Manhattan Bugatti Veyron near Westport
The Bugatti Veyron (officially named the Veyron 16.4) is the world’s most powerful sports car. With its 16-cylinder engine, the Veyron can develop 1001 horsepower, a level unmatched by any other supercar. Power alone will not make a sports car a classic, and Veyron proves its place in the class with extraordinary engineering design, aerodynamics and styling.
First, we must describe the power plant of this amazing vehicle. The massive 16-cylinder engine is mated to four-wheel drive for maximum grip on the roadway during acceleration. The amazing part of the engine design is that much of the horsepower is held in reserve. At 150 mph, only about 280 horsepower is required to maintain that speed. The result is over two-thirds of the engine waits for the driver to press the accelerator, launching the supercar to speeds only realized in race cars.
Coupled to this engine is the 7-speed direct shift automatic gearbox with a double clutch system. Shift times between gears up or down is less than 150 milliseconds. Along with gear ratios that allow such extreme speeds, the Veyron is also equipped with electronic launch technology used in Formula 1 racing cars. Less than a minute is needed to take the Veyron from a standstill to top speed. The driver engages launch control, puts the car in gear, holds the brake with the left foot, and fully presses the accelerator with the right foot. When the drive releases the brake, the Veyron will accelerate at a par with any Formula 1 car.
This extraordinary speed would be uncontrollable without proper body and suspension design. Bugatti has truly broken engineering barriers in its innovative design for keeping the Veyron firmly attached to terra firma at all times. They use a combination of body modes to create adequate downforce at all times. At lower speeds (for a Veyron) of below 140 mph, the rear spoiler is fully retracted and the nose is kept at normal height. Above that speed, called handling mode, the rear spoiler is deployed and the nose is lowered to create over 750 pounds of downforce without compromising handling.
Finally there is top speed, a mode selected before the Veyron engine is started. Once chosen, the front diffuser flaps are closed to create a perfectly level underbody, and the rear spoiler is aligned with the chassis. The downforce is not increased further, to prevent additional strain on the Veyron’s specially designed tires. Steering is limited to a small correction range, with the assumption that the driver is reaching top speed on a long straight stretch of road. The Veyron will remain in this mode until the brakes are depressed when it reverts automatically to handling mode.
Although the Veyron can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds, it can brake faster than that, with tests showing 60-0 mph stops in 2.3 seconds. Above certain speeds, the rear spoiler also automatically deploys at a 55-degree angle for air braking. The high-tech composition of carbon, ceramics, and titanium, coupled with 8-piston front and 6-piston rear calipers, can withstand extremely high temperatures for high-speed or repeated braking, and brake fade from heated brakes is virtually eliminated.
Putting 1001 horsepower in a brick would not permit top speeds over 250 mph. The Veyron uses an exotic combination of titanium, carbon fiber, aluminum, and magnesium to make each part as light as possible. Even the weight of the valve caps was considered and reduced by using magnesium. Safety has not been compromised — the carbon fiber crash cell is designed to absorb extreme forces, in the same way, Formula 1 cars are designed. The crash design is so innovative, only front airbags are used in the Veyron since additional airbags were felt to be redundant.
The electronic brain of the Veyron takes its cues from aviation electronic bus systems. A total of 26 control devices are connected through this electronic bus or network. The diagnostic system monitors the vehicle at all times and will broadcast alerts directly to Bugatti from anywhere in the world should a defect occur. Of course, the driver also has access to hands-free Bluetooth® connectivity, satellite navigation, and the superb Burmester audio system. Data are displayed on the rearview mirror, and many parameters are also accessible through the exclusive Bugatti PDA.
All this talk of power and technology cannot minimize Bugatti’s passion for design and beauty. The Veyron has classic sports car lines, impeccable finishes on surfaces, and the correct proportions to make it pleasing to the eye. The distinctive radiator grill and hand-enameled Bugatti emblem leave no doubt you are in control of one of the world’s greatest cars.
You have the means, the panache, and the desire to own the world’s premiere vehicle. What are you waiting for? Come to Manhattan Motorcars, and tell us how the Bugatti Veyron is your answer to the dream of a perfect super sports car.
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