You know what they say — it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. When it comes to hanging tough as the world’s fastest production car the Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 happily volunteers, knowing it will be rewarded by being one of the world’s most expensive cars. As with Bentley, Volkswagen has provided sensitive stewardship for an iconic marque, imaginatively reinvented for the 21st century.
The new Bugatti is built near the original factory at Molsheim in Eastern France, and has been carefully crafted to respect illustrious forebears. Although the Veyron (named after winning prewar Bugatti racing driver Pierre Veyron) is a stunning example of contemporary automobile styling that puts it in the modern design icon bracket, it also pays homage to Bugattis of old.
The horseshoe grille is there, as is the classic two-tone colour scheme with contrasting ellipsis and the signature crest line from bonnet to roof. Coupled with the racy design, the overall result is a stunning combination of sleek elegance and the very latest technology.
The Veyron’s power plant is an 8 litre, 16-cylinder W16 masterpiece with four turbochargers that delivers an unbelievable (but true) 1,001 bhp. Transmission is a computer-controlled dual-clutch manual DSG (Direct-Shift Gearbox) with seven gears, that can be used in full-auto mode. It has permanent four-wheel drive and requires 10 different radiators to keep everything cool.
What’s this flying machine like to drive? Activate launch control, engage gear, grab the steering wheel, stamp on the brake, floor the throttle with the other foot, release the brake . . . and the amazing Veyron will accelerate like a Formula 1 car and scoot past the 250 mph (402 km/h) mark inside a minute. But sadly that’s a privilege accorded only to those with 1.4 million euros to spend (plus optional extras).
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
7,993 cc W16 Quad Turbo
With roof in place — top speed of 253 mph (407 km/h); 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 2.5 secs
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
When testing a Veyron for the Top Gear TV programme, after hitting top Speed presenter James May dryly observed ‘the tyres will only last fifteen minutes … but that’s okay because the fuel runs out in twelve minutes’. Would-be Veyron drivers listen and learn!