The Bugatti Veyron is the fastest and indeed the most expensive road-legal car in the world with an original top speed of 267.85mph which has been deliberately electronically capped to 253.52mph and boasts a £1m price tag to match!
The Bugatti Veyron bearing the Ettore Bugatti symbol, has been developed by the German Volkswagen Group and produced by Bugatti Automobiles at their Headquarters in Chateau St. Jean in Molsheim (Alsace, France).
The car has been named after French racing Driver Pierre Veyron, who won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1939, whilst racing for the original Bugatti Company. It has been named Car of The Decade 2000 – 2009 by BBC’s Top Gear.
The Car is a masterpiece of sheer excellence from the inside-out with it’s jaw-dropping specifications and technical genius. The Veyron houses an 8.0 litre W16 engine, with 16 Cylinders in four banks of four, equivalent to two narrow-angle V8 engines, mated in a W configuration. The engine is fed by 4 Turbo-Chargers and it has 10 Radiators.
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- or fully-automatic mode.
It also has permanent four wheel drive using the Haldex Traction system. It uses special Michelin PAX run flat tyres, designed specifically to accommodate the Veyron’s top speed, which reportedly cost £11,000 per set.
The Veyron produces 1,001 and metric brake horse power and a devised aerodynamic package. It was publicly showcased at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August 2010.
Bugatti’s official test driver Pierre Henri Raphanel piloted the Super Sport edition and was clocked at an average of 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph) on the same track, taking the title of 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 topping out at 427.93 km/h (265.90 mph) and the second at 434.20 km/h (269.80 mph). The record run was certified by the German Government and the Guinness Book of World Records.
The car’s everyday top speed is listed at 350 km/h (220 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. This is the handling mode, in which the wing helps provide 3,425 newtons (770 lbf) of downforce, holding the car to the road. The driver must, using a special key (the top speed key), toggle the lock to the left of his seat in order to attain the maximum (average) speed of 407 km/h (253 mph). The key functions only when the vehicle is at a stop, when a checklist then establishes whether the car and its driver are ready to enable top speed mode. If all systems are go, the rear spoiler retracts, the front air diffusers shut and the ground clearance, normally 12.5 cm (4.9 in), 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 tires. 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)
The Bugatti will go from 0 to 60mph in 2.4 seconds and will brake from 400 km/h (250 mph) to a standstill in less than 10 seconds, which means this Sueprcar can decelerate quicker than it can accelerate.
Jeremy Clarkson declared the Veyron “the greatest piece of engineering ever. No, I’m sorry, this is the greatest car ever made and the greatest car we will ever see in our lifetime.” James May proclaimed that the Veyron is “our Concorde moment”. To review the car, Clarkson drove from Alba, northern Italy to London whilst racing James May and Richard Hammond who were travelling in a Cessna 182 aeroplane.
A few episodes later, James May drove the Veyron at the VW test track and took it to its top speed of 407.16 km/h (253.00 mph). During the second episode of the 13th series, Richard Hammond raced the Veyron against the McLaren F1 driven by The Stig in a one mile drag race in Abu Dhabi, commenting 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.
When a road car is put in a race against an RAF Euro-fighter Typhoon with twin engines each delivering 20,000 of thrust and a top speed of over 1500mph, at 67m a pot…it quite frankly says it all.