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EB 16/4 Veyron Concept
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  Bugatti EB 16/4 Veyron Concept
 

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Country of origin:France
Produced in:2000
Introduced at:2000 Paris Motor Show
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:March 31, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionShortly after taking control of the ailing Bugatti company, Volkswagen commissioned the construction of several design studies for future production models. Four distinct show cars were eventually built, all originally powered by a W18 engine, constructed of three rows of six cylinders. The first three were styled by Giugiaro/Italdesign, while the fourth was created in-house under the leadership of Volkswagen head-of-design Hartmut Warkuss. Launched at the 1999 Tokyo Motor Show, this car was named EB 18/3 Veyron after Bugatti's 1939 Le Mans winner Pierre Veyron.

What distinguished the Veyron from the earlier 18-cylinder engined show cars were the remarkably smooth lines, curving almost undisturbed from the leading edge of the nose to the tail. The only interruptions were for the air-intakes and these were further accentuated by the two-tone finish of the car. Power once again came from the all-aluminium W18 engine, which was equipped with direct injection and displaced 6.3 litre. It produced an impressive 555 bhp and formed the true focal point of the car as it was fitted without an engine cover, boasting beautiful polished aluminium air-intakes.

Bugatti soon after settled on the Veyron exterior design but before the show car made a second appearance, the technical brief had changed. Gone was the W18 engine; its place taken by an equally exotic W16 with a hefty eight-litre displacement. This engine was constructed by mating two very narrow angle V8s on a common crank. At the engine's introduction a naturally aspirated and a quad-turbo version were both considered offering 630 bhp or a whopping 1,001 bhp in the range-topping model.

Using the original show car but with the naturally aspirated W16 engine fitted, the new EB 16/4 Veyron was launched at the 2000 Paris Motor Show. At the time, Bugatti announced that production of the two versions would begin in 2003 and would be strictly limited to 50 examples. In the end, teething issues during development delayed matters by two years and the naturally aspirated W16 was scratched altogether. The production Veyron 16.4 did become the fastest ever production car, offering an unprecedented 1,001 bhp.

The original Veyron show car, still fitted with the W16 engine has survived and was dusted off in 2014 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its introduction.

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  Article Image gallery (20) Specifications User Comments (3)