Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Fastest Show on Earth - Bugatti Veyron

Fastest Show on Earth – Bugatti Veyron

For all of you, who still could not understand what is the point of the hues & cries over the so-called 'Fastest Car in the World'. I believe, after you finish reading this Article you will be definitely able to appreciate the Magnificience of Veyron in a much better manner.

There has been umpteenth number of times Fastest Cars has been declared  & then there were the faster breeds, just to overtrump the former's Claims. Speed always enthralled Man in a way, that it was necessary to know the Limit, the limit of sustainance, the limit that is achievable, the Limit of Possibility.

There have been numerous Land Speed Records, Set, Broken & Reset, that has taken the Speed quest to an absolute point of ridicule. It was all about proving who can possess the better technology or higher financial capacity (Installing a Jet-Fighter's Engine in an aerodynamically modified Car will see you through the knock-knock region of Land Speed Record, provided you can withstand the G-Force). In Speed-Record cars all you do is provide an extremely powerful engine, provide an ultra light Body, an optimum down-force generating Aerodynamic design (you have to be very accurate while doing calculation here, else the situation can be very critical) and Voila !!! You get the secret recipe of a Car tailor made for Speed Run. Obviously the feat is commendable. This definitely induces insurmountable amount of glory but it did not really help the innovation or advancement of Automotive World in a major way (everyone knows, those Aero Engines will be even faster once they leave the ground). 

Over the course of time, gradually the top speed conquest of a Road Going Car moved up significantly higher. Unlike Speed-Record Cars, achieving the Speed success in a Road Going Car is much tougher. There are Driver Security concerns, there are Reliability concerns, Durability concerns, Aesthetic concerns etc. etc. In Speed-Record cars you need not care about all these. However, some of the fastest road-going cars of today have abandoned a few points to try to achieve the glory. For example, the glamorous looking Ferraris usually have very bland and very uncomfortable interiors (entering & exiting an Enzo is a pain and it also lacks the carpets to reduce weight, but who cares, it looks fabulous ;-)). Then comes the other parts, the Reliability of Brakes, Reliability of  Gearbox, Reliability of the Chassis, etc. etc.

So, achieving a top speed of over 400 Kmph would have been relatively easier, if that was the only goal (Rear Wheel drive 'Koenigsegg CCX' with its 806 Bhp touches a top speed in the region of 394 Kmph, and the difference in Top Speed is only of academic interest); but Bugatti Veyron was not allowed to do that, it should be an All Wheel Drive car for added grip around the corners and so that better sense of security prevails.

Then comes about the famed 1001 Bhp Max Power. The required Top speed could have been achieved with much less power, with a little compromise here and there. But again, why to compromise when you are actually building the Greatest Car in the Universe. The problem is that aerodynamic drag increases as the square of the car's speed and, more significantly, that the power needed to overcome it increases as the cube of the speed. To put it in simple terms, the Bugatti engineers reckon that every km/hr over the target 400 required, in effect, another 8bhp. So the extra 7.5 kmh required the power found in a small hatchback (forget 60 Bhp, the fact is a 'Maruti 800' has 36 Bhp only). And that had to be found in the existing engine. They weren't allowed to put another one in. In any case Volkswagen group confirms that you will always get at least a Max power of 1001 Bhp.
Confused ??? Let me clarify, Volkswagen engines tend to have an Error of about 5%. Hence, the Veyron Engines are made in a way that even in the worst case, you should be getting at least a Max power of 1001 Bhp.

Now the question comes, "1001 Bhp" ????? Is it a Ballistic Missile ??? I assure you not. The Power available, should be usable and should be uniform. The Car may be fabulous, but the driver may not be a Michael Schumacher. He may be just another millionaire (let's be honest here), with much less Driving Skills at his disposal. So the Car needs to be very easy to drive, one that ignores the Error that its Driver is committing, a Car that will have its own mind & heart and will be reassuring its Driver in case of mistakes. And surprisingly, unlike almost every other Supercar out there, our grand daddy of Supercar is the Easiest to Drive. It can take you in and around a Race Track @ 300-400 Kmph without shaking on its knees, similarly it won't ruffle a feather while you are driving your kid around a park at say a gentle 20 Kmph.

Also, it has to be the fastest to its Top Speed, so the Power surge should not be abrupt or unequal. It would be uniformly available to the very Top. The famous 7-Speed DSG Gearbox aids to the solution. DSG works with Double Clutch, one pointed at Odd-numbered gears and another at the Even-numbered ones. While one clutch is engaged with a Gear, the On-Board Computer will work on another Clutch which will be selecting next one up or down based upon the throttle Response. So, in Automatic mode the Gearbox is 30% faster than the Paddle-Shift Gearbox response of the 'Formula 1' cars. Then there are the Paddle shift & the Sequential manual mode also, for the guys with a bit of cavalier attitude.

In any case, the Result is eminent here as we can see a 0-100 Kmph (0-62 Mph) in a Record-breaking fastest time of 2.46 Seconds. No other Road Car is anywhere near to this kind of maniac acceleration. So, our gentle beast can simply blow everyone else to the abyss once commanded to do so. The only other car (apart from the Race Cars) having an acceleration close to Veyron (sub-3 second 100 kph), will need you to sit in a canopy with 4 wheels attached to it (to classify it as a 4-wheel car) or a Carbon-Fibre Cockpit with some Aerodynamic Tools (and 4-wheels of course); which will not really be recommended to Drive on your City Roads where every portion may not be as plain and smooth as it is on Tracks. Moreover as an added goodie, you get the Formula-1 Styled Launch Control function in Veyron, that will take care of your Racing 'Head Start' Issues (while others will be still fiddling with their Gearboxes, you will be miles ahead be then) .....

In terms of automotive engineering you will always find there is an 'Acceleration-Top Speed' trade-off everywhere. And this theory is proved almost universally. However, Veyron seems to be only exception, as there is no dip in the acceleration, despite it is achieving the highest Top Speed imaginable. For Veyron, there is no Trade-Off. After zipping to 3 figure speeds from a standstill in a blink of an eye, where most other cars get shaky or nervous, Veyron just gets merrier. It just hunkers down itself and rockets in with even more tenacity.

To increase performance most of the Supercars has employed the same path of reducing the weight to absolutely size-0 in terms of Car scale. If only these Cars could have been fined for Anorexia. Cars like Ferrari Enzo, has gone to the extent to removing Car Stereo & just keeping a Radio instead. Most of these Supercars are stuffed, cramped and terribly uncomfortable. Exception Veyron. Its Luxurious Interior rivals of the Costliest of Sedans. Its Gadgetry rivals of the most futuristic Concept Cars. Yet it is a Supercar. And the resulting weight stands at 1888 Kgs. It is a complete No-No in the Supercar world. Considering the fact that the Alfa Romeos, Ferraris, Jaguars and the early Lamborghinis usually weighs around 1300-1400 Kgs. The ideology was, the Fast Cars should strip down as much weight as possible, and if needed a little bit of Driver Comfort also can be compromised to get to some glorifying speed figure. However, Veyron does not follow that ideology as it is not completely aimed at the Road Racers only. Veyron is a No-Compromise Car, hence it did not compromise anywhere in the Driver Comfort also. It is a Car for the Millionaires, and they should be treated with Care. :-P

However, Veyron's weight has not imposed any drawback on its Handling or Performance front; thanks to the Engineering genius of the Germans. It is as easy to handle as a Mini Cooper. Veyron turns around the circuit or a twisted A-Road faster than any other known Road-Going Cars.

For the first half of past century, one interesting target was to bring the time to cover a 0-100-0 Mph (0-160-0 Kmph) run in less than 20 seconds. When Jaguar XJ did that, people thought that’s it. Then, again things got faster. And after numerous attempts the feat achieved by a Half-Race/Half-Road Car, Caterham R500 was set to 12.3 seconds. And since then, no Car, no Supercar, no Hypercar could eclipse that feat. It was a Bold statement written, that no Road Car can ever break the sub 10 second jinx. Since it is not at all Possible. It was Impossible.
Until Bugatti Veyron arrived at the scene. Veyron Came, Saw and Conquered. Veyron simply dashed away all the so-called myths and jinx and every other handicapped terms. In the recently conducted Topgear event for this 0-100-0 Mph Run, Veyron shattered every record in the History to record a time of 9.90 Seconds. In a world where every Nanosecond counts a magnum leap, this performance had a tremendous Impact.

Another feature of Veyron is that it's Spoiler automatically rises at the Speed excess of 120 Kmph, and it gets down automatically below 80 Kmph; so does the Car's Ground Clearance. However, this can be Overridden also.
But, to achieve the Top Speed, you need to insert a Special Second Key, that comes in a Special Box. Prior to inserting this, the Engineers recommend, you should check, the Road is clear enough & there is not any significant bends. Without this Key, the Veyron will be limited to a blistering 370 kmph. Upon inserting this second key, the Spoiler goes down, the car hunkers down as if the entire body gets as low and slippery as possible (the down force of 350 Kg is reduced to only 50 Kg at this moment.). The Veyron will be ready for the V-Max run at this point. This second key lets Veyron run up to its Top Speed.

Next comes the highly acclaimed breaking 250 Mph (400 Kmph) barrier in a Road Car. Although lots of other Cars have tried to reach that, but that figure seemed impossible. Again Veyron illustrated a path breaking triumph. The Top Speed is actually electronically limited to 253.8 Mph (408.5 Kmph), as the Constructors are confident of reaching that speed Easily & Safely. Later, other cars may cross the barrier as Veyron did (in fact SSC Aero reached 256 Mph, and modified Veyrons have crossed excess of 300 Mph), but that will cost them their last of the available Resources they can accumulate.

With 8 Litre (7993 cc) W16 Engine (2 V8 Engines fused together) and 4 Turbochargers obviously Veyron's Boot space is not a thing to boast about, still there is enough space to put a Golf Bag in. That means a lot for a Car of such magnificient performance. Obviously with Engine and Turbochargers that much powerful, you will need some Radiators to cool them. And Veyron has them in plenty. The Bugatti Veyron has a total of 10 Radiators.
3 Radiators for the Engine Cooling System. 1 Heat Exchanger for the Air-to-Liquid Intercoolers. 2 for the Air Conditioning System. 1 Transmission Oil Radiator. 1 Differential Oil Radiator. 1 Engine Oil Radiator. 1 Hydraulic Oil Radiator for the Spoiler.

The Veyron's Brakes use Cross-drilled, Radially-vented Carbon Fibre-reinforced Silicon Carbide (C/SiC) Composite Discs, manufactured by SGL Carbon, which have a much greater resistance to brake fade when compared with conventional Cast Iron Discs. The aluminium alloy monobloc brake calipers are made by AP Racing; the fronts have eight Titanium pistons and the rear calipers have six pistons. Bugatti claims maximum deceleration of 1.3 G on Road tyres. As an added safety feature, in the event of brake failure, an ABS System has also been installed on the Handbrake (apart from the normal installation). At speeds above 124 mph (200 km/h), the rear wing also acts as an Airbrake, snapping to a 55-degree angle in 0.4 seconds once brakes are applied, providing 0.68 G (4.9 m/s²) of deceleration (equivalent to the stopping power of an ordinary hatchback). Bugatti claims the Veyron will brake from 400 km/h (250 mph) to a standstill in less than 10 seconds (Again the best in the segment).
Bugatti has also provided specially developed Tyres by Michelin for the 20" Wheels.

So, having everything together, 1001 Bhp, 250 Mph, 4 Wheel Drive, Fastest Acceleration & Fastest Deceleration, Easy Drivability, Driver Comfort etc. was the real challenge. That too all of these in a single Product. Bugatti Veyron is the success of Humanity & its Scientific excellence, over the so-called "Impossible". It is like pushing the outside of an envelope. All of the mentioned attributes could have individual winners pretty easily, but when the winner takes all moment comes, only one name remains to look out for - Bugatti Veyron. It remains the Ultimate No-Compromise Innovation in Human History.

There are a lot of Supercars that go really fast, like the 'SSC Aero Ultimate TT', 'Koenigsegg CCX', 'Ultima GTR', 'Pagani Zonda F' which all go blisteringly Fast. However, the biggest difference that puts the Veyron a league ahead is, not only what it does, but also how it does. The Numbers that Veyron have are all staggering, but beyond that there is something else also, which makes the Veyron's achievement truly mind-blowing. All the other Supercars need too much of attention, too much of respect, and they need a profesionally trained driver to extract the maximum possible from the Car ... This is actually where the Veyron stands out. It gives the same performance with almost an equal ease and panache to the less skilled Millionaire Bugatti owner as it would give to a professionally trained focussed driver. The Veyron driver would need much less skill at his disposal to stamp his authority. The Car is so very Brilliant that, it will take care of what its Driver is intending to do, without much of a problem. Veyron is always very easy and composed, be it at 60 Kmph or 360 Kmph, and it is never complaining. Any Driver with a significant knowledge on the Car can actually get the maximum possible performance in a Bugatti Veyron, where in any other Supercar thay can't even dream about that. Veyron signifies 'Power in Abundance', and does that in Style !!!!!

Those who are looking for the Technical Stories and the Performance Facts, here it goes :- The Veyron features a W16 engine — 16 cylinders in two banks of eight cylinders, or the equivalent of two narrow-angle V8 engines mated in a "W" configuration. Each cylinder has 4 valves for a total of 64, but the narrow staggered 8 configuration allows two camshafts to drive two banks of cylinders so only 4 camshafts are needed. The engine is fed by four turbochargers and displaces 8.0 L (7,993 cc/488 cu in) with a square 86 mm by 86 mm (3.4 in × 3.4 in) bore and stroke. The transmission consists of a dual-clutch Direct-Shift Gearbox computer-controlled manual gearbox with seven gear ratios, with magnesium paddles behind the steering wheel and a shift time of less than 150 milliseconds. This is designed and manufactured by Ricardo of England (and not Borg-Warner who designed the 6-speed DSG used in the mainstream marques of the Volkswagen Group). The Veyron can be driven as a full automatic transmission. It also features full-time four-wheel drive, utilising the Haldex Traction system. It uses special Michelin run-flat tyres, designed specifically for the Veyron to accommodate its top speed, which reportedly cost $25,000 US per set. Curb weight is 2,034.8 kg (4,486 lb). This gives the car a power to weight ratio, according to Volkswagen's 1001 bhp estimate, of 446.3 bhp per ton (not a Winner for the first time apart from Fuel Efficiency). The car's wheelbase is 2710 mm (106.7 in). Overall length is 4462 mm (175.7 in), width 1998 mm (78.7 in) and height 1204 mm (47.4 in).

The upcoming "Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 Grand Sport"

Some interesting fact about Veyron, is that while developing the Cars, the Engineers wanted to test the Aerodynamics in the 'Sauber F1 Wind Tunnel'. When they explained their requirement, Sauber officials politely said, "Sorry, but we don't actually reach that kind of speed in Formula 1". Another funny fact is that a Veyron can beat a Mclaren F1 Supercar (the Fastest Supercar with normal Engine) which has been given a Head-start at 160 Kmph (compared to Veyron's Standstill start), within less than 15 seconds.
In late 2001, Bugatti announced that the car, officially called the "Bugatti Veyron 16.4", would go into production in 2003. Taking great pride in the making of the Veyron, the production plant (where cars are also ordered) is affectionately called the "Atelier" which means an artists workroom.
Bugatti announced the production of a targa top version, called Grand Sport. The car was unveiled at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on August 15, 2008, with production set to begin in spring 2009. The Grand Sport comes with small tweaks to the windshield and running lights, and two removable tops. The second is a temporary roof fashioned after an umbrella and inspired by pictures of classic Bugatti racers with umbrellas in hand. The Grand Sport can reach 408 km/h (254 mph) with the hardtop in place, the same top speed as the coupé version. With no roof the top speed is limited to 367 km/h (228 mph), and to 130 km/h (81 mph) with the temporary soft roof. The Grand Sport has extensive reinforcement beyond the standard Veyron, including carbon fiber doors, hoops, intake faces; carbon-fibre enclosed transmission tunnel.

OnBBC Top Gear the car has received considerable praise from all 3 presenters. 'Jeremy Clarkson' declared the Veyron "the greatest piece of engineering ever. No, I'm sorry, this is the greatest car ever made and the greatest car we will ever see in our lifetime." 'James May' proclaimed that the Veyron is "our concorde moment". To review the car, Clarkson drove from Alba, northern Italy to London whilst racing 'James May' and 'Richard Hammond' who were travelling in a 'Cessna 182' aeroplane. During the race Clarkson attempted to get an insurance quote on the car, but none of the companies he tried knew what the car was. During the second episode of the 13th season, Richard Hammond raced the Veyron against the McLaren F1 driven by 'The Stig' in a one mile drag race, commenting on the pinnacle of Bugatti's "amazing technical achievement" versus the "non-gizmo" racing purity of the F1. While the F1 was quicker off the line the Bugatti overtook its competitor during the climb from 200 to 300km/h, and emerged the victor.

For all of you who are still in confusion or numbness or those who are simply awestruck by Veyron's Magnificience, here is an Article written by well known presenter of BBC Topgear, 'James May'.

'Forget the hype, the world's most powerful car has landed...'
Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4

0-100 Km/hr @ 2.46 Secs; 1001 Bhp @ 6000 Rpm; 1250 Nm @ 3300 Rpm; 408.47 Km/hr.
4Wheel Drive; Quad-Turbocharged 7993 cc W16. 0-160-0 @ 9.90 Secs.


The first thing that struck me about the Bugatti Veyron was not, fortunately, the Bugatti Veyron itself. But only just.

I was standing in the middle of the small and deliberately darkened hotel courtyard when a German voice in the darkness advised me to move, 'schnell'.

The Veyron swept in and I narrowly avoided becoming the first person in history to be run over by a road car developing more than 1,000 horsepower.

That would have put me up there with that bloke who fell under the wheels of Stephenson's Rocket.

Then the lights came on, to subdued cheering, and something else struck me. The Veyron is not ridiculous.

Whenever manufacturers talk of a money-no-object ultra car, I brace myself for a welter of carbon-fibre fatuousness and broken front air dams: but here was something quite classy looking.

I still think the Bugatti grille at the front is an aberration, and it seems odd that the engine is mounted outside, like it is on a Morgan three-wheeler.

Obviously it isn't for the shy and retiring, but neither does it look like a monument to excess. It's taut, stubby and most shapely.

By the standards of its coevals it's positively discreet, and comes in a Royale-style two-tone paint job, as befitting 'the fastest car on earth with comfort you would not believe.'

Even the interior is perfectly agreeable. A bit bling, maybe, but at least made from proper materials and not plastered with pseudo space-age trim.

The controls really do fall easily to hand, even if the arse falls rather clumsily across the wide sill and into the 'sports' seat. A 'luxury' seat is available for the less committed.

I'm not sure which is the most significant of the three Top Trumps figures attending all talk of the Veyron: one million euros, 1,000 horsepower, or 400kmh.

They're all winners, unless you play the traditional 'price is low' rule, in which case the Bugatti can be won with almost anything in your hand, even the Pagani Zonda Roadster.

One million euros? That's as near as makes no difference (at least to the sort of people with that much money to spend on what is probably - let's be honest here - a second car) £700,000.

But it will be made in small numbers, to order, and the attainment of great personal wealth is not really Volkswagen's concern. The other two numerical attributes have been very much their concern, and for a long time.
"Why should it be easy?" boss Piech is reputed to have retorted when Volkswagen's engineers complained that it was all too difficult. Why indeed? Brunel didn't achieve what he did just by smoking cigars.

A thousand horsepower in itself is actually not remarkable, either. It's been available in aero engines since before the war, and is a fairly simple matter of burning fuel at a sufficient rate, since fuel is where the power comes from.

Achieving it in a 'relatively small' eight-litre car engine is another matter (just so you know, the 1,030hp Rolls-Royce Merlin in a MkI Hawker Hurricane was a 27-litre V12) and keeping it cool is yet another one.

The Veyron might be nudging 200mph-plus around a circuit, but it might be sitting in a traffic jam.

One outcome of the cooling issue is that over its six-model evolution, the number of radiators in a Veyron has grown to 10, or one more than I have in my house (which, oddly, is always freezing cold).

Accommodating all these has meant that there is now virtually no luggage space in the front, but then, as Ettore Bugatti himself might once have said, this car was made to go, not to shop.

Here's another interesting conundrum for purveyors of 1,000hp cars. The 'power tolerance' of a VW engine is five per cent, which is all but irrelevant in a 1.2 Polo but in a Veyron gives a variation of some 50bhp, or the total output of the basic one-litre Lupo.

So it's been designed such that the least you will get is 1,001 horses. You might be lucky and get 1,050. Wahey!

But it's a bit academic, to be honest. Power is merely the rate of doing work, and 1,000bhp is the maximum power available.

As well as a rev counter, the Veyron has a horsepower meter, graduated in hundreds, and the most I saw in a day of driving was just under 900 and for about half-a-second at that.

The ability to do work comes from torque, and power is merely the product of torque and engine speed.
The more impressive figure is 922 lb-ft or 1250 N-m, but that's not so satisfying to a culture that craves round figures - despite having stormed to pop success with 99 Red Balloons.

No, the really impressive bit is the claimed 400kmh. In fact the Veyron is electronically limited (I kid you not) to 407.5kmh, since that is the speed its makers have been confident of achieving in testing.

If you want to go faster than that, you'll just have to resort to the Demon Tweaks catalogue. 407.5kmh, that's 253.20827 of our British miles per hour.

Consider that our one-litre Lupo will do 94mph with just 50bhp, and that the new Porsche 911S needs 355bhp to do slightly less than twice that, and you will begin to understand the magnitude of Volkswagen's achievement.

The problem is that aerodynamic drag increases as the square of the car's speed and, more significantly, that the power needed to overcome it increases as the cube of the speed.

To put it in simple terms, the Bugatti engineers reckon that every km/hr over the target 400 required, in effect, another 8bhp. So the extra 7.5kmh required the power found in a small hatchback. And that had to be found in the existing engine. They weren't allowed to put another one in.

But again, I'm afraid, it's all a bit theoretical. In its normal configuration, the Bugatti Veyron does a piffling 370kmh, or 229.9069mph.

A down force of 350kg sees to that, since down-force, like lift, can only be achieved at the cost of induced aerodynamic drag. For a Vmax run, a second, special key must be inserted.

This changes the parameters of the computers controlling the variable rear wing and the underbody diffusers, and reduces down force to just 50kg. This must only be done on a road with no bends, a Bugatti engineer tells me, earnestly.

But, inevitably, there are still issues. The low rolling resistance of the specially developed Michelin tyres - 365mm section at the back, and bigger than even the Countach's fabled back boots - are said to contribute some 15kmh to the top speed quest.

But they cannot do it for long. Maybe 15 minutes. After that, they might disintegrate, and they cost £1,200 each.

Then again, at maximum speed the Veyron is consuming a litre per kilometer, so with luck you'll run out of petrol first. And at 407.5kmh, think how far you'll go in 15 minutes. I'll tell you - it's 63.302067 miles.

However, you have to go to Australia's Nullabor Plain to find a dead straight road that long, and at that speed a stray kangaroo is going to attain the permanence of York Minster.

Even a 0-400kmh-0 run needs a 2.8-mile stretch. Empty, ideally. And people think my Boxster is unusable in the real world.

But here's the real bombshell, and which I've deliberately saved until now. And I'm not quite sure how to say it. Um. It doesn't actually feel that quick.

Not like a Noble M12 or a Ferrari F430. Third-gear acceleration in those cars is like being inside the football at kick-off. But in the Veyron it's more of a hefty shove, more indomitable than shocking.

It's a torquey car with a relatively low redline of 6,500rpm that thunders rather than screams.

A weight of almost two tons doesn't help and neither does turbocharging, which, no matter how many of them you've got, doesn't give the instant crack of a normal engine.

Don't misunderstand me; it's certainly not tardy, it's just that I was expecting my face to peel away and end up all over the rear window. But I've still got it. It's an easy car to operate.

The DSG gearbox - a twin-clutch job like the Audi TT's - works superbly via fingertip controls. The pedal offset is not too debilitating. The ride is a bit hard over sharp bumps but the seats are good, the air conditioner works and there's a radio. My complaints are all predictable ones.

Firstly, there are huge blind spots. One is created by the otherwise excellent door mirrors, which perfectly obscure the road through tight bends.

And trying to look over your shoulder at an angled junction is like relying on David Blunkett to tell you if anything's coming.

You really need to send a man ahead with a red flag. Finally, at two meters it's just too wide. Anything much wider than a 911 becomes intimidating on the winding roads where you want to drive a really powerful car.

It may have 1,001 horsepower but, at times, half of it feels rendered useless by girth.

So in many ways the Veyron is a dinosaur, prey to the same deficiencies that have rendered so many of its forebears virtually extinct; the way the pursuit of ultimate power and speed generates weight, bulk and complexity until the whole philosophy implodes into uselessness.

But at the same time it is a marvellous and very special thing. Maybe one to be appreciated on an intellectual rather than practical level, much in the same way that no one actually eats caviar to stay alive.

It's a great technical achievement: the world's fastest car, which is still pretty conclusive in any pub debate.

Over a decade ago, in the era of the F1, the Ferrari F40 and the fated Jaguar XJ220, people were saying that the era of the supercar had passed, that the point had been made, in the way it had been with the moon landings.

But it wasn't over then. And, I suspect, it's still not over now. Good.

James May, BBC Topgear            December 2005


Finally let us now put everything together. To put the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 into perspective -- hey, who am I kidding? How can you put a 1,001-horsepower, $1.3 Million Supercar into perspective?

To call it Gorgeous, Fast, Outrageous simply isn't adequate.

To suggest you can buy 139 Chevrolet Aveos, a subcompact built in South Korea, or one Bugatti Veyron, a two-door monster-on-wheels built in France, somehow cheapens the whole experience of driving one.

Most of us mortal won't get a chance to experience one in our Lifetime, forget owning one. So, we won't be able to tell you how is like the pride of ownership. We can only speculate, all the crowd alike oggling in awe, when the owner of the Veyron slowly pass them with a mild chuckle in a corner of his lips. It is like, announcing to the world, that currently no one can even come anywhere near to me without my approval.

You can ask the Man who delivers the Veyron to its proud owners. Parked outside Silicon Valley Auto Group in Los Gatos, would be Two-tone painted Veyrons like the Gentle Giant looking silently at you. Holding the keys would be Butch Leitzinger, a 37-year-old race-car driver who has won the 24-hour race at Daytona three times. Here, he said, his role is of a "car protector". He drives the car for potential buyers, and then switches to the passenger seat to assure that nothing untoward happens to it.

And this is a car that needs protecting. It's unbelievably rare, and much regarded. So far, around 80 orders have been placed for it in the United States, and Thirty-five have been delivered there. Initially it was planned by Volkswagen, that only 300 Veyrons will be manufactured in Total. However, the overwhelming response made them bring out some of the Special Edition Veyron as well, namely :- 'Bugatti Veyron Pur Sang', 'Bugatti Veyron Fbg par Hermès', 'Bugatti Veyron Sang Noir', 'Bugatti Veyron Bleu Centenaire', 'Bugatti Veyron Linea Vincerò Mansory', 'Bugatti Veyron Sang Bleu' & the 'Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 Grand Sport' (this one is going to be a Production Targa-Top Roadster).

Mostly hand-built, the Veyron is part Rocket Ship and part Concours Classic Car. It has a long, sloping hood. Two air inlets sit aside its massive rear engine. The cabin is cozy, with cocoon-like leather seats. It has a classy analog clock, and a finely patterned metallic console.

Volkswagen has pulled off the ultimate trick in automotive world, yet stayed behind the curtains in a subtle manner. Everything about Veyron announces it out loud, that "I am the Best". It is the most extreme thing imaginable. But it is a gentle giant. It is never harsh on its owner. It balances each and every aspect so beautifully, that induces respect. It is so beautiful, yet it has maintained its aesthetic point as anyone can instantly identify its Bugatti origin. This subtlety makes Bugatti such an enigmatic product.
There are only a few cars out there today that has such technical sophistication like this one. It has a look that’s quite unorthodox, yet strangely appealing.

Truly the Car of the Dreams ... Great !!!!!

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