For every decade, there’s a car that redefines its segment, something that immediately moves to the front of the field and becomes the yardstick for all others to be compared to. There can be little doubt that during the 2000s, the Bugatti Veyron was this car. With development starting at the turn of the century, there were various delays due to the complexity of making such a powerful car reliable. It was not until 2005 that the production car was unveiled.
Impressively, each Veyron cost Volkswagen a rumoured five times the massive £1,000,000 list price to produce. It was an engineering tour-de-force. Four turbos, 16-cylinders and an 8-litre engine capacity instantly made it the top trumps card to have. In strictly measurable terms the Veyron had no equal, and its record-beating performance was delivered in such useable fashion that there was simply nothing else to compare it to. 1000bhp, 253mph, 0-60 in 2.5 seconds. Still world-beating figures today, and that was with the original Veyron 16.4.
It took the boundaries of what was thought possible and pushed them so far out that many claimed its like would never be seen again. With the recent influx of a new range of hybrid supercars, there may well be a day when the Veyron’s headline figures are eclipsed, but it will always remain the first to have achieved those sensational numbers.
Some criticised the Veyron for lacking drama and not being as emotionally stirring as some of its contemporaries, in truth this was never part of its design brief, its sole purpose was to be the most extreme example of what was technically possible at the time. Bugatti Veyron production ended in 2015, with the final Super Sport iteration still the most powerful and fastest production car available, it bowed out while still at the top of its game.
Which one to buy?
Bugatti initially introduced just one variant in 2005, however with heavy demand and the need to offer ever more exclusive versions there are a number of limited editions and special order cars out there. The Super Sport, with an additional 184bhp, was introduced in 2010 and remained in production until 2015.
The Targa top Grand Sport versions were introduced in 2009, initially with the 16.4’s 1000bhp running gear, and then with the uprated SS mechanicals in the Grand Sport Vitesse after 2011. Perfect for summer climates, these models have proven to retain their values well too.
There was nothing limited about the number of limited editions that Bugatti released over the 10 year production run. These included the Pur Sang, FBG Par Hermes, Sang Noir, Centenaire and Grand Sport Sang Bleu to name but a very few. The Legends editions came in 2013, based on the Grand Sport. Most cars were produced either as one-offs for customers or in very limited runs and commanded up to twice the original list price. The major differences between the limited edition and standard cars were the paintjobs and custom trim items.
As with everything else about the Veyron, servicing and maintenance involves big numbers. According to local supercar specialists, every Veyron needs to be returned to the factory in Molsheim, France for major servicing.
Smaller servicing and maintenance can be carried out by a handful of approved specialists though, but even in the realm of the supercar, Veyron maintenance costs are on another level. It goes without saying that a full factory service history is essential, and some cars will have either original factory warranties or extended warranties which is always desirable.
Performance and specs
Bugatti Veyron 16.4
Engine 7993cc, 64valve DOHC W16
Power 987bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 922lb ft @ 2200-5500rpm
Top speed 253mph
Fuel consumption 11.7mpg
Gearbox Seven-speed semi-automatic
Dimensions and weight
Curb Weight 1888kg
• Most Veyrons have minimal mileages and are kept in collections seeing very little use. Due to this and the engineering integrity of these cars, no common issues have been noted, other than the odd flat battery.
• Servicing costs are astronomical, with tyre replacements costing as much as a base spec Fiesta. At every third tyre changes the rims are inspected for hairline cracks, which could mean a further large bill if new wheels are required.
• Check the history of the car before purchase, to see whether there are any large service bills looming.
• Very low ground clearance means a thorough inspection should be carried out underneath the car to check for any damage.
• Every Veyron came with a high speed mode activating key and a tablet computer, so make sure these are still present.
• Bodywork and interior trim can be repaired by specialists so minor cosmetic issues should not deter you from an otherwise sound car.
2005: Bugatti Veyron 16.4 introduced. 1000bhp 8.0-litre W16 engine and seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox sole option
2007: Pur Sang limited edition – 5 units built
2008: FBG Par Hermes limited edition version produced. Sang Noir with black exterior and orange interior built – 15 units
2009: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport introduced as a targa-top. Same running gear as Veyron 16.4. Centenaire Special Edition launched – 4 units built
2010: Bugatti Veyron Super Sport introduced, with engine upgraged to 1184bhp. Grand Sport Sang Bleu targa top limited edition also introduced, along side the Grand Sport Grey Carbon and Royal Dark Blue one-offs at the Geneva Motor Show car.
2011: Veyron 16.4 production ends. Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse introduced, with the same running gear as Veyron Super Sport
2013: Bugatti Racing Legends editions released based on Grand sport – 4 built. Jean Bugatti Legends Edition, Jean-Peirre Wimille Legends Edition, Meo Constantini Legends Edition and Rembrandt Bugatti Legends Edition.
2015: All Veyron production ceases, with 450 units produced
Owners clubs, forums and websites
• www.hrowen.co.uk/bugatti - Source for Bugatti parts, sales and servicing
Summary and prices
The Veyron range has seen some depreciation in the years since its launch, partly down to the huge running costs involved, as well as the relatively high production figures. Some of the earliest cars have dipped to around £650,000 while the majority of the non-special edition models can be found for around the £1,000,000 mark.
The many limited run cars as well as the Super Sport and Targa Top versions vary in pricing quite markedly with some of the last cars commanding up to £2,400,000. Mileages are invariably low, and conditions are generally of the showroom variety.
Words: John Tallodi