Bugatti Veyron on Course  

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Over 60 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 delivered worldwide

By the end of February Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. will have delivered 60 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 to date. As a result, the planned production volume has been exceeded.

After the start of production of the Bugatti Veyron in Alsatian Molsheim at the end of 2005 and the delivery of the ?rst vehicle in March 2006, Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. has reached the planned 50 units for the ?rst production year. This is interesting to note, because the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is a completely new model and thus has not been able to rely on already existing components.

In December 2003, the responsibility for Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. went to Dr. Thomas Bscher, the new president of the company. Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber was appointed as technical director and manager of Bugatti Engineering. The entire Bugatti project was then completely reassessed and a new schedule for the completion date of the super sports car was decided. The objectives established in this process have all been achieved since then.

Production of the Bugatti Veyron has been limited to a maximum of 300 units. The number of units for the ?rst production year has amounted to – as announced – 50 vehicles. Today, Bugatti is already able to increase the annual production volume and thus is able to reduce the customer waiting time.

Promising order entry

In 2007 we are planning to increase the production of the Bugatti Veyron”, said Dr. Thomas Bscher at the International Geneva Motor Show, “because the order entry for the Veyron is getting close to a 140 and we wouldn’t want our customers to have to wait longer for their Bugatti.”

It is not unexpected”, continued Dr Bscher, “that most of the orders come from the US; traditionally the most important market for luxury vehicles. 30% of the 140 contracts received up to now with a down payment of EUR 300,000, which is the condition for the production of the vehicle to start, come from the United States. This means that that is where – on a country basis – up to now most of the Bugatti Veyron have been delivered.

In Europe, the majority of the demand comes from England and Germany, which are the two most important markets for luxury cars outside the US. Naturally, the Bugatti Veyron super sports car has also created interest in the Middle Eastern countries and deliveries to Arab countries underline the pleasant sales trend of this unique vehicle.

A worldwide network of contract partners

Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. highly values supporting the vehicles sold with a worldwide organisation of Bugatti bases. Within a year, a network of Bugatti sales and service partners has been developed – now covering 26 locations. Consistent with the sales ?gures, the USA is also top in this area with nine contact points. Five on the west coast, one in Florida and the traditional areas in the east with three partners sharing the responsibility.

Also in Europe, the important luxury car markets such as Germany, England, France, Monaco, Benelux, Austria, Italy, Spain and Switzerland are already covered.

It goes without saying that the uniqueness of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 has also not gone unnoticed in the so- called new markets. Thus, increasing demand can be seen in China and Russia. As Bugatti has set itself the goal of delivering only to areas where the company is also represented by competent contact partners, these enquiries will be treated with a certain level of caution until the development of the sales and service organisation.

Old and new in Geneva

Today, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 already has its place in car history as an undisputed classic. It embodies everything that is technologically and technically possible in automobile construction on a level which is absolutely unreached and will remain so for some time.

But also the Veyron models itself on the heritage and the value of the brand. « Art – form – technique » the legacy of the company founder is as signi?cant today as in 1931 when the Type 55 was created and one of these Type 55 models is shown at this year‘s International Geneva Motor Show on the Bugatti stand. Thus, the link between the “thoroughbred” of the 30s and the “pur sang” of the 21st century will be highlighted in an impressive way.

The Type 55 Roadster

In 1931, the Type 55 replaced the Type 43 super sport tour car with a Grand Prix motor. The Type 55 Bugatti now used the 2.3 litre Grand Prix motor with a compressor from the Type 51 and the very stiff chassis of the Type 47 designed for a 16 cylinder motor. Thus it brought together different ingredients to make one of the best Bugatti vehicles. The brakes and tyres of the Type 55 were identical to those of the Type 51. The draft of the lovely two-seater roadster body offered by the factory stemmed from Jean Bugatti. Apart from the roadster also the so-called “Faux Cabriolet” was offered by the factory, a coupé whose design also came from Jean. In total 38 chassis of the Type 55 were manufactured between 1931 and 1935, 13 of them had the famous roadster body shown here.

The acceleration of the Type 55 was amazing. From 0 to 100km/h in under 10 seconds. Whilst steering and road holding around bends convinced, many drivers wished for a gearbox like the Grand Prix one instead of the sluggish Type 49 gear box. In 1933, a test journalist wrote the following about the Type 55 in “Autocar”: “One doesn’t expect an engine of this type to run noiselessly. Whilst the exhaust noise of the car is noticeable but tolerable, there are a lot of mechanical noises that are caused by the gear box and the closely toothed wheels of the camshaft drive system. At high speed these individual noises turn into a wild, impressive howl. Road holding and handling are so excellent that one can zip around bends with the car. As it doesn’t swerve one feels completely safe. For a car of this type the suspension can be called comfortable…. Some experience has to be used on the gear box, the ?rst and second gear slightly “hang” at high engine speed otherwise they can be changed quickly”. More than any other Bugatti, the elegant Type 55 is a wolf in sheep‘s clothing.

An international car

The new Veyron is an impressive platform of top end automotive technology and – loyal to Bugatti’s heritage « nothing is too expensive, nothing is too beautiful » – only the best parts and materials in the trade are used in the production process. And the Veyron is a truly international car. One of the key- and most sophisticated parts, the 7 speed-sequential-DSG-double-clutch-gearbox, is made by motor sport specialists Ricardo in the UK, the unique 16 cylinder-8.0-litre-engine comes from the Volkswagen engine plant in Salzgitter in Germany.

The tyres – the ?rst production tyres in the industry homologated for speeds above 400 km/h – are a joint development with Michelin. The carbon ?bre mono coque is built by ATR in Italy, the front- and rear-structure in forged aluminium by Heggemann in Germany and the bespoke carbon-ceramic brakes by AP Racing in Great Britain. The paintwork is German, the leather Austrian, the windscreen is manufactured in Finland, and so it goes on.

50 years down the road, a car make once again

Today, nearly 50 years later to the day, the production of Bugatti automobiles in Molsheim is resuming, making Molsheim once again the hub of the Bugatti world. As a centre for reminiscence, this picturesque, small city near Strasbourg has never lost its signi?cance.

The area’s ‘Enthusiasts Bugatti Alsace’, together with their friends in the various Bugatti clubs throughout the entire world, are in large measure responsible for keeping the brand alive over the decades – even in the absence of the product itself. This is an experience, which various other prestigious automobile brands with melodious names have not shared.

It is in this fact that the strength of the Bugatti brand values is expressed most clearly. The admiration for ‘art on wheels’, the cool achievement of the aesthetic tenacity of Ettore Bugatti, who was a man who was ?rst and foremost an artist, not a technician. The grandeur of the victories in the glorious years of dirt-encrusted heroes on the racecourses of this world and, not least, the suitability of these racing cars for everyday driving – the latter is what made Bugatti cars accessible to a broader clientele. The prestige of inspired design and the exclusiveness of individual models that helped catapult certain Bugatti models into the astronomical price classes.

In 1956, the ?nal attempts had failed, in the wake of the death of the company’s founder in 1947 – preceded in death in 1939 by his son Jean, with whom he collaborated – to keep the substantially weakened company alive. After 47 years’ production, in the course of which 7,950 Bugatti’s of models 13 through 251 had been manufactured, the gates to the Bugatti factory in Molsheim were forced to close.

In April 1998, the Volkswagen Group took over the Bugatti trademark and the brand has been developing ever since.

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