Bugatti Veyron

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The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is a supercar produced by Volkswagen AG subsidiary Bugatti Automobiles SAS. It is the most expensive and fastest accelerating street-legal production car in the world and it was also the fastest and most powerful one, until it was surpassed by the SSC Ultimate Aero TT on September 13, 2007.

Powered by a 1,001 PS (987 hp/736 kW) W16 engine, it is able to achieve an average top speed of 408.47 km/h (253.81 mph). The car reached full production in September 2005, and is handcrafted in a factory Volkswagen built near the former Bugatti headquarters in Château St Jean in Molsheim (Alsace, France). It is named after French racing driver Pierre Veyron, who won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1939 while racing for the original Bugatti firm.

Development of this vehicle began with the 1999 EB 18.4 “Veyron” concept car. Introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show, it was similar in design and appearance to the final Veyron production car. One major difference was the EB 18.4’s use of a W18 engine with three banks of six cylinders. The Veyron’s head designer was Hartmut Warkuss with exterior designed by Jozef Kabaň of Volkswagen rather than Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign who had handled the three prior Bugatti concepts too.

Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch announced the production Veyron at the 2000 Geneva Motor Show. It was promised to be the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car in history. Instead of the W18, the production model would use a VR6/WR8-style W16 engine. First seen in the 1999 Bentley Hunaudieres concept car, the W16 would get four turbochargers, producing a quoted 1001 horsepower (see engine section for details on the power output). Top speed was promised at 407 km/h (253 mph), and pricing was announced at €1 million (US$1.3 million at the time).

Development continued throughout 2001 and the EB 16/4 Veyron was promoted to “advanced concept” status. In late 2001, Bugatti announced that the car, officially called the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, would go into production in 2003. The car, however, experienced significant problems during development. Achieving the required high-speed stability was difficult – one prototype was destroyed in a crash and another spun out during a public demonstration at the Monterey Historics event in Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. Production of the Veyron was delayed pending resolution of these and other issues.
A silver and black pre-production Veyron on display at the 2004 Paris Motor Show.

Piëch retired that year as chairman of the Volkswagen Group and was replaced by Bernd Pischetsrieder. The new chairman promptly sent the Veyron back to the drawing board for major revisions. Neumann was replaced as Bugatti president by Thomas Bscher in December 2003, and substantial modifications were made to the Veyron under the guidance of former VW engineer, Bugatti Engineering head Wolfgang Schreiber.

Each Veyron is being sold for €1,100,000 (net price without taxes), prices vary by exchange rates and local taxes (like value added taxes). Prices for the UK or the US are about over £800,000, or 1.2 million American dollars (net). The production costs of the car are approximately £5 million per vehicle[citation needed]. As Bugatti and, therefore, Volkswagen are taking such a loss, it has been likened by automotive journalist Jeremy Clarkson and his Top Gear programme team in their story on it to the Concorde in that both were huge achievements, but the car will probably, like the plane before it, be discontinued after proving to be an economic failure.

It will be several years before Volkswagen will be able to see if their investment in developing ground-breaking technology has paid off. One key measure is how much (if any) of the technology developed for the Veyron finds use in mass-produced cars.

The production Veyron was shown for the first time on October 19, 2005 at the Tokyo Motor Show.

The official United States launch for the production version occurred at the 2006 Los Angeles International Auto Show in January.

Visual differences between the prototype and production Veyrons are slight, but noticeable marks include the addition of marker lights or reflectors on the front fenders and a more pronounced “dorsal spine” on the hood (reminiscent of the Bugatti Atlantic), especially near the windshield.

Six Veyrons were sold at the 2005 Dubai Motor Show in December, reportedly including the demonstration models used on the stands there. These would be the first reported private sales of the car.

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Bugatti originally planned to build 300 Veyrons over five years. In March 2006, Bugatti president Bscher claimed to have 70 firm orders, selling out 14 months of production. The company is reportedly speeding up production in response, with all 70 cars expected to be built in 2006. The December, 2007 issue of Road & Track magazine reports that over 165 of the 300 cars to be produced have been sold and 90 have been delivered to customers.

Potential buyers based in and around the London area can expect VIP treatment, one buyer (a freelance writer Arash Farboud) wrote in a column for Lusso Magazine: “Dominic Lancaster, the head of Jack Barclay Bugatti in London, arranged for a private jet to take my wife and I over to the factory at Molsheim, in the top right hand corner of France.”

Maintenance will be possible at Bugatti dealerships but repair service will require a flown-in mechanic, who the company promises will be available 24 hours a day.

On 10 September 2007 a special version of the Veyron called the Bugatti EB 16.4 Veyron “Pur Sang” was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The difference from a standard Veyron is the body finishing: the Pur Sang has none. Instead it reveals the Veyrons pure aluminium-carbon fibre body. Pur Sang is French, meaning thoroughbred or pure blood (literally). Production will be limited to 5 cars.

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Scribbled on December 1st 2006 in Bugatti, Bugatti Veyron 16.4
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