Designed and developed by Volkswagen Group (based on the Bentley Hunaudieres concept) and produced by Bugatti Automobiles SAS at their headquarters in Château Saint Jean in Molsheim (Alsace, France), the Veyron's chief designer was Hartmut Warkuss, and the exterior was designed by Jozef Kabaň of Volkswagen, with much of the engineering work being conducted under the guidance of former Peterbilt Trucks engineer and now Bugatti Engineering chief Wolfgang Schreiber. Though commissioned by Volkswagen, this car is only sold through the Bugatti manufacturers and cannot be found at any Volkswagen dealer.
A number of special variants have been produced, including two targa tops. In December 2010, Bugatti began offering prospective buyers the ability to customize exterior and interiors colours by using the Veyron 16.4 Configurator application on the marque's official website.
On Top GearEdit
The Veyron has received considerable praise from all three presenters of the popular BBC motoring show Top Gear. While initially skeptical that it would ever be produced, Jeremy Clarkson later declared the Veyron "the greatest car ever made and the greatest car we will ever see in our lifetime." James May described the Veyron as "our Concorde moment."
Clarkson test drove the Veyron from Alba, northern Italy to London in a race against James May and Richard Hammond who made the journey in a Cessna 182 aeroplane. He won with a tiny lead, and James had to park his plane in Lille, since he hadn't done the test to fly it in the dark.
A few episodes later, James May drove the Veyron at the VW test track and took it to its top speed of 407.16 km/h.
During the second episode of the 13th series, Richard Hammond raced the Veyron against the McLaren F1 driven by The Stig in a one mile (1.6 km) drag race in Abu Dhabi, commenting on Bugatti's "amazing technical achievement" versus the "non gizmo" racing purity of the F1. While the F1 was quicker off the line and remained ahead until both cars were travelling at approximately 200 km/h, the Bugatti overtook its competitor from 200 to 300 km/h, and emerged the victor. Hammond has stated that he did not use the Veyron's launch control in order to make the race more interesting.
The Veyron also won the award for Car of the Decade in Top Gear's end of 2010 award show. Clarkson commented "It was a car that just rewrote the rule book really, an amazing piece of engineering, a genuine Concorde moment". When the standard version was tested, it did not reach the top of the lap time leader board, which was speculated as being due to the car's considerable weight disadvantage against the other cars towards the top. The SuperSport version, however, achieved the fastest ever time of 1:16.8 (later beaten by the Ariel Atom V8, the McLaren MP4-12C and the Lamborghini Aventador), as well as being taken to a (verified) average top speed of 431.072 km/h by Raphanel on the programme, thenceforth retaking its position as the fastest production car in the world.
In 2011, Bugatti Veyron: A Quest for Perfection - The Story of the Greatest Car in the World was published, which took the stance that the car had now become so famous that it was effectively a bona fide 'celebrity'. The book follows its author Martin Roach as he attempts to track down and drive the car, along the way interviewing chief designers, test drivers, and the president of Bugatti.
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