One of the most ambitious sports car
projects in history, the Bugatti Veyron is facing some rather
understandable last-minute delays. VW Chairman Bernd Pischetsrider has
confirmed that the company is not yet satisfied with the steering, and
will be working to improve it prior to launch. The handling demands of a
road car intended to top 250+ mph are understandably an area for almost
endless fine-tuning. :-) Pischetsrider at the same time dismissed
the notion that there were any problems with the engine or transmission.
This latest study has side vents in the
fender, intended to help cooling and possibly increase downforce.
It is now due for introduction in April
of 2004, and until that time, we probably won't have exact figures for
the final Veyron's horsepower and projected performance. Some
reports indicate that the planned 1,001 horsepower will be somewhat
lower, in the mid-900 range. At the same time, many feel that
earlier projections of the car's performance, such as 2.9 seconds from
0-60 mph, may even prove conservative. There seems little doubt
that in at least some performance benchmarks, the Veyron will far exceed
any series production car ever made.
One of the goals of the Veyron was to
create a super car that is closer to a grand tourer in its comforts and
amenities, in contrast with such venerable contemporary exotics like the
Ferrari Enzo and
Porsche Carrera GT, which
are more akin to race cars for the street. This is in keeping with the
historical legacy of the Bugatti marque as a manufacturer of both sports
and luxury cars. The different approaches taken by the Enzo, Carrera GT,
and other extremely capable super cars like the
Pagani Zonda and
Koenigsegg will make for some very
interesting comparisons in the days ahead.
At this date (November 21, 2003), all
official Bugatti sources still reflect the original projections for
1,001 horsepower, so I carried over the stats from coverage on the
earlier Veyron study.
Nobody outside of Bugatti will know the final figures for some time.
At or near launch, I'm looking forward to adding the latest photos as
well as updated information on one of the most extreme cars ever.
Until then, enjoy our latest photos -- JF for