The Bugatti Veyron, Driven

By David Ponce

The Bugatti Veyron is nothing new, so no hate mail please. But for those of you who’ve never come across this thing of beauty, know that it just happens to be the fastest, probably most expensive production car in the world. The W16 engine (that’s right, two Audi V8 engines fused together) is coupled with 4 turbochargers and is cooled by (count’em) 10 radiators. It transmits an earth scorching 1001 bhp to the ground through a carefully crafted 7-gear paddle transmission and reaches 62mph in 2.5 seconds. Top speed? 252mph, aka 405kph, aka 370ft/s. That’s a football field a second.

It’s faster than the McLaren F1. Faster than an F1 car. Faster than anything. Matter of fact, you could give the McLaren a headstart, let it reach 120mph, and you’d still get to 200mph quicker!

It comes at a price. A cool million. And lots of gas. I heard somewhere it takes a gallon of juice just to start. But, really, who’s counting when you’re driving the finest this planet has to offer?

Jeremy Clarkson of The Sunday Times recently drove the car (the bastard), and for his impressions, come inside. Out here, you get the link to the full article. It’s really fascinating.

When you push a car past 180mph, the world starts to get awfully fizzy and a little bit frightening. When you go past 200mph it actually becomes blurred. Almost like you’re trapped in an early Queen pop video. At this sort of speed the tyres and the suspension are reacting to events that happened some time ago, and they have not finished reacting before they’re being asked to do something else. The result is a terrifying vibration that rattles your optical nerves, causing double vision. This is not good when you’re covering 300ft a second.

Happily, stopping distances become irrelevant because you won’t see the obstacle in the first place. By the time you know it was there, you’ll have gone through the windscreen, through the Pearly Gates and be half way across God’s breakfast table.

On a recent drive across Europe I desperately wanted to reach the top speed but I ran out of road when the needle hit 240mph. Where, astonishingly, it felt planted. Totally and utterly rock steady. It felt sublime.

Not quiet, though. The engine sounds like Victorian plumbing — it looks like Victorian plumbing as well, to be honest — and the roar from the tyres was biblical. But it still felt brilliant. Utterly, stunningly, mind blowingly, jaw droppingly brilliant.

[The Times Online] VIA [Retro Thing]

14 thoughts on “The Bugatti Veyron, Driven”

  1. Slight correction – the Bugatti is slightly faster in terms of top speed than an F1 car in racing spec, but every other performance category, especially acceleration, it is not as quick. Toyota also recently ran their 2005 F1 car to 400 kph, and will be returning to the Bonneville salt flats to set another record this year.

  2. Actually, it’s faster than an F1 car in race spec, since they have to run pretty tight restrictors for many courses. I would never say its better around the corners since the Bugatti weighs 4700lbs and an F1 car is something like 1800lbs? I wouldn’t doubt it if the Bugatti was faster accelerating since it does have AWD… but again the weight will probably hinder it.

    That being said, you can’t take your trophy wife for a ride in your F1 car…

    As for fast, there have been several Corvettes from Lingenfelter that have run 0-60 in 1.8 secs with “street legal” tires. The numbers are out there somewhere… the cars made almost 1K hp but with a lot less weight. No AWD helps since these cars are lighter by quite a bit than the bugatti.

    Also, HPA motorsports Twin-Turbo R32 was running under 2.3 to 60 I think… but its not a stock-car, so perhaps its apples-to-steak comparison.


  3. Just to clarify a few things.

    1. An 8000 HP top fuel dragster can do 0-60MPH in 0.8 second.

    2. Formula 1 requires a minimum car weight of 605 Kg(1331 LBS) including the driver. Most cars are in that range.

    3. Formula 1 cars are NOT setup for top speed. The courses they run on require good handling and explosive acceleration from 100-200MPH. To achieve Veyron’s top speed requires works on the gearing and aerodynamics.

    4. The official weight of the Veyron is around 4200 LBS.

    5. 0-60 time is still yet to be verified by an independent source. At this kind of HP, launching it with minimal wheel spin requires experience. I’ve seen claims from anywhere from 2.4 – 3.0 seconds. This compares to a claimed 2.9 sec for a Saleen S7 twin turbo (750HP, 3000LBS).

    6. A Ferrari Formual 1 car with 950HP at 1331 LBS will pull away from the Veyron once the tires stop spinning and the F1 engine hits it’s powerband. I don’t know where that power band is, but I think it’s pretty close to the 19,000rpm rev. limiter. The Veyron’s advantage is at lower speeds where it has better traction aided by much more weight. It also makes HP at a much lower rpm.

  4. Why u should buy a bugatti (Veyron) instead of an F1 car-

    1. An an F1 car has only 1 seat.

    2. An F1 car is NOT road legal.

    3. An F1 car lasts 2 days.

    4. A bugatti has lights.

    5. You dont have to be small to drive a bugatti.

    6. You don’t have to wear a helmet when driving the bugatti.

    7. You won’t mess your hair up when driving a bugatti.

    8. The bugatti is the fastest road production car in the world ever.

    9. You can install a CD player in a bugatti.

    10. You don’t have to take the steering wheel off when getting out of a bugatti.

  5. Does anyone know what the veyron does the quarter mile in?Because the ZTune skyline does it in 10.05 hmmmmm…As far as top end goes,ligenfelters are ok…but recently they got murdered by the Hennessy Viper.So it seems Hennesy motorsports rules the roost.but for stock vehicles the skyline seems to be the most rapid.

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