The 2015 Geneva Motor Show saw a number of notable cars such as the Ferrari 488 GTB, Koenigsegg Regera and the Lamborghini Aventador SV, however the most notable car was the Bugatti Veyron La Finale which sat next to the original Bugatti Veyron. Sitting next to each other they are the same car but are entire worlds apart and stand testimony to how technology and engineering have advanced and when both are mixed with money can achieve the impossible.
The Veyron took birth in the mind of Ferdinand Piëch, the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche who had worked on Porsche 917 and the modern Volkswagen Beetle. The Veyron concept which was shown in 2001 at the Frankfurt Motor show was deemed completely insane, so Volkswagen decided to build it with three main components i.e top speed above 400 kmph or 248 mph, a engine with 1,000 horsepower, 0 to 100 kmph in less than three seconds.
Although it Bugatti planned to build the Veyron,it was easier said than done. For aerodynamics Bugatti had to re-engineer the shape since the concept was unstable and hence had to use aircraft wind tunnels since F1 and GT3 are incapable of going over 350 kmph. Michelin had to develop special tyres that could handle 400 kmph without shredding themselves (which cost $25,000 a set) and Bugatti had to develop a engine stable enough to hold in 1001 bhp. As a result the Veyron was like no other car ever made. The engine develops so much heat that instead of one radiator, it has twelve. It has an air brake that alone produces the same stopping power as a Ford Fiesta. In order to do top speed, a special key needs to be entered which lowers the suspension and closes off chassis openings to reduce drag. Bird strikes during speed runs penetrated into the engine bay, so a new grille was made of titanium and capable of hitting animals and undergoing no damage at 250 mph. The drive train had to be 4WD since two wheels could not handle 1001 bhp and the double clutch gearbox had to be reinforced as well.
When the Veyron was launched in 2005, the entire world was simply astounded by the car since it was the most expensive, the fastest and the most exclusive car on the planet along with insane amounts of sheer brutality and brilliance, since it did 400 kmph at a time when others cars struggled to go over 330 kmph. However some deemed it heavy, expensive and ugly. But the Veyron was designed to be as light as possible, if it was lighter, the chassis would shear under the engine load and it was never designed to be aesthetic pleasant, but was designed to cut air through air 160 kmph faster than a Boeing 747 does during take off. The Veyron had a 8 litre W16 engine fitted with four turbochargers that produced 1001 bhp, along with 1250 Nm of torque. It has carbon ceramic brakes that will stop the car from 400kmph to 0 in under 10 seconds. Upon its launch the Veyron became the worlds fastest car averaging 408 kmph at the Ehra Lessien. It quickly became a symbol of ultimate wealth, power and luxury.
However its record was short lived, since the SSC Ultimate Aero TT broke its record by going at 412 kmph compared to the Veyron’s 408 kmph. This prompted Bugatti to develop a more faster version of the Veyron, the Super Sport. Bugatti pushed the enginer from 1000 bhp to 1200 bhp and the entire car was completely designed again from the ground up since going fast required more than just brute force. The Super Sport also is 50kg lighter than the standard Veyron. Like the standard Veyron, it hits 100 kmph in 2.5 seconds and 160 kmph in 4.5 seconds. At top speed it drinks 7.6 litres of fuel per minute while the radiator sucks 4 tons of air an hour while the car covers the entire length of a football field in 0.7 seconds. All this helped it average 431 kmph at the Ehra Lessien, taking back the title of the worlds fastest car.
On March 2; 2015 Bugatti sold the 450th Veyron, a Grand Sport Vitesse “La Finale” which will be the last Veyron. As its production run comes to an end, exactly ten years after it started the Veyron was designed without compromise, unlimited fundinf, and to go beyond any and al limits. Throught its production run Bugatti also produced special versions such as the 16.4, Grand Sport, Hermes, Grand Sport Vitessse and like wine they got better with time. As the Veyron had taken the record from the McLaren F1, another car will take it from the Veyron.. But the Veyron will always be considered as a car that made the impossible, possible.