The Bugatti Veyron is no more. Whether you loved it as a technological marvel or hated it as a passionless robot with equally passionless drivers (and popular opinion seems to be the latter), you cannot deny it as one of the most advanced cars ever made. Here are eight things you didn’t know about the Bugatti Veyron.
1. The front grille was originally made of aluminum. However, that did not bode well for Veyrons during high-speed testing. It turns out that bird strikes are as big an issue for Veyrons as they are for planes. Grilles were thereafter made of titanium to meet bird strike standards and ensure that flying foes and other critters “arrive as French fries” - Bugatti’s words, not mine.
2. The Bugatti coined “power meter” indicates how much horsepower is being used at any given point. It shows that 270 hp is needed to hit 155 mph in the Veyron. The remaining 731 hp is needed to reach 253 mph.
3. Veyrons could be ordered with several options from the factory including one carat diamond studded speedometer and power needles. Each diamond was cut with sixteen facets - one for each of the sixteen cylinders. How popular was this option? I cannot find a single picture of one such optioned car on the entire Internet.
4. Reaching 253 mph in a Veyron is more complicated than just finding a long enough stretch of road. To reach speeds greater than 234 mph, a second “Top Speed” key must be inserted on the floor beside the driver seat prior to startup. Upon turning the key, the ride height is lowered to 2.5 inches, the spoiler angle is reduced to 2 degrees, the front diffuser flaps are closed, and the steering wheel turn is limited.
5. If the average turbocharged engine, by nature, gets hot, it’s pretty safe to say that an engine made of two mated W8s and four turbochargers gets really hot. In fact, in 2001, the first Veyron engine underwent full throttle testing and produced enough heat to ignite the facility’s rooftop exhaust system nearly burning the building down. Later, driving a test mule at 200 mph resulted in six-foot-long exhaust flames. Whereas Lamborghini seems to celebrate their flames, Bugatti revamped the cooling system and created a titanium exhaust to do away with the “illegal” flames.
6. The Veyron has the highest operating costs of any production car. Some owners are reporting annual costs as much as $300,000. The Michelin Pilot Sport 2s featuring a Veyron-specific compound cost $42,000 per set; Bugatti recommends owners change them every 2,500 miles. After 10,000 miles, Bugatti recommends that the wheels are changed at a cost of $69,000. Oil changes cost $21,000. The average owner pays $2,500 per month to insure their Veyron. There are even mandatory annual detailing services totaling around $10,000. You may now start to see why the average Veyron owner has enough money for three jets, one yacht, and eighty-four cars.
Even the rich and famous struggle to justify these costs. Rapper T-Pain recently sold his Veyron. Rather than footing the $90,000 bill to replace a punctured radiator, he simply sold his Veyron for $1 million and used the money to buy a Ferrari 458, a McLaren MP4-12C, and a Lamborghini Aventador. Another owner reportedly has his Veyron trailered to desirable driving locations while he follows in his private jet to reduce mileage and run costs.
7. Though it seemed more evident towards the end, we all know that Bugatti employed the help of special editions to facilitate sales throughout the Veyron’s life. How many special editions and marketable one-offs were there in total? By my count, there were thirty-four. Seriously. They are included below.
2007: Veyron Pur Sang, Veyron Pegaso 2008: Veyron Fbg Par Hermes, Veyron Sang Noir 2009: Veyron Blue Centenaire, Veyron Grand Sport Sang Bleu 2010: Veyron Nocturne, Veyron Grand Sport Grey Carbon, Veyron Grand Sport Royal Dark Blue, Veyron Grand Sport Soleil de Nuit, Veyron Sang d’Argent, Veyron Grand Sport Sang Blanc, Veyron Super Sport World Record 2011: Veyron Grand Sport Bijan Pakzad, Veyron Grand Sport Matte White, Veyron Grand Sport Red Edition, Veyron Grand Sport L’or Blanc, Veyron Grand Sport Middle East Edition, Veyron Super Sport Sang Noir, Veyron Super Sport Black Carbon, Veyron Super Sport Edition Merveilleux 2012: Veyron Grand Sport Wei Long Edition, Veyron Grand Sport Venet Edition, Veyron Grand Sport Brown Carbon, Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Bianco, Veyron Super Sport Le Saphir Bleu 2013: Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Lang Lang Edition, Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Jean-Pierre Wimille Legends Edition, Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Jean Bugatti Legends Edition, Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Meo Costantini Legends Edition 2014: Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Rembrandt Legends Edition, Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Black Bess Legends Edition, Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Ettore Bugatti Legends Edition 2015: Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse La Finale
8. Ferdinand Piëch is the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, a 10% share holder in Porsche, and previous chairman of the VW group. He is also largely responsible for the Veyron. Many years ago, he demanded 1,000 hp from a street car and was told it was impossible. He refused to believe it. 450 Veyrons later, I bet he’s still grinning.
The Veyron is a car that we love to hate. But we cannot allow this to take away from the fact that it is one of the most extraordinary cars ever built. I think Leno said it best. “This is their [Bugatti’s] version of going to the moon. This is the moon shot. He [Ferdinand Piëch] willed this car to be done, and they got it done.” The Veyron might not be the best value, the most driver oriented, or the best looking car on the road. It is, however, a revolutionary car in every way, and I cannot wait to see what Bugatti has in store for the Chiron.
Photo Credit: Bugatti/Serious Wheels, StuttCars