- Bugatti Veyron(38)
Upon first inspection, this looks to be a strangely styled Bugatti Veyron. Such a thing shouldn't be a shock. We have, after all, already seen the hypercar with a penis on the hood and painted in nearly every single hue that exists on our planet. Take a closer look, though, and we see something altogether different. That's because this isn't a Veyron - it's new, rumored to be a replacement to the Veyron and is allegedly called the Chiron.
The first identifier that we're looking at something different are the huge carbon-ceramic brakes, which dwarf the already meaty pans found on the standard Veyron Super Sport. Beyond that, the distinctive snorkel intakes of the Veyron have been replaced with simple NACA ducts, while Bugatti engineers have ditched the car's enormous adjustable rear spoiler.
That amputation has allowed our spies to peek into the back of the car, and identify what we think are the components of an electric powertrain. Considering current performance trends, we shouldn't be surprised that Bugatti (and by extension, Volkswagen) are tinkering with hybrid tech.
There are no shortage of phallus jokes one can make about a car and its owners, but no amount of jesting makes spray painting an actual penis on a car okay. That's triply true when the car in question is the Bugatti Veyron.
This poor Veyron was spotted on the streets of Seattle, and while our outrage was initially piqued, it later emerged via Instagram that the owner of this spray-painted Bugatti actually allowed this to happen.
We aren't fully sure what possessed the owner of the multi-million hypercar to allow this sort of thing, but we're guessing he or she can afford it. Scroll down for a different angle of this poor Veyron's new paint job.
Bugatti is nearing the very end of its Veyron production run with only around 15 of the supercars reportedly left to be sold of the 450-car total. With so few remaining, the supremely posh automaker is already deep into development discussions of a successor, but it doesn't seem that the company has a final design in mind quite yet.
According to two unnamed insiders speaking to Bloomberg, Bugatti is evaluating at least three concepts for the Veyron's successor. They claim that the new model will be lighter than the current one with an engine capable of producing about 1,500 horsepower. Also, at least one of these prototypes is using an electric motor for additional boost.
These latest leaks lend further substantiation to the circulating rumors about Bugatti's future. One earlier report claimed that the hypercar would use a modified version of the current 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16, possibly with direct injection, electrically powered turbos and an additional electric motor to boost the top speed to around 286 miles per hour. Also, two prototypes (pictured above) were spotted testing at the Nürburgring earlier this year, and one of them wore an odd contraption on its back. Other speculation indicated the new model would reportedly be called the Chiron, a reference to a famous Bugatti racing driver and the name for one of the company's concepts that previewed the Veyron's shape.
Between Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti, the Volkswagen Group has no lack of prestige marques under its umbrella. And while some of these marques may produce models that compete against each other, each seems to be profitable enough in its own right to justify its existence. But what about Bentley and Bugatti? Surely these marques cater to the same customers, right?
Not according to their shared CEO. "The clientele between Bentley and Bugatti is remarkably different," said Wolfgang Dürheimer in an interview with Bloomberg. "The Bentley customer on average owns 8 cars. The average Bugatti customer has about 84 cars, 3 jets and 1 yacht."
That may be a slight exaggeration (we'd have expected three yachts and one jet), but it puts things into perspective: Bentleys are for the one percent. Bugattis are for the one percent of that one percent. Which only goes to show why it's taken Bugatti over eight years to sell 450 Veyrons - a number of units it would take Bentley about two weeks to move, albeit at about one tenth the price.
Let's say you're rich. Filthy rich - you've got cars in garages of homes you can't remember you own, rich.
As the gap between automotive haves and have-nots continues to grow, ultraluxury automakers are exploiting fresh ways to lure the sorts of well-heeled car aficionados who would rather spend their spare time shipping exotic sleds to private tracks than sitting on a beach in the Maldives.
This rarified air presents a daunting challenge to boutique carmakers attempting to distinguish themselves, especially when they're vying for attention amidst voluptuous Paganis, Koenigseggs, and Brabus G63 AMG 6x6s. When the stakes are this high and the competition this fierce, you need a novel approach to peddle your four-wheeled wares - even if you're Bugatti.
With around a dozen new units left up for grabs, the Bugatti Veyron is near the end of its production cycle. For its part, Bugatti is planning to replace it with another hypercar, and while it's surely already under development, lips in Molsheim remain tightly sealed until the last Veyron leaves the factory. In the meantime, though, we've got some clues to go by. And the latest comes courtesy of Car and Driver.
According to emerging intel, the Veyron's successor will wear the name Chiron. The name belongs not only a mythological Greek centaur but also to one of the most successful racing drivers of Bugatti's heyday - certainly one of the most prominent not to have been featured in the company's recent Legend series. His name did, however, adorn the Bugatti 18/3 Chiron (pictured above), one of the concepts from the late 90s that paved the way for the Veyron's arrival.
Aside from the name, there are precious few details to go by, but we can expect it to be powered by the company's 8.0-liter W16 engine, unnaturally aspirated and with a likely hybrid boost. Look for even more staggering performance than the Veyron's, with nimbler handling thanks to lighter-weight construction.
The Galibier may look like a four-door Bugatti to you, but to us, it's a yo-yo. That's because Bugatti has gone back and forth on the prospect of its production more times than we'd care to count, but now it's apparently back on the table. Again.
Bugatti first presented the 16C Galibier concept to a select group of clients way back in 2009 and subsequently toyed with the idea of production. The supersedan packed a twin-supercharged version of the company's 8.0-liter W16 engine into a larger chassis and was initially under consideration as Bugatti's follow-up act, either alongside or instead of a new Veyron.
The hemming and hawing seemed to have been put to rest when CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer was temporarily replaced by Wolfgang Schreiber, but in speaking to Automotive News, Dürheimer said he still revisits the idea from time to time.
Remember the guy who caught on video driving a Bugatti Veyron into the Gulf Bay in Texas? Well, he's now facing a few decades behind bars. You might wonder why some seriously bad driving in a million-dollar supercar could lead to such a long stint in the slammer. Well, Andy Lee House of Lufkin, TX, pled guilty to wire mail fraud in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas. As it turns out, crashing the car was all about getting an insurance payout.
According to The Lufkin Daily News reporting on the case, House wrecked the Veyron in November 2009 after purchasing it for $1 million and insuring it for $2.2 million. His plan was allegedly to ruin the Bugatti, pay back his loan and pocket the rest. After crashing it, House left the car running in the salt water to make sure the supercar's engine sucked in enough H2O to thoroughly destroy it. Of course, the incident was captured on video by passing motorists, and that messed up his scheme. House hasn't been sentenced yet, but he could face up to 20 years in federal prison.
According to our earlier story on the case, House at one point tried to use the creative alibi that the reason he left the Veyron running for so long was that he was being bitten by mosquitos and didn't want to go back to the car to shut it off. Before the crash, he also reportedly tried to pay someone to steal the car and torch it. This Bugatti didn't stand a chance. Scroll down to watch the video that started it all. Warning: it does contain some explicit language.
The Veyron is nearing the end of its production run, at the end of which Bugatti will have built only 450 examples. Of those, only 150 will be roadsters, and of those roadsters, even fewer will be the Vitesse version that combines the best attributes of the Grand Sport and Super Sport models. And with a virtually endless array of color choices, no two ever need be alike (safe for the Legend editions, each of which Bugatti will only build three examples). Yet certain examples have received extra-special treatments, and that's just what we have here.
Called the L'Or Style edition, this Vitesse roadster features a similar treatment to the L'Or Blanc edition, but in red and black instead of blue and white. Which is all well and fine, but what we're really interested in here is how it's being delivered. Because while it may seem like Bugatti's created another "one of a kind" Veyron every other day, it's not every day that you see how the logistics of delivering a $3 million supercar are handled.
Fortunately, the Symbolic Motors group that includes in its portfolio the Bugatti San Diego franchise and which handled the sale of this particular Veyron, captured the delivery process on video. We'll let you watch for yourself to see just how painstaking the process (even just that part caught on video) is - complete with wood-floored transporter truck, intake-perforated protective wrap and wheel spoke guards - but suffice it to say it's a bit more coddling than your average dealership delivery.
When a Bugatti Veyron crashed on a highway in Austria a few months ago, insurance company AXA estimated the cost of repairs at upwards of $800,000. Of course, there were worries that even after all the repairs the car may never drive quite the same. So rather than try, the insurance company evidently wrote it off and paid the owner the insured value of the car. But now it's got the wrecked Bugatti on its hands, and is looking to offload it.
This early model, built in 2008, has the original version's 987-horsepower 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 engine, a fixed roof and a blue and black livery - unlike some more recent examples that have adopted a removable roof panel, employed a more powerful 1,184-hp engine and moved away from the original two-tone paint schemes. It's got nearly 20,000 miles on the odometer and would still require the better part of a million bucks to get it running again... at which point it could be worth more in spare parts, which surely don't come cheap from the manufacturer in Molsheim.
Alternatively, with bidding currently hovering around a quarter million, you could just get yourself a brand spankin' new Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Huracán or McLaren 650S and actually get to drive it without spending eight hundred grand on repairs. But if you were looking to pick up a Veyron on the cheap, regardless of condition, this could be your chance.