aero TT, said that they had reclaimed the record, however Guinness 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."
Hennessey later recorded the Venom GT at 435.31 km/h (270.49 mph). However, this was only in one direction. Guinness requires 2 runs in opposite directions to average out wind effects, so the run was not valid for a Guinness world record.
Specifications and performance
The Veyron features an 8.0-litre, quad-turbocharged, W16 cylinder engine, equivalent to two narrow-angle V8 engines bolted together. 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 wheels 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:
It has a drag coefficient of Cd=0.41 (normal condition) and Cd=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 product of drag coefficient and frontal area, of CdA=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) at 6,000 rpm.
German inspection officials recorded an average top speed of the original version of 408.47 km/h (253.81 mph) during test sessions on Volkswagen Group's private Ehra-Lessien test track on 19 April 2005.
This top speed was equalled by James May on Top Gear in November 2006, at the 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). 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 the Veyron was very controlled, and only wobbled slightly 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.
Top speed mode must be entered while the vehicle is at rest. Its driver must toggle a special top speed key to the left of their seat, which triggers a checklist to establish 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).
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport (2009–2015)
The targa top Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport version of the Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 was unveiled at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It has extensive reinforcements to compensate for the lack of a standard roof, and small changes to the windshield and running lights. Two removable tops are included, the second a temporary arrangement fashioned after an umbrella. The top speed with the hardtop in place is the same as the standard coupé version, but with the roof down is limited to 369 km/h (229 mph)—and to 130 km/h (81 mph) with the temporary soft roof. The Grand Sport edition was limited to 150 units, with the first 50 going exclusively to registered Bugatti customers. Production began in the second quarter of 2009, with the car priced at €1.4 million (excluding taxes and delivery).
A version was introduced at the Qatar Motor Show 2012 with a horizontal colour split with a bright yellow body framed in visible black carbon (including black-tinted wheels), seats in yellow-coloured leather upholstery with black stitching, middle console in black carbon, dashboard, steering wheel and gearshift made of black leather with yellow stitching. It was priced at €1.58 million.
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, World Record Edition (2010–2011)
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport is a faster, more powerful version of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4. Production is limited to 30 units. The Super Sport has increased engine power of 1,200 PS (880 kW; 1,200 bhp), a torque of 1,500 N·m (1,100 lbf·ft), and a revised aerodynamic package. The Super Sport has a 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph) top speed, making it the fastest production road car on the market although it is electronically limited to 415 km/h (258 mph) to protect the tyres from disintegrating.
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport World Record Edition is a version of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. It is limited to five units. It has an orange body detailing, orange wheels, and a special black exposed carbon body. It is not electrically limited to 415 km/h (258 mph) and will hit the record speed of 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph).
The vehicle was unveiled in 2010 at The Quail, followed by the 2010 Monterey Historic Races at Laguna Seca, and the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
The Super Sport is valued at GB£1.2 million.
On 4 July 2010 James May, a television presenter on BBC Two's television show Top Gear, drove the Veyron Super Sport at 417.61 km/h (259.49 mph). Later that day, Bugatti's official test driver Pierre Henri Raphanel drove the Super Sport version of the Veyron on Volkswagen's Ehra-Lessien (near Wolfsburg, Germany) high-speed test track to establish the car's top speed. With representatives of the Guinness Book of Records and German Technical Inspection Agency (TÜV) on hand, Raphanel made passes around the big oval in both directions achieving an average maximum speed of 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph), thus taking back the title from the SSC Ultimate Aero TT as the fastest production vehicle of all time. The 431.072 km/h mark was reached by averaging the Super Sport's two test runs, the first reaching 427.93 km/h (265.90 mph) and the second 434.20 km/h (269.80 mph).
On 9 April 2013 the title of "Fastest Production Car in the World" was revoked due to the deactivation of the electronic speed limiter which makes the car non stock, going against the rules of the title. Later, Bugatti’s speed record was restored: "Following a thorough review conducted with a number of external experts, Guinness World Records is pleased to announce the confirmation of Bugatti’s record of Fastest production car achieved by the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. The focus of the review was with respect to what may constitute a modification to a car’s standard specification. Having evaluated all the necessary information, Guinness World Records is now satisfied that a change to the speed limiter does not alter the fundamental design of the car or its engine."
Grand Sport Vitesse (2011–2015)
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is a version of the Grand Sport with a Super Sport engine. It produces a maximum output of 1,200 PS (880 kW; 1,200 bhp) @ 6,400 rpm and a maximum torque of 1,500 N·m (1,100 lb·ft) @ 3,000–5,000 rpm. These figures allow the car to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) from standing in 2.6 seconds. On normal roads, the Vitesse is electronically limited to 375 km/h (233 mph).
The vehicle was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show and later appeared at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show and the São Paulo Motor Show 2012.
Base price of the Vitesse costs €1.69 million (without tax and transportation), with the 2012 Geneva Motor Show car costs €1.79 million, São Paulo Motor Show 2012 car costs €1.9 million.
A number of special editions of the Vitesse were made. The Vitesse SE, inspired by Bugatti Type 37A, was unveiled in 2012 and sold for €1.74 million (US$2.2 million). The World Record Car (WRC) Edition was limited to 8 units, debuted in 2013, and went on sale for €1.99 million.
A Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse driven by the Chinese racing driver Anthony Liu at Volkswagen Group's proving grounds in Ehra-Lessien became the fastest open-top production sports car, with speed of 408.84 km/h (254.04 mph). The vehicle was unveiled in Shanghai Motor Show 2013.
After the world record attempt, Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S, said “When we introduced the Vitesse, we established the top speed for open-top driving to be 375 km/h. Still, we could not let go of the idea of reaching the 400 km/h mark with this car as well. The fact that we have succeeded in reaching 408.84 km/h is a thrill for me, and it reaffirms once again that Bugatti is the leader when it comes to technology in the international automotive industry." The driver, Anthony Liu, claimed "Even at such high speeds it remained incredibly comfortable and stable. With an open top, you can really experience the sound of the engine and yet even at higher speeds I did not get compromised by the wind at all.”
As of 6 August 2014, 405 Veyrons have been produced and delivered to customers worldwide, with orders have already been placed for another 30. Bugatti was reported to produce 300 coupes and 150 roadsters up to the end of 2015.
In 2008, Bugatti then-CEO Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen confirmed that the Veyron would be replaced by another high-end model by 2012. In 2011, the new CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer revealed that the company was planning to produce two models in the future — one a sports car-successor to the Veyron, the other a limousine known as the Bugatti 16C Galibier, which was later cancelled.
Originally the new model due in 2016 was meant to be no faster or more powerful than the Super Sport. This was later changed after a faster and more powerful in-game counterpart of the Super Sport appeared in Gran Turismo 6, known as the Bugatti Vision. The Vision debuted at the September 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.
A toned-down version of the Vision concept car, now called the Chiron, was later revealed in a rumor, which was later confirmed by Bugatti itself. This version of the car is expected to be the next fastest car in the world. The Chiron debuted at the March 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Production will start in 2017 and will be limited to 500 units.
Only 450 Bugatti Veyrons were produced in a span of over 10 years. The final production vehicle, titled "LaFinale" (The End), was displayed at the Geneva Motor Show 5–15 March 2015.
All three former presenters of the popular BBC motoring show Top Gear have given the Veyron considerable praise. While initially skeptical that the Veyron would ever be produced, Jeremy Clarkson later declared the Veyron "the greatest car ever made and the greatest car we will ever see in our lifetime". He also pointed out that the actual production cost of a Bugatti Veyron car was GB£5 million, but was sold to customers for just GB£1 million. When asked why, he jokingly said that Volkswagen designed the car merely as a "Technical Exercise". James May described the Veyron as "our Concorde moment." Clarkson test drove the Veyron from Alba in northern Italy to London in a race against May and Richard Hammond who made the journey in a Cessna 182 aeroplane.
A few episodes later, May drove the Veyron at the VW test track and took it to its top speed of 407.16 km/h (253.00 mph). In series 10, Hammond raced the Veyron against the Eurofighter Typhoon and lost. He also raced the car in Series 13 against a McLaren F1 driven by The Stig in a one-mile (1.6 km) drag race in Abu Dhabi. The commentary focused on Bugatti's "amazing technical achievement" versus the "non-gizmo" racing purity of the F1. While the F1 was quicker off the line and remained ahead until both cars were travelling at approximately 200 km/h, the Bugatti overtook its competitor from 200 to 300 km/h and emerged the victor. Hammond has stated that he did not use the Veyron's launch control in order to make the race more interesting.
The Veyron also won the award for "Car of the Decade" in Top Gear's end of 2010 award show. Clarkson commented "It was a car that just rewrote the rule book really, an amazing piece of engineering, a genuine Concorde moment". When the standard version was tested, it did not reach the top of the lap time leader board, with a time of 1:18.3, which was speculated as being due to the car's considerable weight disadvantage against the other cars towards the top. The Super Sport version later achieved the fastest ever time of 1:16.8 (later beaten by the Ariel Atom V8, the McLaren MP4-12C, the Pagani Huayra, the BAC Mono, the Lamborghini Aventador, McLaren 675LT and the Lamborghini Huracán), as well as being taken to a verified average top speed of 431 km/h (268 mph) by Raphanel on the programme, thenceforth retaking its position as the fastest production car in the world.
In 2011, Martin Roach's book Bugatti Veyron: A Quest for Perfection – The Story of the Greatest Car in the World took the stance that the car had now become so famous that it is effectively a bona fide celebrity. The book follows its author as he attempts to track down and drive the car, along the way interviewing chief designers, test drivers, and the president of Bugatti.
Gordon Murray, designer of the McLaren F1 (which for many years was the fastest production car ever built) said the following about the Bugatti Veyron in UK auto magazine Evo during its development period:
The most pointless exercise on the planet has got to be this four-wheel-drive thousand-horsepower Bugatti. I think it's incredibly childish this thing people have about just one element – top speed or standing kilometre or 0–60. It's about as narrow minded as you can get as a car designer to pick on one element. It's like saying we're going to beat the original Mini because we're going to make a car 10mph faster on its top speed – but it's two foot longer and 200 kilos heavier. That's not car designing – that just reeks of a company who are paranoid...
Murray later brought up and criticised Volkswagen for "scamming" car buyers in the 1990s for buying the cheapest parts possible for the production of Jettas and Golfs, allowing Volkswagen to make a larger profit off their car sales, funding the construction of the Bugatti Veyron. However, Murray was impressed with the Veyron's engine and transmission after he test drove one for Road and Track magazine.