- Bugatti Veyron(38)
With all of the special editions and differing variants of the Bugatti Veyron being produced year after year, perhaps now is a good time to reflect back on the machine that started it all. Bugatti has announced that it will put the original EB 18/4 Veyron design study on display at the Salon Rétromobile in Paris. This is the first time the concept car will be publicly shown since it debuted at the 1999 Tokyo Motor Show.
Taking a new look at the images of Bugatti's seminal Veyron in concept form reminds us how closely the boutique automaker followed its initial design when crafting the 1,001-horsepower production model in 2005. Have a look for yourself in the high-res image gallery above, and feel free to compare that car's sensuous curves with the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, an updated topless model with 1,200 horsepower and a 255-mile-per-hour top speed.
For a man who's best known for being mean to aspiring singers, Simon Cowell sure seems to garner lots of attention. While Cowell himself didn't make an appearance at Barrett-Jackson, his black on black Bugatti Veyron did, and bidding on it ended with a final sale price of $1.375 million.
Somewhat interestingly, this is the first certified pre-owned Bugatti sold through a new factory program. It includes a full one-year warranty, which must give its new owner some comfort. According to the auction company, Cowell has put 1,300 miles on this particular Veyron. See for yourself in our high-res image gallery above, and scroll down below for a video showing the live auction and the official auction description.
With production of the Veyron coming to an end, all eyes are fixed squarely on Bugatti and what it
will do next. Because by next year, it will have sold the last examples of the Grand Sport and Vitesse roadsters, and after that there will be no more. And since the Veyron line is the only one Bugatti makes - or has made, for that matter, since Volkswagen took it over - it will need something else in place or it will effectively go dormant. The only question is what that next project will be - or more likely, given the timeframe, already is.
One thing which Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber - who is now president of Bugatti and was its technical director during the Veyron's development - ruled out in speaking with Top Gear is that there won't be any further development of the existing Veyron. Schreiber put to rest the longstanding rumors that an even more extreme evolution of the Veyron than the record-breaking Super Sport would be made, and that the vehicle would die after the remaining 43 examples have been built. Nor will Bugatti proceed with development of a four-door model. It's an idea that Bugatti entertained prior to the release of the Veyron with the EB218 concept at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show and again after it with the Galibier concept in 2009, but it's ultimately been put to rest. According to Schreiber, a four-door Bugatti "would confuse our customers."
For automotive enthusiasts, the name Bugatti is synonymous with high speeds. For racing fans, the name still reflects dominance in the pre-war era of grand prix racing. But in other circles, the Bugatti name is a status symbol, one that stands for the exclusivity that comes with such a high price tag.
It's no doubt to the latter category that Swedish pipemaker Desvall is marketing its Bugatti-branded hookah, and it's undoubtedly the same market to which Roland Iten is pitching this high-priced belt buckle.
Yes, a belt buckle. Not one designed to fasten the safety belt in an actual Veyron, mind you, but the high-priced clasp for a strap of leather to hold up your pants. The mechanical buckle is crafted in Switzerland using watchmaking techniques. The intricate mechanism uses 100 components to ratchet the belt tighter rather than relying on pre-cut holes in the leather.
When Bugatti first introduced the Veyron, production was limited to just 300 coupes (including the original 16.4 and the Super Sport). Those were followed by an additional 150 roadsters (both Grand Sport and Vitesse), of which 100 have now been sold, leaving just 50 examples left before the Veyron finally roars off into the sunset.
The 400th Veyron built was the third and final example of the Jean-Pierre Wimille edition pictured here. Based on the Vitesse roadster, the Wimille edition is the first in a series of six Legend specials that pay homage to the Alsatian marque's history. The second is dedicated to Jean Bugatti, and the third to racer and factory team manager Meo Costantini, with three more of these three-unit special editions to follow out of the remaining 50 cars to be built at Molsheim. We're expecting one of the remaining three to be named after Rembrandt Bugatti, designer of the company's elephant hood ornament.
Given that it has taken the company over eight years to build those 400 cars, it figures to take Bugatti another year or so to complete the final 50, by which point it'll hopefully have a successor in place. For more news on the landmark, see the official press release below.
Ever look at the price of a new Veyron and wonder what they're smoking over in Molsheim? Heck, that latest special edition Vitesse costs nearly $3 million, and that's before taxes and delivery. Well, we've got the answer right here. It's a shisha pipe - the kind smoked in bedouin tents and cafés frequented by Middle Eastern gentlemen the world over - and it's branded by Bugatti.
The pipe is hand-crafted from titanium and carbon fiber (instead of the usual glass and steel) and stands about two and a half feet tall. It's made by a company called Desvall, which contrary to what you might think, is located not on the eastern or southern shores of the Mediterranean or along the Persian Gulf, but in Stockholm, Sweden.
And the price? A suitably Bugatti-like $100,000. That's a heck of a lot more than the already-outrageous $1,950 that Porsche Design gets for its shisha, which, let's face it, is basically a beautifully-crafted but overpriced water bong, to say nothing of what an average shisha would cost you in the bazaar. But we're sure there are some customers somewhere in the world who'd gladly pony up that amount to smoke a Bugatti pipe next to their Veyron in their lavishly appointed garage at the end of a sand-swept driveway. And Desvall only needs 150 of them, because that's all they're making.
Bugatti is in the midst of a six-part special series of Veyrons that pay tribute to legendary figures from its history. The first, unveiled at Pebble Beach, paid tribute to Jean-Pierre Wimille. The second arrived in Frankfurt to recall Jean Bugatti. Given the patent application we came across, we expected the next would honor Ettore's brother Rembrandt Bugatti, who designed the prancing elephant hood ornament. But that one will apparently have to wait, because Molsheim has just revealed the third edition in its Les Légendes de Bugatti series in tribute to one Meo Costantini.
A close personal friend of Ettore himself, Meo Costantini raced Bugattis in the 1920s and went on to manage the factory racing team. He won the Targa Florio twice in a Bugatti Type 35, a model that went down in history as one of the most successful racing cars ever made, and won several grands prix.
Like the other Legend specials, the Costantini edition is based on the Vitesse roadster with its 1,200-horsepower, 8.0-liter, quad-turbo W16 engine; 2.6-second 0-62 time; and 253-mile-per-hour top speed. What sets this one apart is its trim. The carbon-fiber parts of the bodywork are painted in signature French Racing Blue, and the aluminum is left exposed, polished and clear-coated. The map of the Targa Florio route is painted on the underside of the rear wing and imprinted in between the seats, and Costantini's signature is etched into the fuel cap and embroidered into the headrests.
Though increasingly uncommon today, back in the day every automaker had a hood ornament. Bugatti's was an elephant standing up on its hind legs with its trunk extended into the sky. It capped the nose on the famous Bugatti Type 41 Royale, and it was designed by Rembrandt.
No, not the famous Dutch artist, but Rembrandt Bugatti - the younger brother of carmaker Ettore Bugatti who was named after the painter.
So why do we mention this, you ask? Because one of our readers just alerted us to a patent application with the European Union's Office for Hamonization in the Internal Market. It was filed by Audi's intellectual property office on behalf of its sister company and encompasses the name Rembrandt Bugatti.
Even if you don't consider yourself an art connoisseur, Bugatti just gave car lovers a great reason to visit the Ace Gallery in Beverly Hills, CA. As a part of an exhibit for French artist Bernar Venet, the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Venet, which was unveiled last year, is also on display.
Although not quite as exciting as a date in the desert with the Lamborghini Veneno, we still hopped at the chance to get an up-close look at this custom Veyron. Venet, who had said that the Veyron is a work of art on its own, decided to put his touch on the car by using Bugatti's engineering equations - all of the mathematical equations and notations make the car look like it was left on the set of A Beautiful Mind.
If you're going to be in Beverly Hills over the next week, perhaps you'd be interested in checking out the Ace Gallery yourself - admission is free. If not, well, we hope the high-res image gallery above proves to be a reasonable alternative. Enjoy.
It may be a bit of a stretch to find similarities between pianos and sportscars, but bear with us. Both are made to perform, both have pedals and wheels (albeit of radically different size), and both tend to cost around the same. Unless you're talking about a Bugatti, which would set you back more than any piano this side of a Bösendorfer with serious pedigree.
Well, Bugatti has just drawn an even closer parallel with this latest edition of the Veyron Vitesse roadster. And not by applying some black lacquered trim pieces, either. When celebrated concert pianist Lang Lang visited the factory at Château St. Jean in Molsheim, Bugatti took the wraps off this unique Vitesse with a high-contrast black and white finish inspired by a piano keyboard.
The treatment, which also echoes a specific Type 57 Atalante, continues inside with white leather embroidered with black stitching to mimic sheet music, with gold plating on the steering wheel, wheel hubs and fuel cap. Lang Lang even signed the center console with a gold marker. Best of all, spool up that sixteen-cylinder engine and it'll make sweeter music to our ears than any piano ever could.