- Bugatti Veyron(38)
Bugatti had plenty to showcase at Pebble Beach this year, unveiling not only the final Legend edition but also bringing the entire series together for one big happy family reunion at the same location where, one year ago, it presented the first such special edition. But those weren't the only special edition Veyrons on hand in Monterey this week.
When we first saw this yellow and black Veyron driving around Alsace last month and figured at the time that it must have been the final Legend edition in tribute to Elisabeth Junek. It turned out to be neither when the series closed out with the Ettore Bugatti edition with a decidedly different color scheme, which left us scratching our heads as to what the Bumblebee treatment was all about, but now we know.
In addition to the Ettore Bugatti edition, the most exotic French automaker also arrived at Pebble Beach this year with the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse 1 of 1 edition. Commissioned by a customer in Singapore, this one-of-a-kind Vitesse roadster revives a favorite color scheme of the Bugatti family that adorned many of its vehicles from the company's heyday, including a Type 41 Royale, a Type 55 and a Type 44 like the one beside which it was presented, furnished for the occasion by the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, CA.
Walk through the entrance to the Quail, make a right, and you'll be greeted by $18 million worth of car. Sure, that's not an unusual sight during Monterey Car Week, where classics are being auctioned off for well beyond that, but we're talking about $18 million of brand new car. We're talking about all six of the Bugatti Veyron Legend Editions.
One year after the first Legend Veyron made its debut in Monterey, Bugatti has completed the limited-run series of six. All of these cars are unique creations that celebrate the automaker's history - the sextet includes the Jean-Pierre Wimille, Jean Bugatti, Meo Costantini, Rembrandt Bugatti, Black Bess and Ettore Bugatti editions. Only three examples of each special edition will be made, all priced at 2.35 million euro ($3.14 million, based on today's rates).
It's super rare to see multiple Veyrons in one place at one time, and this might be the only time in history where all six Legends cars are displayed together at once. Have a look at all of 'em for yourself in the gallery above.
As one of the fastest cars in the world, the Bugatti Veyron is an icon in its own time, but people are fickle and always want to know what's next. Bugatti needs to sell just 15 more examples before the Veyron reaches its 450-car cap. With the end finally in sight, a blindly fast successor may be streaking towards us on the horizon.
It's rumored to be packing 1,479 horsepower (1,500 PS) from a modified, hybrid version of the current 8.0-liter, quad-turbo W16
Autocar claims that it's in touch with unnamed insiders within Bugatti, and the site is making some very big promises about the future hyper car. First, what we all want to know: the car is rumored to be packing 1,479 horsepower (1,500 PS) from a modified, hybrid version of the current 8.0-liter, quad-turbo W16 with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. According to the sources, the upgrades potentially include direct injection and electrically powered turbos (maybe like the forthcoming Audi SQ7), but it seems certain that an additional electric motor is being added, as well. That matches previous rumors and dovetails nicely with the suspicious-looking Veyrons spotted lapping the Nürburgring with wider bodies and weird contraptions on their backs.
Have you been putting off your chance to buy a Bugatti Veyron? Better get your deposit in quick - like, Veyron quick - as production has almost run out.
According to Autocar, Bugatti has to date built and delivered 405 Veyrons to customers around the world, out of the total allotment of 450 examples it set out to build - 300 coupes and 150 additional roadsters. Subtract from that total another 30 which have already been ordered, and the number of Grand Sport and Vitesse roadsters left up for grabs (the coupes having sold out three years ago) rests at just 15 units - down from the 50 that were still left in December.
Of those 15 units, three will be taken up by the last series of Legend editions, set to be unveiled shortly at Pebble Beach, and will surely sell out right away. We wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of final farewell edition before all is said and done, either.
The Bugatti Veyron might be getting on in years, but it's still an engineering marvel capable of truly insane velocity. There are tons of videos of the Veyron doing its super-high-speed trick of reaching 200 miles per hour with seemingly no effort. But do you know how much ground the coupe is actually covering at full chat? Let's just say it's mighty impressive.
According to the YouTube description, this video was shot at the 2014 Sun Valley Road Rally in Idaho. The event shut down a portion of highway and allowed cars to hurtle down that stretch at ludicrous speeds, and a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport with 1,200 horsepower on hand showed the crowd what fast really looked like. Thankfully, the organizers monitored the vehicles' speed, confirming that this supercar managed a massive 246.4 miles per hour.
The way that the Veyron reaches that momentum is just as impressive, though. At first, all you see is a fast-moving white spec, but it doesn't sound like a car. It has more of the constant note of a jet but with a little audible grumble as it streaks by. Scroll down to see what nearly 250 mph looks like on a deserted stretch of highway.
If you had told us when the Bugatti Veyron debuted nine years ago that its successor would be a hybrid, we would have responded that you were out to lunch. In fact, we didn't quite believe it two years ago when the rumor first surfaced. But that was all before Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari proved that hybrids could not only be quick, but entertaining drives, as well. And when we say "quick," we mean Nürburgring-conqueringly, 0-60 in under three seconds quick. Today, the idea of a hybrid hypercar doesn't seem far-fetched at all. And so we bring you new reports that the next Veyron - whether it carries the same name or not - will pack an electric assist.
This according to Reuters, which notes that Bugatti's old-is-new-again CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer is keen on hybrid propulsion as evidence that the Alsatian marque is likely to pursue such a powertrain for the Veyron's replacement. The system wouldn't help curb the Veyron's portly weight, of course, but it would likely help cut down its prodigious fuel consumption. The current car, by the way, would run dry after 12 minutes at its 250+ mph top speed (by which point the special Michelin tires would have melted anyway). More importantly - and more likely - the hybrid assist will make the new car even punchier at low revs.
Of course, even assuming Reuters is correct, there's no telling to what internal-combustion engine the electric motor in the next Veyron will be paired with. However, considering the massive sums of cash Volkswagen spent on developing the unique 6.0-liter quad-turbo W-16, we'd bet it'll use some form of the same - just with an extra jolt of electric power thrown in for good measure.
To this year's Beijing Motor Show, Bugatti showed up with a special Veyron called Black Bess. It's the fifth in a series of six Legend editions that pay homage to a figure from the Alsatian marque's considerable history - in this case legendary French aviator Roland Garros. Now it's released a promo video showing off the stunning (if mechanically unaltered) black Vitesse roadster.
Not that Bugatti will need any help selling the Black Bess edition, of which only three will be made. Despite their $3 million price tags, Bugatti has sold every one of the previous four Legend runs, helping it move those last examples of the legendary Veyron before it can move on to the next chapter in its history.
Like any other Vitesse, the Black Bess edition packs a 6.0-liter, quad-turbo W16 engine driving 1,184 horsepower to all four wheels. What sets this special edition apart is the lustrous black paint, 24-carat gold accents and uniquely decorated cream leather interior with historic story-boards of classic Bugatti T18 and airplanes on the door panels. All of which may strike you as rather silly, but makes for a rather stunning vehicle highlighted in the video below.
The Bugatti Veyron Legend editions may do nothing to alter the Grand Sport Vitesse's already prodigious performance, but buyers appear to love them. Four special models have been unveiled so far, and Bugatti has sold out of all of them. At the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, the automaker has introduced the fifth Legend - the Black Bess.
Unlike the previous models, this Legend is inspired by a specific car, rather than a person. Black Bess was the name of a Bugatti Type 18 owned by famous French aviator Roland Garros. With seven examples built from 1912 to 1914, the 18 was a supercar in its time. It sported a 99-horspower, 5.0-liter four-cylinder engine and could reach 100 miles per hour. While paltry today, it was amazing performance by contemporary standards.
The modern Black Bess packs the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse's 1,184-hp, quad-turbo W16 engine, and it wears rich, black paint with 24-carat gold accents. The interior has a combination of beige, brown and red leather, but its real showpieces are the hand-painted leather door panels that depict the Type 18 and Roland Garros' plane.
Wolfgang Dürheimer is still in play, with Bentley Motors announcing that he will return to the Chairman and CEO slot of the English company and French division Bugatti on June 1, 2014. He'll probably remember those chairs from the last time he filled them, since he was promoted to both positions in 2010 and remained there until September 2012, when he was installed as the head of R&D at Audi. That job only lasted until June of 2013, his nine-month tenure reported to be full of corporate drama that lead to his dismissal from the position.
But as if on gardening leave, he's been in the low-profile position of General Representative of the Volkswagen Group responsible for motorsport. Once back at Bentley, he will take over as the company works on getting its SUV to market and expanding its range. Both of those briefs Dürheimer will know well, having proved his ability at Porsche in the first decade of the new millennium. And even though no longer at Audi, his hybrid days don't appear to be over, as Bentley recently announced that it will hybridize of 90 percent of its lineup.
Dürheimer will also take on a third position, joining a VW Group committee focused on the US and Chinese markets. His successor at Bentley and Bugatti, Wolfgang Schreiber, has been promoted to "a leading position within the Volkswagen Group." There's a brief press release below with the official words.
The chances of a new product from Bugatti are getting closer. The tally of available Veyrons left keeps dropping, with only around 40 units to go to complete the stated 450-car production run. The supercar maker has reportedly begun development on a successor, and that is looking increasingly likely because a pair of test cars with some intriguing modifications have been spotted lapping the Nürburgring.
We recently saw the white car testing in a short video; now a new set of spy shots have given us an even better look. The car appears stock, until you notice the weird aluminum armature at the back. The wires and boxes indicate it's likely for data acquisition, and given the location, engine testing would be a good bet.
The black Veyron is wearing slightly widened bodywork and may also have a wider track. According to our spy shooters, those absolutely massive black wheels may be made from carbon fiber. Another interesting note is the panel cut out at the rear of the car behind the driver's side tire. There is clearly a radiator visible behind it. Perhaps, both cars are testing new powertrain options?