The Bugatti 16.4 Veyron ( / vɛʁɔ / ) was the only production model of the French car manufacturer Bugatti from 2005 to 2015 . Supercar reaching 431,072 km / h in its super sport version, it was then the fastest production car in the world.
Assembly in Molsheim in Alsace , it was unveiled, for the most part, in 2000 at the Paris Motor Show in the form of the EB 18/4 Veyron style study . The first copies are out of the factory onApril 19, 2005. In 2010, appears a model “Grand Sport” then in 2011 the extreme version “Super Sport”.
Designed entirely in Europe by the VAG group , owner of the brand, as well as by some specialized partners; all parts of the Veyron are made in Europe and assembled by a small team. Five people and three weeks of work are needed for assembly. All repairs relating to the engine, the bodywork and its servicing are carried out also in Molsheim. Each copy carries a plate with its chassis number.
The Bugatti Renaissance
At the origins of the creation of the Veyron is, in 1998 , the takeover by the Volkswagen Group of the Bugatti brand . This one, founded by the Italian engineer Ettore Bugatti in 1909 in Molsheim, was one of the most emblematic automobile brands of the inter-war period , producing models of very high-end up to the late 1930s . Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan 1 , Ettore motto was: “Nothing is too beautiful, nothing is too expensive 2 . » The death in 1939 of Jean Bugatti- son of Ettore, on whom rested the future of the brand – then the Second World War will mark a stop in the history of Bugatti. The Molsheim factory is annexed during the conflict by German troops, who force Ettore Bugatti to sell the premises. He dies on August 21 , 1947without the activity ever really resumed 3 , marking the first disappearance of the mark.
A first – and brief – attempt to revive the brand will take place under the impetus of the Hispano-Suiza-Messier group, owned by the Bugatti family, in the 1950s , with the Type 251 racing model, without success 2 . It will be necessary to wait until the beginning of the 1990s for Bugatti to reappear as a manufacturer. The businessman Italian Romano Artioli bought the brand and created in 1991 the company Bugatti Automobili SpA , he moved to Modena in Italy 2 . It is during this “Italian” period of the brand that the EB110 is created., which marks the return of Bugatti in the luxury automobile sector, and the EB112 sedan prototype . But again, success will not be enough and the Artioli company closes its doors in 1995 4 .
The salvation of Bugatti finally comes three years later from a major figure in the contemporary automotive industry, Ferdinand Piëch . Grandson of Ferdinand Porsche , he followed an engineering career at Audi , during which he notably imposed the Quattro system , before taking control of the VAG 4 group . At the head of the German brand , Piëch is embarking on a strategy of diversification in the market of high-end cars. It buys the manufacturers Bentley and Lamborghini , before acquiring the Bugatti brand in 1998 5, giving birth to the company Bugatti Automobiles SAS .
Genesis of the project and first prototypes
By relaunching the Alsatian brand, Ferdinand Piëch does not pursue economic imperatives, and Bugatti is not intended to contribute to the profitability of the Volkswagen Group. The aim is, according to Franz-Joseph Paefgen, appointed brand president, to “create something at the top of the automotive industry, which can not compare to anything existing. The absolute peak in performance, power, the highest level of technology. ” Bugatti has thus become the showcase of the group, a communication tool in the long-run, a bit like a Formula 1 6 .
To do this, Piëch begins by buying, in 1999 , the historic home of the Bugatti family, the castle of Saint-Jean, where the brand was born in 1909 . Located in the municipalities of Molsheim and Dorlisheim , it is to house the future production site of the new models 7 , becoming de facto the headquarters of the company Bugatti Automobiles SAS 8 , created the year before. At the same time, the brand’s design offices are already working on a number of high-end model projects, the aim being for Piëch to “build the perfect automobile of the new millennium” 9 . “
At the end of 1998, Bugatti presented its first prototypes based on the same innovative engine architecture, a 6.3- liter engine with a capacity of about 550 horsepower. This engine is then called ” W ” because it consists of 18 cylinders divided into three benches of six cylinders each 5 , themselves made up of blocks of three cylinders using components from the VAG group, which is then perceived as a pledge of seriousness and feasibility of the project 10 . After the presentation of the EB118 – a prototype of a four-seater coupé designed by Italian designer ItalDesign -Paris Motor Show inOctober 199810 , it is a draft of limousine with integral transmission also signed ItalDesign, the EB218 , which is unveiled six months later on the occasion of the Salon of Geneva . A release for 2002 is even referred 11 .
The presentation of these two prototypes, almost in quick succession, testifies to the wish of Dr. Piëch to bring to a successful conclusion his Bugatti revival project. However, both EB118 and EB218 will finally be abandoned by the Alsatian brand.