The Bugatti Veyron is a mid engined, all wheel drive hyper car, named after Pierre Veyron who won the 1939 Le Mans 24 hour race driving a Bugatti Type 57 ‘Tank.’ The Veyron Supersport version currently holds the world record for the fastest production car, with a top speed of 268mph.
The decision to develop the car was made in 2001, but took until 2003 to produce a road worthy prototype. With a goal of breaking the top speed record, as well as creating a quality luxury sports car, there were huge technological challenges to overcome, and so it took another 2 years until the final car was unveiled and released. It was worth the wait.
The Veyron is powered by an 8L W16 Quad turbo charged engine, producing 1001bhp. The transmission is a computer controlled dual clutch, direct shift gear, resulting in a gear change in less than 150 milliseconds. The Veyron runs specially developed tyres specifically designed to cope with the incredible speeds the Veyron can achieve, and cost $25,000 per set. All of this results in a top speed of 253mph.
As mentioned above, a Supersport version of the Veyron was produced. This was due to the release of the American SSC Ultimate Aero, taking the top speed crown from the Veyron. The Supersport’s power was increased to 1183bhp, meaning it could reach 150mph in an incredible 10.2s and re-take the top speed record for the Veyron. The record has since been refuted by Hennessey, claiming their Venom GT should claim the top spot due the Veyrons’ rev limit being changed for its record setting run. The Veyrons’ record however has been retained; due to Guinness World Records stating a change to the rev limiter does not alter the fundamental design of the car or engine.
The Veyron is a feat of engineering unmatched in the car industry, and even if in the future it loses its crown, it will deservedly keep its place in history as one of the best cars ever made.