Exotic Cars: Bugatti Veyron 16.4
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2007 Bugatti Veyron 16.4.
To make other exotics seem cheap, impotent, conservative, and common by comparison, it takes an incredible car. To date, only a handful of ultra-exotics have accomplished such a feat. Cars like the Ferrari Enzo. Mercedes-Benz SLR and Porsche Carrera GT come to mind. Yet one overshadows them all: the Bugatti Veyron 16.4.
To be honest, we were a little apprehensive about evaluating the exotic Bugatti Veyron 16.4. After production delays and a prolonged hype that bordered on tiresome, we had our doubts. It wouldn t be the first time our hopes were dashed over a Bugatti. Since the late 1990s, its parent company, Volkswagen, teased us with exotic concept cars that never reached production. And prior to VW s involvement, the EB110 supercar of the early 1990s was good for some mind-blowing velocity (over 200 mph) before bankruptcy put the brakes on the car and the company s short-lived revival. Once assurances finally became reality and production cars began leaving the factory, it was obvious we wouldn t be disappointed again.
Yes, it s fast. Naturally, it s exclusive; yet how does it qualify as an exotic car above other exotic cars? The following is a look at the Veyron from a critical perspective, with an evaluation for a possible 100-point score on two distinct levels: luxury (for its indulgent power and appointments) and practicality (for its ease of operation, ergonomics and technology). If you re guessing off-the-chart scores for the former and a flatline reading for the latter, read on you might be surprised.
the luxury ride
It would be optimistic to hope that the Veyron will break the tradition of Bugattis existing mostly as stationary pieces in collections. There s simply too much technology and craftsmanship here to hermetically seal and leave idle. However, it s probably a million-to-one shot 1.4 million, that is, if you consider the price of admission.
Upon first seeing the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, a few preconceived notions are dispelled. First, it looks more appealing in person than in photos; the styling is more harmonious to the eye than it appears digitally. Even the signature horseshoe grille and contrasting paint scheme flow much better. On further inspection, one notices the Veyron s exotic exterior details little things like the number of places air flows in and out of the car in the line of duty and the lack of an engine cover.
For an exotic car with such prowess, you d imagine it to be a bear to control from inside a sparse interior. Rather, it s not a bad place to be, with loads of leather and aluminum trim. No-nonsense analog gauges relay the vital stats, including a unique horsepower dial. Rather than contain rows of excessive buttons and switches, the dash and console contain just a few multifunction controls for the essentials. The result is clean and lends itself to a less claustrophobic feel behind the wheel.
When you decide you need your space and separate yourself from your exotic surroundings, the Veyron is a handy tool. With all-wheel drive and the 8-liter, quad turbo, W-16 offering 1,001 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 922 lb-ft of torque at just 2,200 rpm, otherworldly speed is achieved with a mere twitch of your foot. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 moves from 0 to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds, 0 to 124 mph takes 7.3 seconds and 0 to 186 mph only requires 16.7 seconds of your time. The governed top speed is 252 mph.
Back in the day, car designer Ettore Bugatti is said to have stubbornly defended his use of mechanical brakes, saying his cars were made to go, not stop. Today s car thankfully abandons half that mantra with ABS plus drilled/vented discs in the front and rear, 15.7 inches and 15 inches, respectively. They re good enough to yank the 4,162-pound Veyron to a halt from 62 mph in 103 feet. The car rides on 20-inch by 10-inch rims in front and 21-inch by 14-inch rims in back, with Michelin run-flat tires all around.
It s fitting for a million-dollar plus car to offer a huge palette of exterior and interior color options. Bugatti tradition suggests you choose a primary and secondary paint color scheme, though the Veyron is still quite striking in a single hue. If you re a loyalist, consider less abrupt shades. We feel the Veyron makes enough of a statement without burning bystanders retinas.
A $1.4 million car should not disappoint, and the Veyron is one of a few exotic cars that scores high marks for performance, style and comfort alike. We ve even warmed to the retro-styling cues like the grille and contrasting side sweeps.
Luxury score: 48/50
Now take a look at the more practical side of things on this exotic car