×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Formula 1 Hummer

Priced at $1.2 mil, the Bugatti Veyron is one hot ride

Bugatti president Thomas Bscherhas begun production on the world’s fastest, most powerful and costliest car in history — the $1.2 million Veyron 16.4, with 1001 horsepower and a top speed of 252 mph.

Dream come true or prophet of doom? For Bugatti, it remains to be seen.

The company attemped the world’s ultimate luxury ride once before with the Royale; three were sold. An eight-cylinder, 300-horsepower jewel, it arrived just in time for the Great Depression.

Certainly, the Veyron is styled to evoke the era of Ettore Bugatti’s original dream car; even the floor is leather.

The interior is “almost Art Deco,” says Alistair Stewart, Bugatti’s head of sales and marketing. It’s being made in Molsheim, France, where the very first Bugatti was built in 1910.

However, unlike the Royale, Veyron is backed by Europe’s largest carmaker, and Volkswagen plans to sell just 300 over five years.

Of course, anyone willing to pay $1.2 million for a car isn’t paying much attention to prices at the pump. However, after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, there may be social ramifications to driving a car that burns a staggering 1.3 gallons of gas per minute.

Says Stewart: “I cannot tell you it’s environmentally friendly.”

It’s with a similar flair for understatement that Bugatti’s press materials make the following claim: “The driver reaches the decision to take the Bugatti Veyron beyond 234 mph after making a thorough check of the safety situation.”

Well, no kidding, fella. A car that goes from zero to 60 in three seconds ain’t the one you learn on.

Bugatti is so concerned about leadfooted drivers that, in order to access its top speed of 252 mph, a driver must turn a second ignition key, located to the left of the driver’s seat. The words “Top Speed” then appear in the cockpit display. (Think twice about handing this key to valets at The Grill.)

A computer-controlled hydraulic system even regulates ground clearance. After reaching 137 mph, the car knows you probably need some help keeping it together and the chassis lowers automatically.

Bugatti’s engineers have given a fair amount of thought to stopping the car, too. Veyron’s features include an an aerofoil that’s deployed from the car’s derriere, not unlike a dragster’s parachute. However, it’s only employed after a certain brake pedal pressure has been exceeded — for example, when you notice the six or seven CHP officers behind you.

What could they want?

Over the top? Bugatti’s never heard of such a thing. No matter where you look, the Veyron is ready to exceed all expectations.

The Engine
Claim to fame: 8 liters, 16 cylinders, 64 valves, powered by four turbochargers; produces 1,250 Nm (922 ft-lbs.) of torque. A dry sump lubrication system stores oil outside the engine.
Compare to: Formula 1; Bugatti borrows the technology.

The Transmission
Claim to fame: Seven gears and a dual clutch. Computer-controlled clutch disks mean no clutch pedal or shift lever and it shifts gears in 0.2 seconds.
Compare to: Formula 1; the gearboxes are similar.

The Tires
Claim to fame: 9.5 inches wide at the front, 14.4 inches in the rear and can run flat for about 125 miles at 50 mph, which is why there’s no spare.
Compare to: None; they’re the widest ever produced for a passenger car.

The Body
Claim to fame: 79 inches wide, 179 inches long and 48 inches high
Compare to: A Hummer H2. It’s just two inches slimmer, but a full ton lighter thanks to carbon fiber.

More Scene

  • CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 19: Robert

    Robert Pattinson Helps HFPA Donate $500,000 to Refugee Organization at Cannes Event

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association proved in Cannes Sunday night that the Golden Globes aren’t the only festive bash it can pull off each year. At the glamorous Nikki Beach party held in association with Participant Media, the HFPA donated $500,000 to international aid organization Help Refugees. Co-hosts Robert Pattinson and Helen Mirren along with Quentin [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Alexis Martin Woodall, Ryan

    Peabody Winners Talk Empowered Women and Social Justice Challenges on Red Carpet

    The theme on the red carpet at the 78th annual Peabody Awards? Empowering women. On Saturday, Peabody winners gathered at Cipriani Wall Street, and one of the hot topics on everyone’s mind was the wave of female empowerment spreading across the industry. From Peabody’s Career Achievement Award recipient Rita Moreno to shows like ‘Killing Eve’ [...]

  • CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 18:

    Cannes: Robert Pattinson, Shailene Woodley Attend Starry Vanity Fair Party

    It’s true what they say about Batman being a loner. On Saturday night, Robert Pattinson made his first public appearance since being cast as the new Dark Knight at this year’s Vanity Fair Party at the Cannes Film Festival. But while all the other A-list guests mingled and worked the crowd at the restaurant of [...]

  • Taron Egerton Cannes Film Festival 2019

    Taron Egerton Addresses ‘Rocketman’ Comparisons to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ Takes Subtle Jab at Bryan Singer

    Taron Egerton says that he’s flattered by comparisons between his Elton John musical “Rocketman” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” last year’s smash hit about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. “I’m proud that we’re mentioned in the same breath,” says Egerton, who plays John in the upcoming “Rocketman,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to a five-minute standing [...]

  • Ethan Hawke, Bobby Cannavale and Griffin

    BAM Gala Marks Leadership Change, Celebrates Brooklyn as 'Cultural Center of New York'

    Wednesday’s annual gala celebrating the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) served as a poignant moment of transition for the New York stalwart of contemporary performance. As long-time artistic director Joe Melillo, who along with Harvey Lichtenstein transformed BAM into a vanguard of progressive art, prepares to pass the torch to new leadership, gathered patrons and [...]

  • Dua Lipa Tom Jones

    Dua Lipa and Tom Jones to Perform at amfAR's Cannes Gala (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety‘s Marc Malkin is on the scene at the Cannes Film Festival. Get the scoop on all the news, parties and more straight from the Croisette below. AmfAR’s upcoming Cannes gala is shaping up quite nicely. Sources tell Variety that the evening will feature performances by Dua Lipa and Tom Jones. And they’re not the only [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content