So here are some more facts about the Veyron Super Sport with which you can amaze/disgust/enlighten/bore/inform and/or entertain your friends at the next dinner party (delete where applicable please).
When Bugatti first went to Michelin to specify tyres that would remain safe at 252mph (the regular Veyron’s official top speed), Michelin said it could produce a special tyre that could be fitted if and when owners wanted to have a crack at the top speed.
But Bugatti insisted that Michelin come up with a set of tyres that could be used 365 days a year and still be good for 252mph – and so at great expense Michelin came up with the perfect tyre. Since then, just 13 owners have actually done over 250mph in their cars, meaning that the other 245 Veyrons out there are fitted with tyres that are massively over-engineered. And that’s just the way Bugatti wanted it.
The tolerances for the exterior panel gaps on the Veyron SS are plus or minus two tenths of one milimetre; virtually zero in other words. This is at the specific request of VW’s uber-Field Marshall-in-chief, Ferdinand Piech, who apparently has a bit of a thing about panel gaps.
To achieve the perfect finish of the painted carbon bodywork, Bugatti applies seven layers of dyed resin above the carbon. And the weave itself has to be perfectly matched across the various exterior panel gaps, otherwise it is thrown away and they start all over again. The cost? A further 200,000 euros above and beyond the basic 1.65m euro asking price, which of course doesn’t include VAT.
At full chat the W16 engine ingests some four tones of air per hour. That’s enough to keep the average human being alive for 40 days and 40 nights.
To find a sensor efficient enough to monitor the car’s acceleration and then deploy its various wings at precisely the right moment, Bugatti investigated sonar technology but it wasn’t accurate enough. Then they asked NASA for assistance and that didn’t work either, again because the sensors used by the North American Space Association weren’t quite accurate enough.
In the end Bugatti found a solution within the agriculture industry, and went with a gyro sensor used by the most cutting edge combine harvesters. It’s a sensor that allows combines to harvest in perfectly straight lines over very long distances, and without it the SuperSport would not be able to achieve its top speed.
A set of wheels on this car costs 50,000 euros, and they must be changed – as in thrown away and be replaced by brand new wheels – every third tyre cycle. Which equates to approximately 16,000km.
The dashboard is created by using one single piece of aluminium, which stretches right from one side of the car to the other and runs from the base of the windscreen to the console that surrounds the gearlever. Cost? Another 20,000 euros – kerching.
Bugatti knows where every single Veyron is and how fast it is travelling at any given moment by using a complex GPS data logging system back at the factory. It runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is intended to be the world’s most sophisticated anti-theft system. Except for just one car, whose owner asked to be removed from the grid due to privacy reasons.
In Handling Mode – whereby the wings are fully extended – the Veyron SS produces around 350kg of downforce, split roughly 100kg over the front axle and 250kg over the rear. With the second key in the ignition and in Top Speed mode, which prevents the main wings from deploying and increases the top speed from 235mph to 257mph, it produces just 50kg of downforce, split 10kg front, 40kg rear. Which gives you an idea how much less stable it must be right at the very top end.
The standing quarter mile time is 9.7sec. And despite weighing some 1838kg (50kg less than the regular version) it can stop in just 31.4m from 62mph. To go from 0-100-0mph takes 9.2sec. And that, my friends, is raving ridiculous.