Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4
In 1998, the Volkswagen Group purchased the trademark rights on the former car manufacturer Bugatti in order to revive the brand. Starting with the Bugatti EB118, they presented at various international auto shows a total of four 18-cylinder concept cars. At the 1999 Tokyo Motor Show, the first study of the Bugatti Veyron was presented.
At the time, the name of the concept car was “Bugatti Veyron EB 18.4,” and it was equipped with a 3-bank W18 engine engine instead of the 2-bank W16 engine engine of the production version. While the three previous prototypes had been styled by Giugiaro, the Veyron was designed by the Volkswagen stylists.
The decision to start production of the car was taken by the Volkswagen Group in 2001. The first roadworthy prototype was completed in August 2003. It is identical to the later series variant except for a few details. In the transition from development to series production considerable technical problems had to be addressed, repeatedly delaying production until September 2005.
The Veyron EB 16.4 is named in honour of Pierre Veyron, a Bugatti development engineer, test driver and company race driver who, with co-driver Jean-Pierre Wimille, won the 1939 24 hours of Le Mans while driving a Bugatti. The “EB” refers to Bugatti founder Ettore Bugatti and the “16.4” refers to the engine’s 16 cylinders and 4 turbochargers.
The Veyron’s quad-turbocharged W16 engine
The Bugatti Veyron features an 8.0-litre, quad-turbocharged, W16 cylinder engine, equivalent to two narrow-angle V8 engines bolted together. Each cylinder has four valves for a total of 64, but the VR8 configuration of each bank allows two overhead camshafts to drive two banks of cylinders so only four camshafts are needed. The engine is fed by four turbochargers and displaces 7,993 cubic centimetres (487.8 cu in), with a square 86 by 86 mm (3.39 by 3.39 in) bore and stroke.
The car’s wheelbase is 2,710 mm (106.7 in). Overall length is 4,462 mm (175.7 in) which gives 1,752.6 mm (69.0 in) of overhang. The width is 1,998 mm (78.7 in) and height 1,204 mm (47.4 in). The Bugatti Veyron has a total of ten radiators:
- 3 heat exchangers for the air-to-liquid intercoolers.
- 3 engine radiators.
- 1 for the air conditioning system.
- 1 transmission oil radiator.
- 1 differential oil radiator.
- 1 engine oil radiator
It has a drag coefficient of Cd=0.41 (normal condition) and Cd=0.36 (after lowering to the ground), and a frontal area of 2.07 m2 (22.3 sq ft). This gives it a drag area, the product of drag coefficient and frontal area, of CdA=0.74 m2 (8.0 sq ft).
According to Volkswagen Group and certified by TÜV Süddeutschland, the final production Veyron engine produces 1,001 metric horsepower (736 kW; 987 bhp) of motive power, and generates 1,250 newton metres (922 lbf·ft) of torque. The nominal figure has been stated by Bugatti officials to be conservative, with the real total being 1,020 metric horsepower (750 kW; 1,006 bhp) at 6,000 rpm.
German inspection officials recorded an average top speed of the original version of 408.47 km/h (253.81 mph) during test sessions on the Ehra-Lessien test track on 19 April 2005.
This top speed was equalled by James May on Top Gear in November 2006, at Volkswagen Group’s private Ehra-Lessien test track. May noted that at top speed the engine consumes 45,000 litres (9,900 imp gal) of air per minute (as much as a human breathes in four days). Back in the Top Gear studio, co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson commented that most supercars felt like they were shaking apart at their top speed, and asked May if that was the case with the Veyron at 407 km/h (253 mph). May responded that the Bugatti Veyron was very controlled, and only wobbled slightly when the air brake deployed.
The car’s everyday top speed is listed at 343 km/h (213 mph). When the car reaches 220 km/h (140 mph), hydraulics lower the car until it has a ground clearance of about 9 cm (3.5 in). At the same time, the wing and spoiler deploy. In this handling mode, the wing provides 3,425 newtons (770 lbf) of downforce, holding the car to the road.
Top speed mode must be entered while the vehicle is at rest. Its driver must toggle a special top speed key to the left of their seat, which triggers a checklist to establish whether the car and its driver are ready to attempt to reach 407 km/h (253 mph). If so, the rear spoiler retracts, the front air diffusers shut, and normal 12.5 cm (4.9 in) ground clearance drops to 6.5 cm (2.6 in).
The Bugatti Veyron’s brakes use cross drilled, radially vented carbon fibre reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC) composite discs, manufactured by SGL Carbon, which have a much greater resistance to brake fade when compared with conventional cast iron discs. The lightweight aluminium alloy monobloc brake calipers are made by AP Racing; the fronts have eight titanium pistons and the rear calipers have six pistons. Bugatti claims maximum deceleration of 1.3 g on road tyres. As an added safety feature, in the event of brake failure, an anti-lock braking system (ABS) has also been installed on the handbrake.
Prototypes have been subjected to repeated 1.0 g braking from 312 km/h (194 mph) to 80 km/h (50 mph) without fade. With the car’s acceleration from 80 km/h (50 mph) to 312 km/h (194 mph), that test can be performed every 22 seconds. At speeds above 200 km/h (120 mph), the rear wing also acts as an airbrake, snapping to a 55° angle in 0.4 seconds once brakes are applied, providing an additional 0.68 g (6.66 m/s2) of deceleration (equivalent to the stopping power of an ordinary hatchback). Bugatti claims the Veyron will brake from 400 km/h (250 mph) to a standstill in less than 10 seconds, though distance covered in this time will be half a kilometre (third of a mile).