The Veyron Grand Sport sums up the spirit of Ettore Bugatti, founder of the mythic manufacturer: “If you can compare it, then it’s no longer a Bugatti.” That’s still the way things are today. With the same desire for distinction and differentiation, Bugatti is pursuing the release of a number of historically different models. Ettore’s cars always put an emphasis on efficiency, demonstrating that brute power is by no means the absolute bar. Now his successors are presenting the technological prowess of the Volkswagen group within ever softer cabins.
“Nothing is too beautiful, nothing is too expensive,” Ettore Bugatti often claimed. And so, when Ferdinand Piëch became head honcho of the group, this man who as a child first became a lover of automobiles by watching Molsheim race cars fly by alongside his grandfather Ferdinand Porsche, decided to restore Bugatti back to its rightful place as the world’s most prestigious label.
This is how the second chapter in Bugatti’s story began – forged on one of Ettore’s ideas: “My vehicles are made to drive, not to brake.” Starting in 1998, the boss’ specifications were broken down to just a few numerals: “1001 ch and 400 km/h”. Originally baffled, the group’s engineers took on the creation of this never-before-seen vehicle using a simple blank sheet of paper and eventually arrived at such a high level of power and performance that everything had to be scrapped and reinvented. This creative liberty combined with the solid know-how of Volkswagen bore its fruits in the Veyron. With it, the entire high-end automobile market entered into a new dimension.
A six year gestation period would eventually see the Veyron’s release in 2005. Practically every single element and piece of this gem was studied and produced specifically for it, starting with its impressive 16 cylinder W motor, equipped with four turbos, or the dual-clutch gearbox, single-handedly capable of directing the titanic couple. This model was an homage to Pierre Veyron, winner along with Jean-Pierre Wimille of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1939 behind the wheel of a Bugatti Type 57C. The iconic brand is thus paying homage to a huge name in automobile history, capturing in soft yet powerful lines the fantasies of every F1 racer.