The story of one car: the legendary Bugatti Veyron


There is probably not a single person who is interested in cars but has not heard of the Bugatti Veyron. This car went down in history as the fastest and most powerful. The fascinating “life” of a hypercar deserves special attention.
The basis was a regular sketch

Ferdinand Piëch, who at that time was the head of the Volkswagen concern, created a sketch of the 18-cylinder engine in 1997. A year later, he became the owner of such concerns as Bugatti, Bentley and Lamborghini, thanks to which Volkswagen entered the luxury car sector.

Having received the Bugatti brand, which at that time was experiencing certain problems, at his disposal, Piëch decided to change the system of concepts. Several months passed, and under this brand the following were presented:

     EB 118 coupe at the 1998 Paris Motor Show.
     EB 218 in 1999 in Geneva.
     Sports car EB 18/3 Chiron.
     EB 18/4 Veyron at the Tokyo Motor Show.

All models had an 18-cylinder engine, which Ferdinand sketched on a trip to Japan. In 2000, the Geneva Motor Show took place. Piëch announced that the Bugatti would have a 1001 horsepower engine. His confident statement that the car would be able to accelerate to 100 km/h in less than 3 seconds and overcome the speed threshold of 400 km/h then raised many doubts. Nobody believed that this was possible, and Piëch’s team was called science fiction writers behind their backs.

What at first seemed incredible, in less than 5 years, became a real masterpiece of the automotive industry of the 20th century. Veyron began production in series in 2005, and in 2015 the last copy of the car was assembled. A total of 450 such machines were built during this period.
Difficulties on the path to success

It’s hard to imagine how much it cost the concern to assemble the Bugatti Veyron hypercar. Especially considering that almost all spare parts were developed specifically for it. At that time, spare parts for foreign cars with such capacities simply did not exist on the market.

The heart of the hypercar consisted of two “chambers” - V8 engines, which were combined into the W16 configuration. The first sample was collected in 2001. For bench testing it had to be sent to Wolfsburg. However, this almost ended in tragedy: the engine, which became extremely hot during operation, “burned” the ventilation, and because of this, the building itself almost burned down.

Just think: the motor could generate secondary thermal energy in such a volume that it would be enough to warm hundreds of houses. As the test showed, the engine was 3 times more powerful than Piëch stated, but almost 2/3 of the energy was lost in heat.

This created two new problems: a new cooling and exhaust system was needed. Without this, the Veyron itself, and theoretically someone behind it, could burn out (on test prototypes, a 2 m long flame burst out of the exhaust pipe if the speed exceeded 300 km/h). The designers had to work hard to solve this problem, since it was impossible to change the design of the car.

But the company’s engineers were able to do this too.

The exhaust system was made of titanium, and special radiators were required in the amount of 10 pieces for each car:

     3 for intercooler;
     3 for engine cooling;
     1 for air conditioner;
     1 for transmission;
     1 for cooling engine oil;
     1 for differential.

1 radiator was assembled by hand in 15 hours.

Auto parts for the engine, of which 3,500 pieces were required, were also assembled by hand. 8 engineers worked on the assembly. All connections were made manually and then checked on a computer. As a result, it took 1 week for 1 engine.

Just think about the load placed on the tires. They had to withstand not only the weight of the Bugatti Veyron - 2 tons, but also the enormous speed, which even airplanes do not approach when accelerating for takeoff.

This problem was solved by the French company Michelin. Unique tires were developed; their width was 265 mm at the front and 365 mm at the rear. At that time, such a “couple” cost $25,000. The owners of the hypercar paid another approximately $70,000 for the service, since they had to go to France for tire fitting, due to the fact that only there was the necessary equipment.

The creation of the gearbox was carried out by Ricardo. It was a 7-speed robotic transmission with two clutches. It was possible to change gear in 150 ms.

As a result, Piëch got what he said - the hypercar accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds. From 0 to 200 km/h in 7.3 seconds. From 0 to 300 km/h – 16.7 seconds. The maximum speed was also proven - 407 km/h.
Interesting Facts

     To reach maximum speed, the driver needs to use the second key, “releasing” all the engine power.
     At maximum speed, the Bugatti Veyron consumes 4 liters of gasoline per 5 km. In about 12 minutes of such a trip, a 100 liter tank will be empty.
     It consumes 45,000 liters of air per minute at high speed. To estimate the scale, a person inhales this volume of air in 4 days.
     At a speed of 400 km/h, the Bugatti Veyron will cross a football field in 1 second

     At maximum speed the tires will last 15 minutes.

It would seem, where even more? But in 2010, the company proved that it has a way to go. Another, already modified “monster” was released - Veyron Super Sport. This car accelerated to 431 km/h, breaking the previous world record. However, it was never included in the Guinness Book, as it was considered invalid. The company violated the rules and did not turn off the speed limiter at the time of arrival.

The price of the hypercar started at 1 million euros. There were also exclusive models, special editions, which could cost 2.5 million euros. And even despite this price, the company did not make a profit from sales. Volkswagen admitted that this was more of an image project. According to analysts, the company lost 4.6 million euros on each Bugatti Veyron.

This is how the machine went down in history, the development of which had the hand of dozens of the world’s best engineers. As they say, there is something to tell your grandchildren!

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