Pay Attention, It’s Time For A French Lesson

October 22nd, 2011 by Tim Grimley

The more – and almost certainly even the less – observant amongst you will have noticed that over the last few weeks there have been more than a few tenuous links made between rugby and motoring in this column. And as the biggest match in New Zealand rugby since 1987 is being played out in Auckland’s own theatre of dreams this weekend, it would be all too easy to find one more pretty loose tie-in between the unlikely bedfellows that are egg chasing and motoring.

And so, therefore, I will.

But rather than dwelling too heavily on the sport itself, my focus is rather more on one of the participants in Sunday night’s encounter – the French. As a previous inhabitant of the Northern shores of La Manche, I learned a long time ago that the only thing that could be expected from the French with any degree of certainty is the unexpected.

Ooh la la! Beauty........

Nowhere is this more certain than in the motoring world, where no-one could ever be sure if their next release was going to be a work of beauty, genius, madness or just plain badness. Sometimes, as was the case with the massively opinion polarising 2CV, they managed to do all four at once. Just for the sheer hell of it I suspect.
This is the nation that can give the Citroen DS with one hand – a vehicle of such unquestionable beauty that it makes you wonder why all cars cannot be styled in such a way – and then take it all back again with a monstrosity like the Renault Fuego with the other. But just to keep a sense of mystery, excitement and intrigue in the relationship, every so often they throw you a Peugeot 205 GTi. Followed rather quickly by a Renault Safrane.

Yet for all their little highs and lows, if you ever needed the ultimate proof that our garlic obsessed cousins are capable of crushing the world when it is least expected, look no further than the Bugatti Veyron. Yes, it sounds Italian and yes, a lot of the bits come from parent company VW, but hailing as it does from Molsheim in the Alsace, the Bugatti is every bit as French as impassive shrugging and baguettes. With its roots back in 2005, when the Gallic automotive output was typified by the blandest Peugeots in living memory, the Veyron was a stark reminder that when the Frenchies put their minds to it, they can not only take on the world, but simply blow it away with their effortless style. Continue reading “Pay Attention, It’s Time For A French Lesson” »

Bugatti’s ambitious production plans for Galibier sedan

August 2nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Bugatti is one of the world’s most famous boutique carmakers but finds itself on the verge of having no models in production. With the hardcore Veyron hyper car nearing the finish of its production cycle what will this historic brand do next?

It’s all pointing towards full production for the four-door Galibier concept car which was first unveiled nearly two years back. There has been no official confirmation that the Galibier will make it into production but it is becoming nearly inevitable. According to recent reports a German car-magazine is claiming to have Bugatti top man Wolfgang Dürheimer on record confirming the Galibier’s production for sometime late next year. Continue reading “Bugatti’s ambitious production plans for Galibier sedan” »

Bugatti builds one-off Veyron with porcelain trim

July 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

A wide range of materials have been used in automotive construction over the years, there’s been steel, aluminum, carbon fibre, plastics, titanium and even wood. But Bugatti are now breaking new ground by using porcelain in its latest one-off Veyron.

Called the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport ‘L’Or Blanc, its strange name means ‘white gold’. The odd machine was created in partnership with Konigliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (KPM), and was unveiled at the porcelain manufacturer’s workshop in Berlin, German.

“At first, it seems to be an unusual idea to use porcelain in a car, especially in the world’s fastest convertible,” said Dr. Stefan Brungs, Director of Sales and Marketing at Bugatti Automobiles. “But this is what Bugatti stands for: the realization of exceptional ideas whilst striving for the utmost in quality and aesthetics.”

The porcelain is used fairly extensively with inlays in the wheel caps, the fuel filler cap and the oil filler cap as well as the “EB” badge at the rear. Along precious ornamentation, the ‘L’Or Blanc’ also has a distinctive paint job finished in a dark blue hue with a white swirl that picks up reflections of light on the convertible Veyron’s body. Continue reading “Bugatti builds one-off Veyron with porcelain trim” »

Bugatti Veyron nearing absolute retirement

June 29th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

It’s style never appealed to all but there was no denying its raw power and now the Bugatti Veyron is looking down the barrel of retirement. It tool seven years and a gang of special edition variants but the Veyron 16.4 hardtop has now reached its promised limit of just 300 cars.

The model will continue for a limited time in Veyron Grand Sport convertible form but for now hardtop production is over.

In 2003 the Veyron stormed on to the hyper car scene and was unmatched in terms of aggression and absolute power. Powered by a 8.0 litre W16 engine, which is force fed by four turbochargers the Veyron produces 736kW in regular form and 883kW in Super Sport trim.

The Veyron’s top speed is a confirmed 408.47km/h, and 431.072km/h for the Super Sport. The 0-100km/h sprint is dispatched in a terrifying 2.46 seconds, and after 10 seconds you’d be already pulling 240km/h. Continue reading “Bugatti Veyron nearing absolute retirement” »

Bugatti Galiber super sedan to enter production

April 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

If you’ve always wanted a vehicle with Bugatti Veyron levels of power but with room for the kids and shopping, then you’re now in luck.

Bugatti is ready to make this dream reality and is going to build a four-door supercar to destroy all others. That’s right, Bugatti’s Galibier concept car has reportedly been given the green light for production.

Better have your pennies saved because the production version of the Galibier certainly won’t come cheap and is expected to be priced around $1.4 million USD.

While official specs haven’t been released it’s rumoured that Bugatti’s W16 engine will arrive under the bonnet in full 745kW form. But other reports are ruining the party with suggestions that Bugatti will drop off two turbochargers meaning only two will be in operation this will cause power to dip to  a mere 600kW. Continue reading “Bugatti Galiber super sedan to enter production” »

Build your own Bugatti with new online configurator

December 16th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

When playing the ‘if you could choose any car’ game the Bugatti Veyron is the choice for many, but for the few who can actually afford one time is quickly running out. Bugatti’s production run of 300 Veyrons is quickly approaching its end but to keep things interesting for fans and possibly for serious buyers too, Bugatti has launched a new online configurator for its uncompromising supercar.

The new configurator lets you choose and modify most of the Veyron’s details, including the various color combinations and also grille designs, wheel patterns and even seat belt coloring. Once you’ve got your Veyron just right, you can print out a PDF of your preferences to take to your nearest Bugatti dealer or just stick to your wall.

The configurator is available for the ‘standard’ Veyron and the convertible Grand Sport model while the harder core Super Sport is only available in a limited range of colors and is rumoured to be already sold out.

To sort out your perfect Bugatti Veyron, click here to visit Bugatti’s website.

Mansonry blings the Bugatti Veyron with twisted special edition

August 6th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

If there was ever an award for the most ridiculously ostentatious supercar then this Mansory Bugatti Veyron 16.4 LINEA Vincero d’Oro is a likely contender. It’s absolutely OTT and absolutely covered in gold and dark-colored carbon fiber.

Exterior mods over the ‘standard’ Bugatti Veyron include a new face with a special blinging gold grille, a new bonnet, LED daytime running lights, side skirts, flared guards and a new rear diffuser. There are also larger air outlets at the rear and at the sides of the car along with new wheels made from a gold-colored alloy.

The body is completely covered in carbon fibre while gold trim is found everywhere else including the door handles, the rear view mirror caps, the fuel tank cap, the headlight washer nozzle covers, the borders around the daytime running LEDs and some decorative features on the roof.

But it is the interior which goes that one step further. Aside from the gold-colored leather and trim, and gold detailing in the carbon fibre, Mansory have fitted hundreds of tiny LED lights placed in the car’s seats, the door trims and the dashboard.

Is it too much? Perhaps a little, but if you can afford a Bugatti Veyron why not salt the wounds of all the normal folk that can’t.

Check out images of the Mansory Bugatti Veyron 16.4 LINEA Vincero d’Oro in the gallery below.

Shelby SuperCars going after Bugatti’s production car speed record

July 14th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Despite using very different methods, Shelby SuperCars and Bugatti have been setting high-speed challenges for each other for a few years now. This track battle has returned to the foreground with Bugatti’s record run earlier this month, but it’s not a new thing. First the Bugatti Veyron took the production car top-speed prize with a 253.8 mph (408 kph) top speed run in 2005. SSC stepped in and beat that two years later with the Ultimate Aero TT. And just recently, Bugatti came back once again with its 267.8-mph (431 kph) Veyron Super Sport (read news).

It does seem unlikely that the Veyron SS will go unchallenged for long. While it is usually two to three years before this arms race should come to a head again, according to reports, SSC isn’t prepared to wait that long.

Apparently SSC has a new supercar in the works that could debut shortly. The American firm will reportedly take on the Bugatti benchmark with a new Jason Castriota-designed package.

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