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Veyron 16.4
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  Bugatti Veyron 16.4

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Country of origin:France
Produced from:2005 - 2011
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:March 08, 2006
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Click here to download printer friendly versionOne of the most legendary names in automotive history is Bugatti, even though the original company ceased production in the early 1950s. In the late 1980s however, the marque was revived for the first time, which resulted in a brief production of the EB110 supercar. Shortly after, the company went bankrupt and the rights to the name were purchased by Volkswagen. In the following years VW set out to relaunch the brand with the introduction of a variety of concept cars. Eventually the mid-engined Veyron supercar was chosen to be developed as the all-new Bugatti road car.

Compared to the relatively simple Bugatti designs of old, the Veyron is packed with complex technology. Four Turbos, sixteen cylinders and sixty-four valves are some of the incredible figures that set the new car apart. Early in its development process, disclosed performance figures were even more staggering; 1001 bhp and a sub-14 second 0 - 300 km/h acceleration time. This is made possible by the quad-Turbo W16 engine that powers all wheels through a seven speed semi-automatic gearbox. Despite a seven figure price tag, the company was confident the new car would find sufficient demand.

It all looked very good on paper, but the ambitious project suffered a number of setbacks during the development process. An initial launch date of late 2003 was not met, and was postponed several times after. In this period the Veyron slowly changed from a much-anticipated new car to somewhat of a laughing stock, and many were skeptical about the development ever coming to completion. Eventually the production-ready car was launched in the summer of 2005, with the first customers expected to receive their cars later in the year. The hand built cars will be produced in a specifically constructed factory in Molsheim, France.

Before the production version was launched, eleven prototypes were extensively tested in the same gruelling conditions regular road cars are first put through their paces. Several of these covered well over 50,000 miles to verify the reliability matches the performance. Despite the delays, Bugatti has managed to meet their goal set back in 2001, which was confirmed at the Ehra - Lessien Volkswagen proving grounds where a production Veyron topped out at 407 km/h (253 mph). The stellar acceleration figures are only outdone by the braking abilities; assistance from an airbrake and the massive carbon fibre discs can bring the car to a halt from its top speed in less than 10 seconds.

The annual Pebble Beach weekend formed the perfect setting for the production Veyron's American launch. The company's CEO, Dr. Thomas Bscher was on hand to give (potential) customers a first look and feel for the car. Two days before the official Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance launch, the dark coloured Veyron is seen here at the exclusive 'Quail, a Motorsports Gathering.' Livered in what a Bugatti spokesperson described as a typically American colour combination, the metallic blue and white Veyron is shown here at the Concept Car Corral at Pebble Beach.

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  Article Image gallery (64) Specifications User Comments (19)