Ten years, 450 cars, and millions of gawking fan selfies later, the age of the Bugatti 16.4 Veyron hypercar is over.
Bugatti announced this week that it had sold the 450th and final Veyron — fittingly christened “La Finale.”
Which means from now on, anyone interested in buying a Veyron will have to buy used.
Fortunately for the rest of us, the final Veyron — the 1,200 horsepower Grand Sport Vitesse Roadster — will be on display at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show next month.
When Volkswagen Group — Bugatti’s parent company — proposed the idea of building the ultimate hypercar more than 15 years ago, it was seen purely as a flight of fancy. At the time, some believed VW’s plans to reestablish their newly purchased Bugatti brand with such an outlandish car would be a disaster.
After all, the 4-part edict issued to Bugatti engineers sounds positively insane.
1. The car must have more than 986 horsepower.
2. Be able to exceed 250 mph.
3. Accelerate to 62mph from a standstill in less than 3 seconds.
4. Be stylish, comfortable, and luxurious enough for a ritzy trip to the opera.
However, the resulting 16.4 Veyron proved to be nothing short of a miracle. Not only did engineers meet those goals, they blew them away.
In its ultimate form the 16-cylinder, quad-turbo Veyron produced 1,200 horsepower and reached an astonishing top speed of 267 mph.
“In the Veyron, Bugatti has created an automobile icon and established itself as the world’s most exclusive supercar brand,” Bugatti president Wolfgang Dürheimer said.
“So far no other carmaker has managed to successfully market a product that stands for unique top-class technical performance and pure luxury in a comparable price/volume range.”
Although the world had seen cars capable of extraordinary performance, such as the 240 mph McLaren F1, none have done so in such a luxurious and effortless manner.
“The Veyron is unique in many respects even ten years after its launch,” Dürheimer said.
Granted, all of the Veyron’s capabilities came with a hefty price tag. Even though the official sale price has varied over the years, Veyrons left Bugatti showrooms with an average hit to buyers of $US2.6 million.
Incredibly, even at those prices, VW Group lost as much as $US5.2 million per Veyron sold Bloomberg reported (that’s all-in, an average loss across the relatively tiny production run, with considerable development costs taken into account). While this may sound like the 16.4 was a failure, it wasn’t. It’s goal wasn’t to be a cash cow for the company. It’s got millions of Golfs, Jettas, Passats, and Audi SUVs rolling out of showrooms for that.
The Veyron’s objective was to prove that VW’s Group’s engineers could achieve what other found to be unachievable and to announce the return of a once glorious automotive brand in grand fashion.
In that light, the Veyron was a grand slam.
Although new Veyrons will no longer be rolling out of Bugatti’s Molsheim factory, they will likely remain in the public eye as part of exclusive collections, fetching ridiculous prices at auction for decades to come.
As for a Veyron replacement, it’s rumoured to be on its way and may appear as early as the end of the year. This time with even more power, speed, and luxury.
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