The Bugatti Veyron: The original hypercar10 years since it first took the world by storm, the Veyron is now ending its reign on the throne of hypercars. XCAR takes a look back at how this almost forgotten marque leapfrogged the competition to become the ultimate in performance and luxury.
[MUSIC] Even though you've only seen the few scant details, you know what this car is. You know it's one of the fastest cars the world has ever seen. From 2005 to 2015, just 450 of these were built and over that decade it became a household name. The most famous car on the planet. This is the bugatti veyron. [MUSIC] [NOISE] I was 19 in 2005. When the Veyron first appeared. And it was, without doubt, the most impressive thing my young mind had ever heard about. Nought to 62 in two and a half seconds. Top speed of 250. 1,001 horsepower. Unbelievable stuff then, and still benchmark today. Nice. Before we got the car you see here, at the tail end of the 20th century Bugatti had been bought by VW. Then Bugatti released a number of concepts, a sports car, a [UNKNOWN] and something called the Chiron, named after a famous Bugatti racer. It boasted an 18 cylinder engine with big power. It also looked rather like a Veyron. It was late 1999 when a new. The concept appeared, this one, called Veyron. Like its predecessor it has a name borrowed from Bugatti's past. This time, legendary test driver and racer, Pierre Veyron and it has 18 cylinders. No news on a production car though until the two thousand and. In either motor show where VW group boss Ferdinand Piech stated that his new car would be the most exciting and advanced car of its time no more no less. Not only would it. It come with over 1000 horses, but it's not [INAUDIBLE] had to be less than three seconds. Its top speed, 250 miles an hour, and it had to be drivable every day, so you could apparently drive yourself and your partner to the opera. Let's run through just how they did. Some of the really complicated bits, shall we? The engine, for example. It was worked out that in order to generate the desired power you need to bolt two V8s together. However that would be too big. So, they went with two VR8 style engines, VWs or the R style, very narrow V. Put two of those together and you end up with a W16. In this case an eight liter W. [INAUDIBLE] 60 with four turbo charges on it. Then, there's the masher of the gear box. The original [UNKNOWN] had nine-hundred and twenty-two pounds [INAUDIBLE] to deal with. Not only that, but Bugatti wanted a seven-speed DSG box. The job for that was sent to Ricardo in Britain. And it's worth note. Apparently during testing, the vehicle stood up to 200 full bore starts. The only reason they didn't do more was because it was getting dark. In order to deliver that power to the road without eating tires at an alarming rate, Bugatti decided to go with all wheel drive. However, to make the car accelerate at the rate it does, the tires needed to take the strain. Michelin sorted them out. They run at around 23,000 euros a set, or at least did at launch. A little behind the tires, the brakes need to be able to stop the car going 250 plus miles an hour. They're made of a silicone carbide carbon fiber mix, with the equivalent of 4,000 brake horsepower. That means they were so strong. That they could get [UNKNOWN] to 62 miles an hour to nothing in 2.2 seconds. Which means theoretically the Veron can do north to 62 north in the same time as the 14 V8 Spider to get to 62. Impressive stuff. In order to fit the brakes though the car needed bigger wheels. Wheels. And in order to have the bigger wheels, the suspension needs to be fiddled with to make sure the car could, you know, handle them. Then there's cooling all of the massive things that get incredibly hot. In order to do that, you need a pretty epic radiator. But because of the shape of the car, you. Can't have just one big radiator, so instead he split off into ten bits, [UNKNOWN] around. The Veyron may look big, but it isn't. It's actually quite a small car. It's nowhere near as big as you think it is. So the plumbing in here is literally mind boggling. Basically, every time a challenge was met, there were another set of challenges to meet to make up. So what had just been achieved? The whole development was a game of engineering cat and mouse. Initially, the Veyron was due for release in April, 2004. But there were some very loud doubts coming from the press. They weren't helped by the Veyron falling off the Laguna Seca at its first outing. Then the delay was announced. And so it was decreed that the Veyron would be a touch late, but that's kind of understandable when you consider the sheer engineering involved. The numbers they had to achieve. It seemed like some kind of dream, it just couldn't be real. But, it was. And in September 2005, the [UNKNOWN] was launched. [MUSIC] In 2005, when a VW Golf GTi, a fast car [UNKNOWN] normally had 197 [UNKNOWN] horsepower. The five times more thousand. Veyron. This was simply staggering. It was mind blowing. The world was coming down from the 650 horse power Ferrari Enzo, and that got to 62 a whole second slower than the Veyron. Instantly the Veyron started breaking records. It's 254 mile an hour top speed made it the fastest car in the world. Taking the record from McLaren F1. It was supposedly easy to drive, best on track, and of course, effortlessly fast. However, it evolved over time. In 2009, Bugatti released the Grand Sport. It was a convertible version of the Veyron and it came with a target top. It had to be re. A little bit to make up for the lack of roof, and it's speed was limited al fresco so a little under 230 miles per hour. Thanks to some pretenders trying to take Veyrons crown, Bugatti added an extra 200 horsepower to the mix and created the Super Sport taking it's own top speed record to 268 miles an hour. Those pretenders were mostly from America, and claimed some pretty mad top speed, but Bugatti wouldn't let the [UNKNOWN] be second to anything. After all, the Veron stood and still stands for perfection, as well as a [UNKNOWN] special editions with various [UNKNOWN] there was a grand [UNKNOWN] a super sport without a roof. That car too holds a world record as it's the fastest car without a roof. Dropping at two-hundred and fifty-four mile-an-hour top speed. And that's this car. This is the fastest open top car in the world. Right now. You get, it has [UNKNOWN] everything and [UNKNOWN] kick plate on the passenger side. It takes what you know about driving and reshuffles it. There are fast cars. There are really fast cars. But none of them are fast compared to this. Absolutely none. [NOISE] My benchmark for speed, for like, city speed, city road car is a Porsche 911 Turbo S. The 991. Every time you just put your foot down, just a little bit, the turbo is so thin you'll just fly yourself off into the distance and you'll get a big punch. In the kidney, and it lets you know that it's using all of its turbo torque. This has quite a lot of torque as well. The grand sport vitesse has 1106 pound-feet. Said the rest will give you a bit of a punch in the kidney, this gives you a shove. But a really, really prolonged shove. It's mind-boggling just how good the acceleration is, and it's, it's unrelenting. Absolutely unrelenting and it's not just this [UNKNOWN] speed. All that it does that speed in low gear. It certainly gets from 30 to 220 in a stretch of road which is miniscule. Absolutely tiny. It's the rate of which. It covers ground. It rescrambles your brain, it makes you think about speed and driving in such a different way, because in here instead of driving a slow car, you have to play where you're going to be, when you're going to overtake, is it safe for this? You have to plan when you're going to stop accelerating. You just can't get enough of the acceleration, it pins you back in your seat. But unlike other cars, you don't. Ease forward and get used to it, the car just continues to pin you back. There's four turbos. Work, good God, they work. [NOISE] I've been told that on some circuits, while it may enter the straight slower than [INAUDIBLE] car, it will finish it faster. If that's [INAUDIBLE] [NOISE] Then we hit the brakes, the brakes are amazing. They have to be, of course, to stop something, but in this case weighing two tons and can. Travels at over 260 miles and hour. But they're not heavy. They've got really nice, really smooth, progressive feel. They feel like normal breaks until you lean on them. And then you generate well over a G, just stopping the car. It gets on it's nose. This isn't a car that makes you think. Oh, I must treat it very carefully. This is a car that actually allows you to be a bit of an **** if you want to be. Because Bugatti hasn't designed a racing car that's going to punish you, they designed a car that actually they want you pursue to safety. And if you want to do the things at top speed, you have to enter speed mode. Keys. You pop down there. You twist it and magic happens. It lowers the car. It actually changes its shape. But the weird thing is, it'll do that, and it won't break a sweat. It won't stop. It's smooth. It's quiet. It's relaxing, almost. Frankly, once you learn how to drive it, once you reassess exactly how to drive a car, and then how to drive a fast car, and then what a fast car is. The Veyron's a **** cat- it's a wonderful thing to drive. It's absolutely lovely. They've paid such attention to making this a car that can do absolutely everything. I know as kid, I thought something like a Ferrari, when you see it. Went exactly in the direction you wanted it to because that's how steering works. The breaks work like that. The acceleration, just pushing the back of your seat and you're clinging on for dear life. That's how we thought cars work, especially fast. And having driven them, here's a great tip. They brake very quickly and they handle very well. But, they're not that kind of childish image of so that's how fast cars work. This actually is and right now I'm going to show you the face you make. Ready? My god. So fast. It will do that over and over again. What you think is fast, is not fast. Any preconception you have of fast is not fast. You're wrong. This thing is unbe- [BLEEP]. [INAUDIBLE] [NOISE] The Veyron is, in case I've not said it enough, a marvel of engineering. It's a legend within its own lifetime. It's also delightfully silly. It costs far more than a car really should and goes far faster than anyone really needs to go. You could argue the Veyron then is a silly car, one made for playboys with wallets to match mouths that like a good run. But I dont think so, and neither should you. This is proof. Proof that when mankind says it wants a car that you can drive at 250 miles an hour whenever you want yet still be usable on a daily basis. There's the engineering in place to make it happen. And all the lessons learned during its development can be filtered out. To other applications. And those lucky few who get to own them. Who get to drive them on a daily basis. Get to enjoy what is undoubtedly one of the finest pieces of automotive engineering ever conceived. This is the original hyper car. Faster. More powerful. Are more expensive than everything else. [NOISE] [MUSIC]