The Bugatti Veyron has an unending list of accolades to its name. There was a time when it was the most sophisticated, powerful and, let’s not forget, expensive car on the road. It was mind blowingly powerful when it was released and it continues to be a wonder today. Such a chariot could not be built in something as gauche as a normal factory using average manufacturing techniques. No, even how the car was made needed to be a symphony of mechanical wonder.
The site Core77 brought this clip from a documentary about building Bugatti Veyron to our attention this week. The whole thing is fascinating, but here’s the relevant clip for our purposes:
The mechanism in the floor was built to protect workers from tripping over the exposed track when moving around their work stations. Are there less elegant, cheaper and easier ways to do this? Probably, but this is Bugatti, baby. A car like the Veyron can’t be built on some greasy assembly line by mere mortals.
The shop needs to be fitting for a car that was a was a legend the moment it was conceived, even if its 2003 launch was a total shitshow, with the pre-production vehicle spinning out in front of journalists at Laguna Seca. It would be two more years before the cars were perfected, but eventually, the 450 Veyrons the company eventually build over 10 years would come together in this elegant ballet of engineering to be delivered to their insanely rich new owners to never be driven again.
From shaky beginnings the Veyron rose as a marvel of engineering. It’s 8.0-litre, quad-turbocharged W16 is, effectively, two VR8 engines stuck together at 90 degrees capable of putting out anywhere between 1,000 to 1,600 horsepower. Imagine, 1,000 HP in 2005. It’s a high mark to reach 15 years later, at least with traditional combustion engines. While the Veyron was eventually overshadowed by its’ sibling, the Chiron, in almost every metric, the Veyron’s legend lives on as perhaps one of the very first “super” cars.