The Bugatti Veyron is awe-inspiring. Whatever measurement you use to determine how good a car is, the Veyron likely tops the list. Most horsepower in a production vehicle? Check. Best acceleration? Check. Highest top speed? Definitely check. Tremble ye mighty and despair, for the Bugatti Veyron has conquered the car world.
First off, some of the Veyron’s specifications: a W16 engine that produces 1,001 horsepower; 0-to-60 mph in 3 seconds; 0-to-180 mph in 14 seconds; top speed of 254 mph (just to give you an idea of how fast that is, you cover the distance of an entire football field (plus another 20 yards) every second); price tag of $1.2 million; and when the engine is producing its peak horsepower output, it burns 1.33 gallons of gas every minute.
The Veyron’s engine is a marvel of modern engineering. The 16.4-liter W16 engine (which is essentially two V8 engines side by side) is affixed with four turbochargers. In order to keep the whole thing lubricated with oil under the most demanding driving situations, the Bugatti engineers use a dry sump oil system that they borrowed from Formula 1 cars. A lot of air is required in order to produce the massive amount of power this engine does. When you take the Veyron up to top speeds, the amount of air that the engine takes in over the course of the minute is about the same as the amount of air that the average person breathes over the course of four days.
Of course, in order to attain the top speeds, you need a car that is aerodynamically sound. Otherwise, cutting through the air that fast would cause all sorts of problems and keep you from going very fast. The Veyron is designed to be able to cut through the air with minimal drag. When you put the car into its performance mode and prepare to break the 200 mph mark, the car automatically lowers itself closer to the ground on a set of hydraulics, and the rear wing retracts into the car in order to minimize wind resistance.
In order to test the aerodynamics of the Veyron, Bugatti engineers wanted to put the car in a wind tunnel, so they asked a few Formula 1 racing manufacturers if they could use their wind tunnel. But, Formula 1 cars don’t go as fast as the Bugatti Veyron, so those wind tunnels weren’t capable of mimicing speeds of over 250 mph.
Some of you may be wondering just how the car can hold up under those sorts of speeds, particularly components like the tires. That is a cause for concern, as the amount of friction and heat being applied to the tires would cause them to fail after only 50 minutes. But, the fuel supply would run out after 15 minutes, so it’s a moot point.
More could be said about the Bugatti Veyron’s body, but a far more fitting description is simply seeing it.