Bugatti: A Supercar Maker with Superlative Achievements
Bugatti has been around for over a century--110 years to be exact. More than a maker of superfast cars, the French car manufacturer is known for pushing the boundaries of what a car can do. You may have heard that a pre-production Bugatti Chiron recently broke the 300-mile-per-hour barrier (482.80 kph). Though that's impressive on its own, it's just one of a long line of accomplishments for the brand.
"Since being established 110 years ago Bugatti has been linked to technically extraordinary, very powerful and fast vehicles and quite rightly so," explains Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. "Bugatti vehicles have set several records in the past 30 years alone and we are proud of that."
The Bugatti EB110 became the epitome of the modern sportscar, paving the way for all that's about to come. The EB110 featured a 3.5-liter V12 with five valves per combustion chamber located behind the driver. Depending on the model and development stage, the car generated an output of between 560 PS (552 hp) and 610 PS (601 hp). Here are some of the EB110's biggest milestones for its GT and SS (SuperSport) models:
- Best acceleration from 0 to 100 kph: 3.46 seconds, May 1992
- Best acceleration over 400 meters: 11.4 seconds, May 1992
- Best acceleration over 1,000 meters: 20.7 seconds to 259.7 kph, May 1992
- Best top speed: 342 kph, May 1992
- Best acceleration from 0 to 100 kph: 3.26 seconds, May 1993
- Best acceleration over 400 meters: 10.9 seconds, May 1993
- Best acceleration over 1,000 meters: 19.61 seconds to 276.5 kph, May 1993
- Best top speed: 351 kph with EB110 SS, May 1993
- Fastest car powered by natural gas: world record with natural gas of 344.7 kph, July 1994
- Fastest series production car on ice: 296.34 kph, March 1995
The Veyron took over the EB110 beginning in 2005. Built in Bugatti's Molsheim factory, the Veyron came with an 8.0-lite 16-cylinder engine that initially produced 1,001 PS (987 hp). Reaching over 408.47 kph in top speed, the Veyron was the world's fastest series-production sports car when it launched production.
Though it was hard to imagine at the time, the Veyron Super Sport performed even better, with its 1,200 PS (1,183 hp) of power spurring the car to 431 kph, once again staking claim as the world's fastest road-legal series production vehicle. Here are some of the Veyron’s monumental highpoints:
- Best top speed: 408 kph with Veyron 16.4, May 2005
- Best top speed: 431 kph with Veyron Super Sport, June 2010
- Fastest roadster: 408 kph with Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, April 2013
Bugatti went back to Molsheim for the Chiron, giving the handbuilt hypersports car an 8.0-liter 16-cylinder powermill that produced 1,500 PS (1,478 hp) and 1,600 Nm of torque. Former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya drove the Chiron to the record books in 2017, hitting 0 to 400 to 0 km/h in only 41.96 seconds, which was the fastest acceleration time achieved up to that point.
Of course, we all know now that Bugatti is the first manufacturer to surpass 300 miles per hour. Likewise, Bugatti has set a new speed record for pre-series prototypes at 304.773 mph (490.484 kph). The Chiron is the first vehicle by a series-production manufacturer to attain such improbable speeds.
"It's an incredible achievement for Bugatti. It once again demonstrates what Bugatti employees in the various departments are capable of. The name of Bugatti will forever go down in the history books as the first brand to pass the 300-mile-per-hour mark," said Winkelmann.
- Fastest time for 0-400-0 kph: 41.96 seconds with Chiron, September 2017
- First series production car over 300 mph: 304.773 mph with Chiron, July 2019
- Fastest series production car: 490.484 kph with Chiron Super Sport 300+, July 2019
Of course, given Bugatti's pedigree, it's not all about speed for the brand. That's why aside from being the fastest, their cars are known to be some of the most luxurious vehicles in the world.
Winkelmann explained that moving forward, Bugatti will concentrate on the brand's exclusive character, luxury, unrivaled beauty and high level of automotive craftsmanship. Simply put, they have nothing left to prove in the speed department.
"We have shown numerous times that we build the fastest cars in the world. In future we will focus on other exciting projects," Winkelmann said.