The Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 is a mid-engined sports car, designed and developed in Germany by the Volkswagen Group and manufactured in Molsheim, France, by Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S., named after the racing driver Pierre Veyron.
The original version has a top speed of 407 km/h (253 mph). It was named Car of the Decade and best car award (2000–2009) by the BBC television programme Top Gear. The standard Bugatti Veyron also won Top Gear’s Best Car Driven All Year award in 2005.
The Super Sport version of the Veyron is recognised by Guinness World Records as the fastest street-legal production car in the world, with a top speed of 431.072 km/h (268 mph), and the roadster Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse version is the fastest roadster in the world, reaching an averaged top speed of 408.84 km/h (254.04 mph) in a test on 6 April 2013.
The Veyron’s chief designer was Hartmut Warkuss and the exterior was designed by Jozef Kabaň of Volkswagen, with much of the engineering work being conducted under the guidance of engineering chief Wolfgang Schreiber.
Several special variants have been produced. In December 2010, Bugatti began offering prospective buyers the ability to customise exterior and interior colours by using the Veyron 16.4 Configurator application on the marque’s official website. The Bugatti Veyron was discontinued in late 2014
In May 1998, Volkswagen AG acquired the rights to use the Bugatti logo and the trade name Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. To succeed the EB 110 model produced under previous ownership, the maker quickly released a series of concept cars that would culminate in the Bugatti Veyron 16.4.
Between October 1998 and September 1999, Bugatti introduced a series of Giugiaro-designed concept vehicles, each with permanent four-wheel drive and powered by the Volkswagen-designed W18 engine. The first, the EB118, was a 2-door coupé presented at the 1998 Paris Motor Show. The next, the EB218, was a 4-door sedan presented at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show. A third, the 18/3 Chiron, was a mid-engined sports car presented at the 1999 International Motor Show in Frankfurt
In October 1999, Bugatti unveiled a fourth concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show. The EB 18/4 Veyron was a mid-engined supercar styled in-house under the direction of Hartmut Warkuß. In 2000 a modified version, the EB 16/4 Veyron, was displayed at motor shows in Detroit, Geneva, and Paris. Rather than the three-bank W-18 of the four previous concepts, the EB 16/4 featured the four-bank W16 engine architecture installed in every production example of the Bugatti Veyron.
The decision to start production of the car was made by the Volkswagen Group in 2001. The first roadworthy prototype was completed in August 2003. It is identical to the later series variant except for a few details. In the transition from development to series production considerable technical problems had to be addressed, repeatedly delaying production until September 2005.
The Veyron EB 16.4 is named in honour of Pierre Veyron, a Bugatti development engineer, test driver and company race driver who, with co-driver Jean-Pierre Wimille, won the 1939 24 hours of Le Mans while driving a Bugatti. The “EB” refers to Bugatti founder Ettore Bugatti and the “16.4” refers to the engine’s 16 cylinders and 4 turbochargers.
World record controversy
A controversy developed in 2013 over the Veyron Super Sport’s status as the world’s fastest production car, ultimately resolved in the Veyron’s favour.
In early April 2013, driving.co.uk (also known as Sunday Times Driving) began an investigation following claims from US car maker Hennessey that its 928 kW (1,244 bhp) Hennessey Venom GT was entitled to the Guinness World Record. With a recorded speed of 427.6 km/h (265.7 mph) the Hennessey was 3.4 km/h (2.1 mph) slower than the Veyron but Hennessey dismissed Bugatti’s official record saying that the Veyron Super Sport was restricted to 415 km/h (258 mph) in production form and that for it to achieve its record top speed of 431.1 km/h (267.9 mph), the car used was in a state of tune not available to customers. Hennessey said its Venom GT was road-ready and unmodified and was therefore a production car in the strict sense of the term.
Driving.co.uk requested clarification from Guinness World Records, which investigated this claim and found that the modification was against the official guidelines of the record. Upon finding this, Guinness World Records voided the Super Sport’s record and announced it was “reviewing this category with expert external consultants to ensure our records fairly reflect achievements in this field.”
SSC North America, the producers of the Ultimate Aero TT, said that they had reclaimed the record, however Guinness reinstated the Super Sport’s record after coming to the conclusion that “a change to the speed limiter does not alter the fundamental design of the car or its engine.”
Hennessey later recorded the Venom GT at 435.31 km/h (270.49 mph). However, this was only in one direction. Guinness requires 2 runs in opposite directions to average out wind effects, so the run was not valid for a Guinness world record…read more