Review: Bugatti Veyron
I don’t know why, but ever since I first laid eyes on the Bugatti Veyron, I’m obsessed with it. Its the coolest, scariest, most unique looking car on the road today. It looks like the lovechild of a fighter jet and a formula one car. My favorite is the all black paint, but it also looks killer in its various combinations of two-tone.
Maybe its the history of the company: Bugatti has been building cars since its first prototype in 1900. Or perhaps its the racing legacy: Bugatti’s won thousands of gran prix races during the 20’s and 30’s. In fact, the Veyron is named in honor of one of its drivers, Pierre Veyron, who won the 24 hours of Le Mans race in 1939. Perhaps its the style of the cars: I am a huge fan of the Noir period and the Bugatti cars of the 30’s fit the style of the time perfectly.
One thing many people do not know is that Bugatti is a French company. Yes, even though its founder, Ettore Bugatti was bon in Italy, The cars have always been produced in Alsace, France. The company survived serious financial troubles overs the years and is now owned by Volkswagen AG.
But I digress… Back to the monster called the Veyron 16.4…
I think what first attracted me to the car was the raw power and unmatched top speed. It is the fastest production car in the world with a maximum of 252+ mph. Its hard to really get a sense of how fast that is, but if you have ever gone 150 mph, imagine adding another 100 mph to that. Its tough to get your brain around it. If you want a visual taste, I urge you to get on You Tube and search “Top Gear Bugatti Veyron”. James May, one of the hosts of the show does a top speed test at a private track in Germany. Insane. what’s funny is that at that speed the tires will only last for fifteen minutes, but its okay because the fuel runs out in twelve minutes. Yes, the Veyron gets a whopping 2 miles per gallon at its top speed.
Lets talk about some stats:
The two door mid-engine coupe is powered by a 8.0 L quad-turbocharged motor, backed up by a 7-speed DSG sequential manual transmission, controlled via computer and shift paddles located behind the steering wheel. This is a good thing, because if you floor it, you go from 0-60 mph in only 2.4 seconds. It hits 100 mph at the 5.5 second mark, and 150 mph in 9.8 seconds. The Veyron will cover the quarter mile in only 10.2 seconds at a speed of 143 mph. that beats any other ‘supercar’.
When the car is pushed, it wants to fly off the road, so hydraulics lower the car and a rear wing and spoiler deploys to create downforce. Don’t worry about the valet driver topping the car out though. A special key must be be inserted into a lock at the left side of the drivers seat to enter “top speed” mode.
How does such a hot car stay cool? By using 10 radiators. Yes you read that right. Ten. 3 for the engine cooling system, 1 heat exchanger for the air to liquid intercoolers, 2 for the A/C, 1 for the tranny oil, 1 for the differential, 1 for engine oil and one for the hydraulic oil used by the rear spoiler. That complex enough for ya?
The only time I’ve been in the immediate presence of a running Veyron was in the lobby of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The museum’s director Dick Messer was sitting in the drivers seat gently revving the motor. We were both mesmerized and had the silly smiles of children who just discovered ice cream.
The only thing that stopped dick was a woman who came through the museum doors and said that she lived across the street (across the street!) and said the engine noise was waking up her baby. That will give you just a taste of the power coming out of the Veyron’s engine.
As a cultural icon, the Bugatti Veyron has reached the masses. I recently say a photo of a jet black Veyron being driven around Malibu by none other than Simon Cowell. If you don’t know who that is, ask your teenage daughter.
Perhaps my favorite touch in the Veyron is the horsepower dial. Its to the far left of the instrument panel and goes from 0-1001. Yes, this car puts out over 1000 hp. Crazy right? well its true. But what do you expect for $1.4 million? Oh yeah, and if you want one, you may have to wait. They are made to order and production stops at around 300 units.