- Bugatti Veyron(38)
From the same guys who brought us video of a street-legal Porsche 962C driving through the streets of Japan comes this latest video showing Le Mans-winning pro driver, Seiji Ara, lapping Fuji Speedway in a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport. Most of the video centers around Ara's impressions, but there is plenty of great video showing the supercar carving up the track's numerous turns and blasting along its lengthy front straightaway.
Ara says this is the most powerful car he's ever driven, so we imagine it was as much for fun for him to drive as it is for us to watch. During the drive, the camera provides a sense of what it's like to pilot the Veyron on such a challenging track, and you can hear its turbos and wastegates getting a workout. Scroll down to watch this well-shot, well-edited video of Ara and the Veyron lapping Fuji Speedway. Oh, and be sure to stick around for the end, as there's a bonus three-way drag race you won't want to miss.
After taking last week to review the record category for World's Fastest Production Car, Guinness World Records has reconfirmed that the holder of this hotly contested superlative remains the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.
The Veyron Super Sport set the official record back in 2010 with a Guinness-verified speed of 267.8 miles per hour, but other interested parties have recently contested that record's validity because the Veyron used that day had its speed limiter removed. With the speed limiter in place, the Veyron Super Sport tops out at 258 mph.
Guinness rules state that a record-setting production car must be unchanged from what is available to customers. While some, particularly Hennessey Performance, have claimed that removing the Veyron's speed limiter violated that rule, Guinness has settled the matter by stating that "a change to the speed limiter does not alter the fundamental design of the car or its engine."
Bugatti has come back from losing its "World's Fastest Production Car" title with a new superlative to add to the Veyron's trophy case: World's Fastest Open-Top Production Car. That's right, if you can't beat 'em, take the roof off and join them.
The record of 408.84 kilometers per hour, or 254.04 miles per hour, was set by a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse driven by Chinese racing driver Anthony Liu at Volkswagen Group's proving grounds in Ehra-Lessian, Germany. The speed was measured and verified by the German Technical Inspection and Certification Association, or TÜV.
That last point is important to note, as the kerfuffle over the closed-roof Veyron's record involved the Guinness World Records organization, which both sanctioned the car's world record run back in 2010 and then stripped Bugatti of the title after it was learned the car used to set the record had its speed-limited removed. Also, whereas Guinness calculates a car's speed based on the average of two runs in opposite directions, Bugatti doesn't say what criteria TÜV used to verify and calculate the convertible's speed.
Product placement in movies is a big business, but is it always necessary? This is the question we asked ourselves when watching the movie trailer for Sony Picture's new film due out this fall called Elysium - a 22nd Century story about the privileged and elite who live in their own separate dwelling while Earth rots away. Toward the end of the trailer, a flying car flashes across the screen, and what familiar logo do we see on this car's rump? Yup, Bugatti.
Now, we're not saying that it's hard to imagine that in a future world - with a private inhabitance for the rich and cancer-curing machines - people would pilot flying Bugattis. It does seem like a questionable move on Bugatti's part, however, since it seems that the people of Elysium aren't exactly painted in a flattering light. We'll hold our official judgment about the movie and Bugatti's role in it, until we've watched the thing. Until then you can check out the official trailer below in which you'll also catch a glimpse of a post-apocalyptic Nissan GT-R (if you have especially sharp eyes).
Ettore Bugatti, the automobile designer behind the Automobiles E. Bugatti nameplate, was famed for his engine and vehicle designs. Yet few realize that the Frenchman also worked on a spectacular twin-engine racing aircraft, intended to compete in the 1939 Deutsch de la Meurthe Cup Race, called the 100P. Designed by Louis de Monge, the low wing monoplane featured two engines, both mounted aft of the pilot (nearly end-to-end), driving twin counter rotating propellers through long drive shafts. To achieve its maximum speed, estimated at nearly 550 miles per hour, it was fitted with two powerful inline eight-cylinder engines each making about 450 horsepower.
Sadly, the plane never took flight. Instead, the one-of-a-kind aircraft spent World War II slowly rotting in a French barn, hidden from the Germans. Restored today, but not in flying condition, Bugatti's original 100P sits in the Airventure Museum in Oshkosh, WI.
Seven decades after the original mostly balsa and hardwood aircraft was locked away, businessman Scotty Wilson is leading a team (including Louis de Monge's great-nephew, Lasislas de Monge) intent on seeing an exact replica of Bugatti's 100P "Blue Dream" take to the sky. And that is where Kickstarter comes into play...
On the heels of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport being stripped of its World's Fastest Car title by Guinness World Records comes this tease from the French automaker, hinting that it will soon "share the latest example of exceptional Bugatti performance" over the next few days its Facebook page.
The timing of the announcement is interesting. Even though the current Super Sport boasts a quad-turbo 8.0-liter W16 developing 1,200 horsepower that pushes the two-seater to an unrestricted top speed of 267 mph, today's competitors are knocking at kicking down Bugatti's door. The much lighter and more agile Hennessey Venom GT (twin-turbo 7.0-liter V8 rated at 1,244 horsepower) recently ran to nearly 266 mph - and it still hasn't fully stretched its legs. And then there is the Shelby SuperCars Ultimate Aero (twin-turbo 6.9-liter V8 rated at 1,300 horsepower) that will hit 256 mph.
So, we have to ask, what exactly will Bugatti reveal this week? Is this another variant of the Super Sport, sans its electronic limiter for a boosted top end? Is this the rumored 1,600 horsepower Super Veyron, which we first heard about many months ago? Or, will Bugatti finally be revealing a production version of its 16C Galibier sedan? Let us know what you think in our comments section, below.
Selling cars is difficult enough without your company's only product being a $2.2 million supercar, but that doesn't seem to have slowed down Anita Krizsan.
As a sales representative for Bugatti, Krizsan sold 11 Veyron models to clients around the world last year, and her efforts have earned her the nickname "The $15 million woman." For comparison's sake, most of the company's salesmen are happy to move three of the ultra cars in a calendar year, and Krizsan's exploits mean she's the worldwide Bugatti sales leader. But getting there has been plenty of work.
The sales rep is available to clients 24 hours a day, and many times, potential customers call her in the middle of the night with questions about the car or its warranty. Krizsan even personally attends every delivery.
Designer Pawel Czyzewski has taken a stab at what a new Bugatti coupe could look like. The Gangloff Concept lifts inspiration from the famous 1938 Bugatti Type 57 SC Atalante Coupe. That beautiful machine wore a body crafted by none other than French coach builder Gangloff, hence the concept's moniker. Wearing a few cues from the current batch of Veyron hypercars, including a familiar grille and cabin feel, the Gagloff is what the luxury coupes of our childhood dreams looked like. We dig the particularly brawny rear hips and split rear window.
While the LED headlights aren't really our bag of tricks, this concept has a heart-stopping profile. With those proud, arching fenders and eye-slit side glass, we certainly wouldn't mind seeing this machine in the Bugatti stable. Unfortunately, this design isn't officially affiliated with the French automaker, which means the Gagloff concept will remain pixels in the ether. Head over to CarBodyDesign.com for more information.
The last time Volkswagen moved this many vehicles in America in one year, Richard Nixon was still a President in good standing, Let It Be was a radio hit and each car wearing the VW badge boasted an air-cooled engine. That's right, with a grand total of 580,286 vehicles sold in the US last year, the VW Group has broken its own four-decades-old sales record by 2,899 vehicles.
Of that 580k total sold, 438k were Volkswagens and 139k were Audi products - increases of 35.1 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively, in year-over-year sales. The ultra-premium members of the VW group also fared well; Bentley delivered 2,315 vehicles for a 23.3-precent increase, and Lamborghini delivered 520 units for a 52.9-percent jump. Bugatti, we're told is "right on track."
Jetta (pictured) sales paced the marque with 170k models sold, and Passat also finished very strong with sales of 117k total. Tiguan also racked up its best year on file, with 31,731 models shifted.
Bugatti has reportedly extended its order for the unique seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox in the Veyron through 2014. Originally, the automaker had only maintained a contract for the transmissions through the end of 2013. Rumors have been swirling around the possibility of a new iteration of the Veyron in the works capable of dropping a 1.8-second 0-60 time. It's entirely possible the new transmission order could be used in that contraption, though Bugatti isn't saying one way or the other.
The transmission is used only in the Veyron and has been engineered to withstand a full 1,200 horsepower by Ricardo. With shift times of less than 150 milliseconds and both automatic and manual modes, there's no other transmission like it in the world. Of course, they don't come cheap. Toast one of these and Bugatti will kindly ask for $120,000 for a replacement, not including installation.