It has 16 cylinders, 1,001 horsepower, goes from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, has a top speed of 253 miles per hour — and a starting price of well over $US1 million.
The Bugatti Veyron is 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 on the way out, to be succeeded by an even more insanely fast and powerful Bugatti, to be named later (that named could be “Chiron,” and the horsepower rating could go to 1,500).
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.
[An earlier version of this post was written by Travis Okulski.]
To test it, they ran it on a dyno -- an instrument that measures output -- for the first time in 2001.
When the car was first tested on the road, it had 6 foot flames shooting out the back at 200 MPH. That isn't exactly legal.
They can withstand heat up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. But that wasn't enough to safely stop the car.
So the rear wing pops up to help the Veyron stop from speeds over 125 MPH. On its own, the air brake provides 70 per cent the force of standard car brakes.
They originally made two tires, one for the road and one for the track. But Bugatti came back and said they needed one for both.
When all of the subassemblies are complete, they were sent to the Bugatti 'Atelier' in Molsheim, France.
Before the body panels were applied, the car was run through a series of tests to make sure assembly went as intended.
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