It had 16 cylinders, 1,001 horsepower, went from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, had a top speed of 253 miles per hour — and a starting price of well over $1 million.
The Bugatti Veyron was made of incredible numbers. What began as a mere idea deep within the Volkswagen Group grew to become the equivalent of the Concorde for the road.
But it’s now officially retired — but succeeded by an even more insanely fast and powerful Bugatti, the Chiron, which was just unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.
In the early 20th century, the Bugatti name was synonymous with performance. Frenchman Ettore Bugatti founded the company in 1909 and built some of the most legendary performance and touring cars ever. However, misfortunes and changes in markets forced them to shut down in 1952.
But the company has been resurrected twice. In the late 1980s, Italian businessman Romano Artoli purchased the rights to the name and built the EB110 supercar. But the company shut down in 1995.
In 1998, Volkswagen bought the name, and unleashed a slew of concept cars on the show circuit. Starting in 2001, they decided to make the fastest car in the world in a bespoke factory in Molsheim, France.
But how the Veyron was made is unlike the process for any other other car in the world. Its story is one of creating a car that in many respects redefined what we thought a car could be. It’s not surprising that auto enthusiasts — notably the chaps at the British motoring TV show “Top Gear” — have called the Veyron the greatest car ever created by human hands on planet Earth.
This is how it was put together and tested. We can assume the Chiron went through the same process.
[An earlier version of this post was written by Travis Okulski.]