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At the end of the Bugatti Veyron: 10 facts about the 1,000 hp legend

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At the end of the Bugatti Veyron
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The wish of the then VW board member Ferdinand Piëch seemed like a megalomaniac dream: a luxurious sports car with four-digit horsepower Number and a top speed of more than 400 km /h. Experts and engineers also doubted the feasibility of the project. But the ultra-powerful car was one of Piëch's dreams. And they generally have a tendency to come true. In 2005 the Bugatti shocked V eyron the world with 1,001 hp. After ten years he is now retiring. What characteristics make this car so special for the world?

1. The illustrious name

Ettore Bugatti. For car fans, this Italian name is synonymous with the pioneering days of automobile construction and, in its historical significance, for racing on a par with Ferdinand Porsche or Enzo Ferrari. Born in 1881, Ettore built his first automobile in 1900 at the age of 19. In the same year the vehicle wins the Grand Prix of Milan. Three years later, the later Bugatti arrives in Les Monts-Verts Factory and racing driver Pierre Veyron into the world. The modern sports car from 2005 is named after him. Veyron celebrated the greatest success of his career in 1939: he won the Le Mans 24-hour race. Bugatti and Veyron were heroes Time. The name fits, right?

2. The prestigious predecessors

Veyron and Bugatti also supervised the development of the Type 57. Although this luxury class sedan has nothing to do with a sports car, it was with up to 200 hp for its era - the 1930s - extremely strong. At the same time, the Type 57 was the best-selling model until the Bugatti plants were closed in 1956. The next Bugatti was only presented 35 years later, in 1991. The futuristically styled EB 110 was created under the direction of an Italian finance broker who acquired the naming rights to Bugatti in 1987. Around 150 copies of the EB 110 were built. Both the EB 110as well as the Type 57 achieve sometimes exorbitant prices at auctions today. A Bugatti Type 57 was sold at auction house Gooding & Company in 2010 for an estimated 23 million euros. Good omen for the Bugatti Veyron, the indirect successor to the Type 57 and EB 110.

3. The eternal concept phase

In May 1998, Volkswagen took over all trademark rights and started an ambitious project in the same year: the EB 118, an early study that already contained the first elements of the later Bugatti Veyron should wear. The prototype came from Italdesign. A year later, in 1999, Bugatti presented the 18.3 Chiron. The 18 in the name stood for the number of cylinders. And Louis Chiron was Bugatti's most successful racing driver. In the same year, the Bugatti Veyron 18.4 Concept study was presented at the Tokyo Motor Show. While the study had to make do with an 18-cylinder engine and 555 hp, the finished vehicle, according to Piëch's wishes, should reach more than 400 km /h. In the end, this required almost twice as much power as a meager 555 hp. Series production of the Bugatti Veyron was decided in 2001 - the final version should produce 1,001 hp.

4. The gigantic W16 engine

But how do you squeeze more than 1,000 HP out of an engine without risking its durability? If possible, the machine in the Veyron should last as long as possible - and not just two weeks. A three-part 18-cylinder with three cylinder banks with six pots each became a W16 with two banks of 8 cylinders in V-shape. The 8 liter engine is ventilated by four turbochargers and a maximum of 18.1 PSI boost pressure, which corresponds to around 1.25 bar. At first, the engine developers had a lot of trouble with this engine: Cooling the unit turned out to be extremely difficult. The solution was simple: more cooling. A total of ten coolers do their work in the Veyron, 3 of them just for the engine.

5. The then ultra-modern technology

The Bugatti Veyron is without question a technical masterpiece. Building a vehicle that can consistently handle more than 1,000 horsepower is remarkable. In contrast to today's hybrid super sports cars like the McLaren P1 or the Porsche 918 Spyder, the Veyron relies on comparatively robust, proven technology. The EB 110 already had forced ventilation from four turbochargers, so that wasn't new. The technology in the seven-speed dual clutch transmission specially built for the Veyron was not brand new either. But this transmission had to withstand a gigantic 1,250 Nm maximum torque; for comparison: a Ferrari F12 only lifts half of it with 690 Nm. At theBugatti Veyron Super Sport, a 1,200 hp 'Sport' version, it is even 1,500 Nm. Like the McLaren P1, the Bugatti also had active aerodynamics, such as the rear spoiler, which also functions as an airbrake.

6. The grotesque speed

Even cars with an output of more than 500 hp are rare. Very rare. And they are fast, very fast. What if you had almost twice or in the case of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport more than twice as much horsepower? The acceleration figures were and are not only impressive in 2005. The 1,001 hp Bugatti Veyron 16.4 accelerates in 2, 5 to 100 km /h, the 200 mark falls after 7.3 seconds - and 400 km /h is reached in 55.6 seconds. The 1,200 hp Super Sport clears the latter hurdle in just 50 seconds. The Veyron 16.4 reaches its own Top speed of 407 km /h only in a special mode, for the egg n separate key must be carried. The driver can then enjoy this for about 12 minutes. Then the 100 liter tank is empty. That is better, because the tires would come off the carcass after 15 minutes.

7. The image-enhancing record drives

In its debut year, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 set a Guinness world record, namely the one for the fastest production vehicle built. The measuring device showed an average of 407 km /h after two runs on the test site in Ehra-Lessin in Lower Saxony. So far, the record was 372 km /h and was set in 1993 by the McLaren F1 with a BMW engine. Bugatti's joy over the championship lead lasted only 24 months. The American sports car SSC Ultimate Aero TT broke the record two years later. He drove 412 km /h. Bugatti didn't put up with that and gave the Veyron an upgrade: from 1,001 to 1,200 hp. And the Record for the fastest production vehicle (431 km /h) back to Molsheim, where the Veyron was manufactured. But the Competition never sleeps .

8. The artistic production

The name Bugatti is Italian, but the VW subsidiary has its factory in Alsace, France, where Ettore Bugatti's family once lived. The word factory is probably misleading, because the Veyron has nothing in common with mass production. During the production time, only two vehicles per week left the 'production atelier', as Bugatti calls its halls. The Bugatti Veyron was createdCompletely handcrafted, eight mechanics worked on one vehicle for about three weeks until it was completed. Legends are slowly emerging.

9. The ambitious prices and the unprofitable Veyron

1,001 PS, three weeks of manual work and the highest quality standards had their price. Even the normal Bugatti Veyron 16.4 cost around 1.16 million euros. It is interesting that the Veyron never made economic sense for Bugatti or VW - the long development time increased the costs immeasurably. The then Bugatti President Thomas Bscher said in an interview with Stern magazine: 'The Veyron will never be profitable.' It is more about prestige and the preservation of the legendary brand. The 1,200 hp Super Sport was another 500,000 euros more expensive than the basis - this surcharge corresponds to about two Ferrari F12 Berlinettas. And the special models were sometimes even more expensive. Some scratched the 3 million euro mark.

10. The eternal list of special models

To list all special models would go beyond any scope, often it was just a matter of changed paintwork or special interior equipment with the same technology. About 30 different special variants of the Veyron left the production facility in Molsheim, including umpteen editions of the Grand Sport (1,001 hp and open roof), Grand Sport Vitesse (1,200 hp and open roof) and Super Sport types be the 'Les Légends de Bugatti' series, which dedicated a special model to important personalities. Including Jean Bugatti, son of Ettore; or Rembrandt Bugatti, Ettore's younger brother, who was a sculptor. The last Legenden-Sondermodell then honored the company founder. The price for the silver-blue Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, limited to three copies, was around 2.35 million euros excluding taxes.

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