Bugatti’s Veyron will almost certainly become the worlds fastest and most extravagantly engineered production motorcar. Set to weigh in with a £650,000 price tag, the 252mph Veyron will use a W16 8-litre engine with four turbochargers and an unprecedented 987bhp – enough to propel it from 0-186mph in just 14 seconds. The brainchild of Ferdinand Piech, the ex-VW Chairman was instrumental in acquiring Bugatti from Romano Artioli in 1998. But with a final version not set to debut until the Geneva Salon in March 2005, it will have been six years since Piech’s dream began.
The new Bugatti supercar project started with the Ital Design 18.3 Chiron prototype of early 1999, this car debuting at that years Detroit Motor Show. A hugely exotic mid-engined supercar with an awesome W18 engine and exquisite styling – it unsurprisingly stole all the headlines. Finished in ubiquitous French Racing Blue, the Chiron was the third exercise Ital Design undertook for VW since the German firms acquisition of the marque, previous EB118 and 218 prototypes having been lavish super-saloons before Ferdinand Piech commissioned the worlds ultimate supercar. A superbly executed one-off, the Chiron was a stunning creation, a very clean design and Bugatti through and through. However, despite its unquestionable success, the next development and the first Veyron was styled by Piech’s good-friend, Hartmut Warkuss, at Volkswagen’s in-house studio.