The Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 is a two-door mid-engined supercar, which is handbuilt in France. Dreamed up by Volkswagen head honcho Ferdinand Piech, the car was named in the honour of Pierre Veyron, a development engineer and company racer who won the 1939 24 hours of Le Mans in a Bugatti. The 'EB' badging on the car refers to Ettore Bugatti, the founder of the company, while the '16.4' refers to the 16 cylinders and four turbochargers configuration of the engine. The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport holds the Guinness World Record title for the 'World's Fastest Production Car', though at one point of time the title had been reworked owing to some discrepancy in guidelines. Controversies aside, the Bugatti Veyron is nothing short of an engineering marvel and was the first production car ever to breach the 400kmph mark.
The looks of the Veyron might not suit everyone’s taste, as the weird insect-like silhouette is a direct result of aerodynamics clashing with the design department. The entire body is covered with umpteen numbers of scoops and winglets which coupled with the hidden flaps keep the car’s coefficient at 0.36. The underside of the Veyron, like a Formula One car, is streamlined to increase downforce. The front of the Veyron has a titanium radiator grille and a massive bonnet which is flanked by elongated headlamps on the two sides.
The Veyron carries a distinctive ‘crest line’ from the bonnet through the roof, which is a reminiscence of the original Bugatti cars of 1920s and 1930s. At the rear of the car, the exposed engine increases the aesthetic appeal of the car, which is actually a measure to assist its cooling. The rear also features the Veyron’s massive spoiler which retracts at speeds above 220kmph to improve the airflow and also functions as an air brake.
Car manufacturers sometimes go to extreme levels when it comes to trimming the inside of record breaking hypercars (read McLaren F1). The Veyron though, is more of a comfortable long distance tourer and the interiors help you stay relaxed as you keep on munching the miles. The designers adopted a conservative and simple design for the interiors. The centre console is uncluttered and elegant. The instrument cluster is a traditional analogue unit and lacks a tachometer. Instead, it has a power reserve gauge which displays how much power you have in reserve. Upholstery and choice of leather can be customised according to the whims of the customers.
The Bugatti Veyron is powered by an 8.0-litre 16 cylinder engine with a unique arrangement of a cylinder in a W configuration. The engine has been created by joining two V8 blocks, each with a 15 degree bank angle, together in the crankcase. The engine is aspirated by four turbochargers. In its standard form, the engine produces 987bhp and 1250Nm of torque while in the Veyron Super Sport, it churns out 1184bhp and 1500Nm of torque. The power is sent to all four wheels through a permanent all-wheel drive using the Haldex Traction system. The Veyron uses a seven-speed DSG sequential gearbox unit.
These power figures combined with the high power-to-weight ratio help the Veyron return blistering performance. The car can reach 100kmph from a standstill in just 2.46 seconds while 240kmph is achieved in just 9.8 seconds. In its standard mode, the Veyron is restricted to 343kmph, but a special key can be used to activate the top speed mode. This key enables the car to reach speeds of upto 407kmph in the regular version and upto 415kmph in the Veyron Super Sport.
Cooling is taken care of by a total of 12 radiators while cross drilled radially vented carbon fibre reinforced silicon carbide composite discs help the car slow down.
Just 300 examples of the Veyron have been made in its coupe version and all of these have been sold. The Super Sport version was a special edition limited to just 30 units and is currently the holder of the crown of ‘World’s Fastest Production Car’. Now, the company is currently producing only the roadster version of the supercar, called Veyron Grand Sport. Owing to its astronomically high price tag, one might expect the Bugatti Veyron to be the only car in the segment, though it is not the case as even the Veyron has a rival in the form of the Koenigsegg Agera.