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Old 09-05-2007, 08:54 PM
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Default The Fastest Street Car Being Built Today



The Bugatti Veyron

I'm sure you've heard about. They say it's fast. But we hear about fast cars all the time. What makes this one so special? Today on StreetSeen, we'll be talking about this...



Lets get the specs out the way first. Yes, it's as fast as you've heard. 253 miles per hour across the ground. Over a thousand horsepower. You'd think the end result is an obvious one, and that given the number of high horsepower cars out there, this is an easy achievement. You'd be wrong. In fact, the Veyron is an engineering story more than anything else- and a story of how difficult engineering can be. It's a story of perseverance and ultimate success.



It started in 1999. Bugatti introduced a car called the EB18/4 at the Tokyo Motor Show. It had 18 cylinders, in four banks of six. It was supposed to deliver 555hp and was largely a concept that Bugatti would gauge people's reactions by.



A year later, VW Chairman (VW owns Bugatti) Ferdinand Pich announced the Bugatti 16/4 at the Paris Motor Show. He said that the car produced 1000 horsepower via a W16 engine (16 cylinders in 4 banks of 4, essentially two V8s put together). The only problem was, the announcement hadn't been OK'd by the engineers who would build the car...

The next year, work on the car began. It was announced in 2001 that the car would go on sale in 2003 for about $1 million dollars. Potential buyers were lined up. Again, engineers continued work, trying to build the car that had been promised.

The task was easier said than done however, and in 2001 at a public event at the Laguna Seca Raceway, a prototype was destroyed as the result of a crash during a public demonstration. That same day, another prototype lost control and was nearly destroyed. Following these accidents, the project was delayed as engineers worked to figure out how to build the car to make it stable and driver friendly. It had to not only be daily drivable and reliable, but easy to drive at 10mph, as at 110mph, 210mph, and top speed. And again, they were finding it easier said than done. Pich retired that year, and was replaced by Bernd Pischetsrieder, who took command of VW. Pischetsrieder reorganized (replaced) the entire Veyron team, in an effort to bring the project back on track.



He was successful. The production version of the car premiered for the first time at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show, by which time production was already ramping up to about 60 cars per year. The waiting list exploded immediately with no shortage of buyers willing to spend the $1.2 million Bugatti was asking for the car.

But what did the engineers build?

Yes it looks like the concept originally showed. Under the skin, it features two V8s mated together to create a W-16. Total displacement is 8.0L. There are four turbochargers that each produce up to 18PSI of boost at Wide Open Throttle. Actual engine output is said to exceed 1100hp under many conditions, to ensure that even if you're operating a Veyron at high altitude or on hot days, you're getting the full 1,000 horsepower.


[Fun fact: At full tilt, the Veyron's engine burns over 11,800 gallons of AIR and 1.33 gallons of FUEL every MINUTE]

But that's only the beginning.

That power is sent to an all wheel drive drivetrain, which is a good idea since that's a lot of power to manage in daily driving. To manage the power, the Veyron's engine is mated to a dual clutch transmission. I've discussed how the engine works elsewhere on the site, but here's a brief overview.

The dual clutch transmission is like two manual transmissions mated together in a lot of ways. The Veyron has seven gears so the even gears are on one shaft and the odd gears are on another. When first gear is engaged, one clutch is connected to the engine. At the same time, second gear is engaged, but the clutch is not. When the driver requests second gear, the transmission swaps clutches. Then the first shaft preselects third, or first depending on which it thinks is more likely to be the next gear.



The net result is that shifts as fast if not faster than any other transmission in production. In addition, there is no interruption of power delivery: the car stays at full boost while accelerating from zero to its top speed. Gear selection is handled by paddles in the cockpit: left to gear down, right to gear up. There is essentially no delay between the request of a gear and its actuation (unlike automatic-based transmissions with paddle shifters). In manual mode, the car will not second guess you either- unless you come to a stop or try to downshift in such a way that the engine would take damage (for example downshifting at redline, or requesting reverse at 200mph)

All of this in a compact transmission, designed to last for the life of the car, that manages more than all the torque the Veyron could produce.



The best powertrain in the world isn't very useful if you can't stay on the road. Although the Veyron weighs 4,160lbs, it's relatively competent come the winding road. This is due in no small part to a suspension and body that adapts to driving conditions.



The suspension has three modes. Standard mode is used for "town traffic and speeds up to 136mph." After that, handling mode becomes default. In handling mode, the car is lowered and the rear wing assumes an angle of anywhere from 15 degrees to 27 degrees to the car, depending on what the car needs and how much air needs to be channeled to internal radiators (more on that in a moment). If the driver slams on the brakes, the rear wing will snap to 55 degrees to force the car down onto the road- to help the car gain traction and bleed speed- further assisting the Veyron's braking system.



Speaking of stopping, the Veyron features a carbon ceramic braking system. The Veyron's rotors are 16 inches in diameter and are lightweight but composite to help contain and lose heat fast. They are capable of slowing the car from top speed to a stop in under ten seconds when combined with the rear spoiler (which by itself can do 0.5G -half your weight- of deceleration). The system is designed to be fade free. Like other ceramic systems, they will glow during agressive street use and may even catch fire. This is normal.



In all, the braking system can enact a force of 1.5G on you and the car, to bring it to a stop. That means that if you weighed 200lbs, you'd feel 300lbs of force on you when stopping. The system is setup to allow the car to be stopped from top speed in a fully balanced fashion- you could take your hands off the wheel and the car would be perfectly stable.

Combined with the engine, the car can perform 50-194-50mph tests every 22 seconds until it runs out of gas.

If you want to make a run to top speed, it's not as simple as getting in and flooring the gas pedal. Bugatti recommends you first start by looking the car over: checking for foreign debris, tire pressure abnormalities, etc. Once you've done that, you have to take a special Top Speed key, and insert it into the car to activate top speed mode. In this mode, the car will drop to hug the ground as best it can, and the spoiler will retract to make the car as slippery as possible. You're now free to go as fast as you'd like, but if you hit the brakes or turn too much, the car will return to handling mode from top speed mode.



None of this would be safely done without capable tires. This critical part is all too often ignored in the assessment of a performance car. On the Veyron, Bugatti turned to Michelin to supply them with a special variant of Michelin's highly acclaimed PS2 tire. The Veyron is fitted with 265-680 ZR 500A (99Y) PAX Front & 365-710 ZR540A (108Y) Pax Rear tires. These are runflat tires that are designed to allow the car to be driven even in the event of complete loss of pressure, improving safety and allowing the car to not need a spare tire....

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Thanks to the laws of physics, performance creates heat. How does the Veyron keep cool? Simple, ten (10) Radiators. Yes you read that right: Three are used for the engine, one is used for the turbochargers, two are used for the dual climate control system, oen for the transmission, one for the differential, one for the engine oil, and one for the rear wing's hydraulic system.



All of this engineering may sound excessive, but this is the difference between a typical tuned car and the Veyron. The Veyron is built to perform at these levels at all times...with a factory warranty. In addition, it's built to still retain complete comfort and composure. Bugatti built it to be a daily driver.

The results, I'd say, speak for themselves:

Top speed exceeds the target 250mph, and has been tested at 253mph in multiple independent tests.
From a stop, the car is capable of reaching 62mph in 2.5 seconds, 124mph in 7.3 seconds, and 186mph in 16.7 seconds.
Gearbox shift times are all under 150ms and the car will stop from 62mph in under 105ft.



This level of performance is not easy to describe. For instance, 0-60mph is dealt with in roughly 2.5 seconds... but that's difficult to use as a metric since it's more of a measure of driving skill and traction than anything else. What applies to most newer high end cars applies doubly so to the Veyron- it's so fast it doesn't make sense to use that number as a metric of acceleration. The one metric that people do like, the quarter mile, is a little more telling with the car reportedly being easily in the mid10s at over 140mph...but even that falls short of capturing what kind of speed this is. The largest liter bikes for instance, come close to achieving Veyron like acceleration, but only at low speeds. The Veyron will keep pulling beyond 250mph.

Words probably don't do much more to explain the Veyron. So, at this point, I'll leave it to these images and videos....


















This is what the Veyron will do to a 350Z, given relatively open road:




And finally, what happens when the Veyron goes up against another supercar, a Mercedes McLaren SLR? Note: The SLR is a low 11 second car on the quarter mile, capable of trapping 135mph and able to go on to over 210mph.

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  #2  
Old 09-07-2007, 12:38 PM
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twincityfinest twincityfinest is offline
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Default Re: The Fastest Street Car Being Built Today

I think that dude scott scorch, the rap producer, got one of these. This car is just crazy mayne!
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  #3  
Old 09-07-2007, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: The Fastest Street Car Being Built Today

Yup- I can confirm that- check it out here: http://www.streetseen.vi/?p=220
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2010, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: The Fastest Street Car Being Built Today

to update an old thread with a new vid...

i found a 4 part video about the veyron from national geographic.

havent seen it yet but looks promising







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Old 05-10-2010, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: The Fastest Street Car Being Built Today




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Last edited by babyface; 05-10-2010 at 03:25 PM.
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  #6  
Old 05-10-2010, 03:32 PM
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turbomikey turbomikey is offline
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Default Re: The Fastest Street Car Being Built Today

nice look up tekk. but i know a car that is kicking the veyron's ass
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:38 PM
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turbomikey turbomikey is offline
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Default Re: The Fastest Street Car Being Built Today

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb6QYBD5UzA dis is the fastest car the ssc
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: The Fastest Street Car Being Built Today

i mean 16 pistons 4 turbos.....it better be fast!
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: The Fastest Street Car Being Built Today

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbomikey View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb6QYBD5UzA dis is the fastest car the ssc
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  #10  
Old 05-10-2010, 04:45 PM
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Tekknikal Tekknikal is offline
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Default Re: The Fastest Street Car Being Built Today

yea this is an old thread, the scc aero is "faster".
but otherwise, ill pretend you guys arent really putting the two in the same sentence
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