When writing an article about the Bugatti Veyron for Carhoots it’s all too easy to give the impression that you’re writing an advertorial as you wax lyrical about its prowess. But the car, reserved exclusively for those who are both mega-rich and mega-frivolous with their money, does demand adoration, if not for the sleekness of its design, then for the childish desire to own one it imbues in us, despite knowing full well of its half-pointlessness.
The car’s awesomeness may tally in with its having the world’s greatest horsepower, speed and acceleration, but the price-tag, at an astounding $1.2 million, takes it out of the grasp of us mere mortals. I most recently heard about the car with Lana Del Rey harking on about the Veyron in her lament to wealth ‘National Anthem’, letting me know from the get-go that it’s entered pop culture as an aspirational vehicle, not one that you’re going to buy to drive the kids to school in. Let’s take a little look at the Veyron and its ins and outs, from its ignorable lack of utilitarianism to its mouthwatering speed.
To achieve the seemingly unreasonable speeds of over 250mph, Bugatti had to create a bespoke engine, around which the entire car concept is based. The engine has a near-unique 16-cylinder engine surrounded by four turbochargers, units allowing for that need for speed. To counteract the raging heat produced by driving at such high speeds, the Veyron has a suitably massive radiator. It also uses a cooling method usually allocated for Formula 1 cars, a sure sign of this beautiful car’s power. The engine gobbles up an obscene 5 litres of petrol per minute to achieve its velocity, but the filling-up bill at the closest BP is likely to be of no concern to a Veyron owner.
So that its drivers don’t fly off the road when driving at high speed, the Veyron has a wonderfully smart aerodynamic shape. At top speeds, a wing emerges automatically at the back to anchor the car to the road by manipulating the direction of airflow. An altogether safe feature for a car so famed for its ludicrous speed. The important elements in all this revving and speeding are the Veyron’s tyres, which are, naturally, bespoke. They couldn’t be like normal tyres, incapable as they would be of handling driving at speeds as high as 250mph without melting away, and so Michelin produced the most resilient, widest tyres ever made for a passenger car.
The thing that matters most with the Bugatti Veyron is its ability to wreak jealousy upon us lower ones. We are not worthy of such a superbeast of a car and that just makes us want it all the more. One day we’ll have enough money, one day…
By CL English