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Auto Corner: 2014 Bugatti Veyron, the World’s Fastest, Most Ostentatious Automobile
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11 October 2014  

Just how do you describe your new $2.25 million car to your friends?

2014 Bugatti Veyron

Cars we smoked at stoplights: All of them, folks. Including a Ferrari and your grandmothers Lincoln

0-60: in 2.5 seconds

How Fast Is That? I guess it will do in a pinch.

How Much? $2.25 Million (not a typo)

What option should I splurge on? You, splurge? 

Serious Contenders? Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

Where do I get one? If you can afford this car, you have a person. Nay, you have people, who can figure out that answer for you.

How do you translate the apex of performance, the 16-cylinder epitome of excess to the normal, plebeian, 4 and 6-cylinder commuters of domestic life?

Bugatti rocked the automotive world when it introduced the Veyron in 2005. With more than 1,000 horsepower, the Veyron broke every acceleration and top-speed record for production cars.

French aristocrats crafted opulent Versailles while thousands starved and died in the streets of Paris. So, leave it to a French automaker (Bugatti) to launch and sustain the world’s fastest, most ostentatious production automobile…and sustain production smack through the middle of The Great Financial Recession.

Now that many industries and markets are seeing gains again, is it a proper time for you to consider a $2 million car? Well, don’t ask a priest. But it is a fun to read about…or drool about. 

The Veyron is a French masterpiece of beauty and ba…, um, cajones. With the guts to handle the Le Mans Raceway, the Veyron doesn’t disappoint. It still holds the record for fastest street legal vehicle, powering without hesitation to 254 mph.

Expensive cars. Even cars that cost more than homes, usually have horsepower in the 400 to 750 horsepower range. The Veyron doesn’t slightly out-do them. Where other cars need 3 digits to express their horsepower, the Veryon requires 4. That’s right. This land-based shuttle has 1,200 horsepower, breathing and stomping through its 16-cylinder monster of an engine. 

If you’re in the market for a new, factory Veryon, you have just one trim presently available: the Grand Sport Vitesse. It’s a combination of the Super Sport and Grand Sport Veryons, both offered in the recent past. With the 1200 horsepower engine and 4 turbo-chargers, speed is not an issue in the Grand Sport Vitesse Veyron. Climb in the captains chair and you are greeted with carbon fiber, titanium, comfortable bucket seats and polished aluminum gadgetry.

All that power translates to 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, and an even more impressive to 0-150 mph in 9.8 seconds. So, when an average minivan is hitting 60 miles per hour, you could be (hypothetically, of course), needling on past 150. The Veyron’s stable of ponies is heavy, as it its all wheel drive (needed to connect that power to the pavement). As a result, she tips the scales at an un-sporty 4,160 pounds. But handling is surprisingly nimble, given her girth.

bugatti-veyron2

 

Massive tires and ceramic brakes keep the Veryon glued to the road. Well, as much as possible. It’s top speed comes with a stipulation. Like a nuclear launch facility, the Veryon requires a special key to unlock top-speed mode (no “nuclear football brief case” needed, yet. Perhaps that’s an upgrade for the 2016 model). Turn your top speed key, and the suspension lowers, so the car rests only 3.5 inches above the pavement. The spoiler also extends for increased down-force, among other adjustments.

The original Veyron listed for $1.3 million, but this uber-status symbol continues eclipsing it’s own glory, with slightly revised versions. Each slight upgrade inflates the price another median home price…or three. Leave it to the French. Now the car that started at $1.3 million will cost you $2.25 in its newest incarnation. 

With only 15 Veyron’s left to be built, you may want to put down your payment now--to ensure one is parked in your garage. If you have a spare seven-figures in your bank account. Of course, I know a couple starving automotive writers you could also help out, if you don’t know what else to do with your extra $2 million.

bugatti veyron grand sport 2014

 

© 2014 John Dickerson and John Kehlenbeck, Horsepower Auto Reviews

 

John Dickerson, Auto Reviews

Each month John Dickerson tests a worthy car. From smoking teenagers at stoplights to cramming groceries and small appliances into the trunk, Dickerson examines the features you actually care about, like how well a spilled mocha cleans off the upholstery. Dickerson was raised on industrial pollution, deer venison and American steel in Detroit, Michigan. His co-workers often find him in a trance, slumped over his keyboard, uttering words like “torque steer, horsepower-to-displacement ratio” and “nav system.”