Bugatti – World’s Expensive Car, $1.4-million – 1001 HP!
DETROIT introduced a $1.4 million 1001 horsepower monster at this sagging economy. Leather from cattle raised in special high-altitude pastures.
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport roadster is less a car than a visit to an alternative reality. The Grand Sport roadster is new for 2009, part of Bugatti’s 100th anniversary.
The 16-cylinder engine produces more power than a small tugboat. It could push a barge of rice up the Mississippi, except the Veyron would exhaust its 26.4-gallon gas tank in about seven minutes at wide-open throttle.
|How much gas is that?|
* 1,000 horsepower is equivalent to roughly 2.6 billion joules per hour. A gallon (3.8 liters) of gasoline contains 132 million joules, so a 1,000-hp engine has to be able to burn just over 20 gallons of gasoline per hour.
It’s a frighteningly fast car, but as easy to drive as a Ford Taurus. It justifies its existence both by testing new technologies for the Volkswagen Group and by generating a waiting list of orders complete with deposit that have the factory fully booked for more than a year.
Bugatti has delivered 200 Veyron 16.4 coupes since production began in late 2005. The total model run is capped at 300. Bugatti has orders with deposits taken for an additional 50. It takes about a month to build a Veyron in Bugatti’s factory in Molsheim, France.
The engine is still the rather impressive 8.0lt quad-turbo W16 unit and it’s still producing only 1001hp (come on Bugatti – do something more – just kidding – just kidding!) which is of course more than enough to give the car the title of the most powerful production car ever. How much torque I hear you asking? Well that has now been revealed and it is an amazing 922lb.ft available all the way from 2200 to 5500 rpm (wow – that reminds me of the 1.8T Volkswagen/Audi engine and its impressive torque curve – I guess this is a bit more powerful though!).
The gearbox has “something” to say as well: It’s a 7-speed sequential with… two clutches (haven’t heard of this before…). One clutch is used for 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th gear while the other one is used for 2nd, 4th and 6th. As one clutch is always engaged and the other is always open, the system opens the driving clutch as it closes the “new” one that will engage the next gear. The result? You don’t feel a loss of power at all despite the gear change taking 0.2 seconds to complete!
The performance figures sound – at least – scary! Accelerating to 186mph will only take 14 seconds! Top speed will reach (under certain conditions like the use of the right tyres) 252 mph (yes – that’s more than 400km/h!).
Bugatti will build 150 Grand Sports, which are nearly identical to the coupe except for a removable targa top.
The Grand Sports are reserved for Bugatti customers who are coming back for seconds.
One potential buyer stopped by Bugatti of Troy, Mich., recently to take a Grand Sport out for a spin.
That anonymous high-roller was treated to four turbochargers that whistle like a taxiing Boeing 747 and creamy leather on virtually every surface. Bugatti buys leather from cattle raised in Austrian Alpine meadows, above the elevation where mosquitoes, wasps and other biting insects live.
Bug bites on cows, you see, can lead to blemishes on leather. Bugatti doesn’t do blemishes.
It does help VW move technologies from the race track and the luxury rack to the company’s mainstream brands. The Veyron’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is both seamlessly smooth and closely related to the racing gearboxes VW’s Audi brand used to dominate the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The stability control system may be the only one in the world that has been tested to make sure it keeps the car safe and stable at 186 miles an hour.
The Veyron accelerates to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds, and its massive carbon-ceramic brakes bring it back to a standstill in just 2.3.
The top speed is 253 mph. Small problems can become fatal failures very quickly at that speed, so Bugatti’s sales contract warns owners their car will arrive with up to 310 miles on the odometer.
Every car gets a test-drive of at least 220 miles to check every system. Bugatti wraps the cars in plastic to protect the paint and replaces the wheels and tires before the car goes to its owner.
So really, it’s $1.4 million for a lightly used car. With no cup holders, incidentally.
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