Bugatti Veyron: Performance and Specifications -

Bugatti Veyron: Performance and Specifications

Bugatti Veyron

Bugatti Veyron performance and features
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Although the Chiron may have replaced it, Bugatti's first no-holds-barred hypercar has solidified its status as one of the greatest in automotive history.

The Veyron was developed as a sort of technical exercise for Volkswagen AG, displaying its capabilities through the development of one of the most capable road-going vehicles. It was first shown in concept form at the 1999 Tokyo Motor Show.

Following Volkswagen's purchase of the Bugatti brand in 1998, several bizarre prototypes were developed, including the two-door EB 118, four-door EB 218, and the more familiar 18/3 Chiron, all of which included a 6.3-liter, 545bhp W18. The latter provided the public with its first look at the Veyron, which eventually evolved into the 16/4 Veyron concept before becoming the current production model.

Bugatti was formed in 1998 as a result of the Volkswagen Group acquisition, therefore it has only been existing for a few decades in its current form. The history of the brand dates far further back than this, with the badge first appearing in 1909, the same year that Jean and Ettore Bugatti formed the company.

William Grover-Williams won the first-ever Monaco Grand Prix, which was held in 1929, in a Bugatti Type 35B, and the company even had two Le Mans victories to its credit. The brand initially showed promise, producing vehicles for the road and the track that was more capable than most cars of the time.

This period was rather brief, ending in 1952 as a result of financial difficulties brought on by the passing of business founders Ettore and Jean Bugatti.

Up until Romano Artioli, an Italian businessman purchased it in 1987, there followed a period of failed resurrection attempts and the production of airplane parts. Just before EB110 GT production began, the company's renowned Modena facility opened its doors in 1990.

Despite some success with the supercar, financial difficulties once more forced the company to shut down in 1995, a few years before the Volkswagen Group bought the company and the brand was revived in 1998.

Six years after the EB110 production line was shut down, Bugatti confirmed the construction of their W16-powered hypercar in 2001. Four years later, in 2005, the first customer vehicle came off the brand's Molsheim assembly line. Between that time and the end of production in 2015, 450 units were built.

Engine and Performance

Although early ideas had a three-bank W18, the production Veyron is powered by an 8.0-liter, quad-turbocharged W16 with four banks of four cylinders. This engine produces just under 1000 bhp and 922 lb-ft of torque, performance numbers that many have struggled to match even 15 years later.

In 2005, a Veyron 16.4 could reach a high speed of 253.81 mph at Volkswagen Group's Ehra-Lessien test facility by simply using the vehicle's "speed key," which raised the regular 213 mph barrier. Ten radiators and a variety of additional cooling equipment were used by Bugatti's engineers to help keep the powertrain within safe operating temperatures.

A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission from Ricardo of England transmits power to the ground. It can shift in under 150 milliseconds, which is quicker than the 160 milliseconds required by the track-only Ferrari FXX Evo of the same era. The seven gears slip home, according to Harry Metcalfe, "without a hint of lost speed, yet without suffering from that slightly disconnected feeling you get with a manually run auto box (or even an automated manual for that matter)."

The Super Sport was introduced in 2010 with new, larger turbochargers, freer-flowing intake manifolds, a remapped ECU, and larger charge-coolers since, of course, 253 mph wasn't quite enough. Engineers said that the unit was capable of even more power, but that the transmission wasn't up to the effort. The end result was an increase of nearly 200 horsepower over the "normal" automobile, bringing the total to 1183bhp.

Chris Harris gave it a test drive for Evo and gave this assessment. When you press down on the accelerator, the turbos take a moment to spool up, which is known as turbo lag in the Super Sport. This is never an issue because the car still feels as quick as a 911 Turbo when they're doing it.

Steering, Suspension, and Brakes

The Veyron is equipped with 400mm front and 380mm rear carbon ceramic discs together with eight-pot front and six-pot rear AP Racing calipers because, as you might expect, such power necessitates an equally powerful braking system. An air brake that can change the angle of attack from 15 degrees to 55 degrees in under 0.4 seconds supports the conventional braking system.

The Veyron's front and rear double-wishbone suspension setup includes a quick-acting hydraulic system that enables the vehicle to change ride height in response to environmental factors for increased stability, effectiveness, and practicality.

The tires, which Michelin manufactured specifically for the Veyron to bear the unimaginable forces faced during a run at speeds of more than 250 mph, are also quite an astounding achievement. With each tire wrapped around a pair of polished OZ wheels, the widths of 365mm in the rear and 265mm in the front help with stability and traction.


Contrary to what the statistics might suggest, the Veyron's interior is more akin to that of a Bentley than that of a vehicle built for top speed. It's a surprisingly comfy machine because of its luxurious leather interior (which is enhanced by a good dose of carbon fiber, of course), comfortable door openings, and even a rear-view mirror-mounted reversing camera display.

The indicator stalks, which are famously expensive and machined from a single piece of aluminum/magnesium alloy, are one example of how far Bugatti went with the "no-expense-spared" philosophy. Even the gear shift paddles are made of magnesium. The center console is made of a single piece of aluminum that has been finished with guilloché, a nod to the method utilized on exposed surfaces of early engines by Bugatti.

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