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Blurring some fine scenery in a 1,001-horsepower car

Old 09-19-2006, 09:56 PM
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Default Blurring some fine scenery in a 1,001-horsepower car

This is an amazing car.


Blurring some fine scenery in a 1,001-horsepower car

Why did Volkswagen create the $1 million Bugatti Veyron? Because it could.


By John Tayman, Business 2.0
POSTED: 11:15 a.m. EDT, September 19, 2006

Greenwich, Conn. (Business 2.0) -- No car company sets out to make a $1.4 million automobile. It just sort of happens.

In this case it started happening in 1998, when Volkswagen purchased Bugatti and VW's chairman offhandedly remarked that he'd like a 1,000-hp car on which to affix this legendary name.

"It wasn't really a project, in the strictest sense, in the beginning," a Bugatti exec explained to me. "Everyone was just fiddling around."

By 2003, however, the fiddling had stopped and a team of 100 engineers had turned serious. In essence, Bugatti was attempting to create a pocket-size rocket ship, but one that was as drivable as a Jetta and as street-safe as a Golf.

Interestingly, horsepower "wasn't really the issue," the exec confided.

Bugatti managed to meet the chairman's goal by melding two V-8s, four camshafts, 64 valves, and four turbochargers into a titanium-laced W-16 engine, which they nestled like a nuclear bomb betwixt the Veyron's bucket seats and its rear axle.

Slip the jeweled key into the ignition, pause five seconds as fuel pumps spritz the 16 cylinder walls with high-test, and the engine ka-whomps to life, generating more than 1,500 kilowatts of energy (enough to power an average American home for a month) and emitting 1,000-degree-hot exhaust.

And therein lay Bugatti's biggest bugaboo: how to keep the car from melting into a pricey puddle of carbon fiber, stainless steel, and aluminum. Early prototypes utilized 27 radiators in the effort. (The current Veyron has but 10.)

Pedal to the metal
You might think that sitting with your back smack against such an engine would be unsettling, but it really isn't, since insulation renders it cool and quiet, and any sensible driver is already sufficiently freaked merely by the prospect of piloting the car.

Did I happen to mention that it does zero to 60 in 2.4 seconds? That you can give a McLaren F1 (the previous fastest road car) a head start to 120 mph and still beat it to 200? That, in theory, you could drive the Veyron from Canada to Mexico in five hours? That hitting the gas is akin to being punched in the chest by Evander Holyfield?

Probably not. But there you have it.

To contemplate the Veyron is to embrace the impossible. Such a car may never again be built -- it's a whim made real by a carefree multinational. The stereo system alone costs $30K. At top speed the car will drain its gas tank in 12 minutes. The engine has 3,700 parts, and its tachometer goes to 11,001.

Bugatti engineers shredded 57 transmissions before perfecting a dual-clutch all-wheel-drive system capable of transferring the Veyron's enormous horsepower to the road. Michelin was forced to invent a massive road tire able to survive potholes at 252 mph. Wind resistance at such speeds is so severe it takes 500 horses to overcome it; the Veyron uses the remaining 501 horses simply to keep moving down the freeway.

Since vehicles topping 200 mph tend to go airborne, the Veyron shifts shape, deploying a blunt spoiler and mammoth air wing that adjust their angles based on speed. Jam the brakes at 125 mph or more and the wing morphs into an air brake, like landing flaps on a fighter jet. All the while, fleets of onboard processors monitor the vehicle's systems and temps and airflow, and a PDA collects the data to be beamed to your mobile phone.

The interior of the Veyron is properly sumptuous. The dash, seats, floor, and door interiors are clad in hand-tooled leather. The gas and brake pedals are finely milled aluminum. A GPS display is embedded in the rearview mirror, which affords a glimpse of the polished-chrome air snorkels that flank t
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Old 09-19-2006, 10:36 PM
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Default RE: Blurring some fine scenery in a 1,001-horsepower car

It is something else to say the least. The funny thing is they broke I think 6-10 Getrag 6-speeds while they were making the Viper. They were lucky with Borg-Warner made the T-56 shortly before the Viper was created.
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Old 09-23-2006, 07:25 PM
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Default RE: Blurring some fine scenery in a 1,001-horsepower car

the 1 thing i hate is that all of the REALLY fast sports cars (like Jag, Ferrori) r REALLY close 2 the gornd and where i live is VERY hilly and the roads r CRAP. and i plan on buying a Jaguar and i dont want 2 worry about bottoming it out. but i have NO IDEA about sports car suspencing so i may be worrying about nothin.

[IMG]local://upfiles/315/8363B0400D0D4460B9784E476598716E.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]local://upfiles/315/79365E585CCB4274B728F57C012F51A6.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 09-23-2006, 08:41 PM
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Default RE: Blurring some fine scenery in a 1,001-horsepower car

Maybe a air suspension performance kit might be the trick, so you can adjust it when you want.
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Old 09-25-2006, 01:20 AM
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Default RE: Blurring some fine scenery in a 1,001-horsepower car

That could help, but I'm not sure. The roads where he lives are in very poor condition. It might help to have maybe smaller rims as well. These super thin tires that are popular these days would bust very easily on those roads. When I drive on those roads, I'm always careful because blow outs are not that unusual. Many people in this area carry full-sized spares because donut tires would bust very easily on these roads.
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Old 09-25-2006, 10:50 PM
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Default RE: Blurring some fine scenery in a 1,001-horsepower car

If the roads are that bad, I would inflate and get the car higher in the air, then lower it when on a smoother road.

He could always get a Saleen and the entire car has a skid plate.
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:17 PM
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Default RE: Blurring some fine scenery in a 1,001-horsepower car

That is also true. You'll have to check to see if that will work for you, Mark.
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:38 AM
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Default RE: Blurring some fine scenery in a 1,001-horsepower car

now ive seen those saleens those things wouldnt servive 1 minute on the roads around here they would high center over every hill on the road i live on, and how does this new car (i have NO idea how 2 spell it) stack up against the saleen?
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