2004 Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 Overview


The Bugatti Veyron requires no introduction; it’s known for having 1,001 horsepower. It’s the world’s fastest production car at 268 MPH, a title that the McLaren F1 held from 1998 to 2005. It’s known for 0 to 60 MPH acceleration in 2.6 seconds. And it’s known for the most expensive price tag of $1.7 million USD. The Bugatti Veyron is the most recognized supercar in the world, among the likes of the Ferrari Enzo, Pagani Zonda, Lamborghini Murcielago, Ford GT40, and the McLaren F1; but does top speed and over 4-digit horsepower equate into a great supercar?

The Veyron has been around since 2005. It’s been tested by BBC’s acclaimed Top Gear program and bought by oil sheiks from around the world. It’s made other automotive manufactures scratch their heads for years and has spawned dozens of “wanna-be” manufacturers who seek to topple the 1,001 horsepower Veyron. For instance, the SSC Ultimate Aero, built by Shelby SuperCars, challenged the Veyron’s top speed by beating the original Veyron’s record of 253.81 MPH in 2005 by 2.37 MPH. The SSC Ultimate Aero set a new record of 256.18 MPH in 2007. Three years later, in 2010, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport once again took the record with a speed 11.676 MPH faster than the SSC Ultimate Aero, topping off at a cool 267.856 MPH as the world’s fastest production car.

An 8.0-liter W16 quad turbocharged engine yields an output of 1,001 horsepower for the Veyron. The car nomenclature, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, indicates a 16 cylinder engine with 4 turbochargers. Impressive output for an 8.0-liter engine considering the Bugatti’s engine is smaller than a Dodge Viper’s, yet yields nearly double the power. Putting 1,001 horses to the ground is certainly a challenge, so Bugatti decided to implement a permanent four wheel drive system paired to a dual-clutch 7 speed automatic transmission that allows for shifts in under 150 milliseconds, faster than Chuck Norris’ punches.

The tires for the Bugatti are specially manufactured by Michelin and can only be changed in France for a recession competitive price of $70,000. That doesn’t even include the cost of the specially designed Michelin tires that cost $25,000 for the set.

The size and complexity of the engine requires a significant amount of cooling to make sure that the car does not overheat. It takes 10 radiators to keep the car cool, 3 engine radiators, 3 air-to-liquid intercoolers, 1 for the air condition, 1 for the transmission oil, 1 for the differential oil and 1 for the engine oil. The engine configuration also leads to a fairly impressive, yet relatively unimportant fact that the EPA MPG rating for the Veyron is a mere 8 MPG in the city and 13 MPG on the highway and a whooping 3 MPG when driving at top speed.

Due to the large 8.0-liter W16 and the four-wheel drive system, the Veyron weighs 1,888 kg (4,162 lbs), considerably light considering its size and configuration. The Veyron weights just 7% more than a Chevrolet Camaro (3,860 lbs) and 16% more than a Mercedes-Benz SLS (3,600 lbs). Nonetheless, the weight doesn’t stop the Bugatti from accelerating from 0 to 60 MPH in 2.6, something that a lightweight, 2,954 lb (1,340 kg) Gallardo LP-570-4 Supperleggera does in only 3.3 seconds.

Despite impressive figures no matter where you look, the Bugatti does lack the flair that a Lamborghini offers, or the finesse of an Aston Martin. The car design is just plain boring. A well-rounded watermelon that can do 260 MPH is impressive on paper, but the engine compartment just looks like a few round tubes and the front end looks like an overweight whale. The design is even further put into question considering the nearly dozen variants of the car that exist, from an all chrome Veyron, to the Bleu Centenaire, a matte blue that Bugatti created to celebrate their 100th anniversary.

Design goofs or not, the Bugatti is still an extremely popular car, with all the original 300 Veyrons sold as of September 2011, there really is no disputing that the car is highly desirable. The only other option from this point is to upgrade to the $2.7 million, 1,184 horsepower Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, or convert to the more luxurious and just barely more tame Bugatti Galibier.