At the 1999 Tokyo Motor Show the Volkswagen Group is displayed a new Bugatti sports car design study, closely linked to the Bugatti EB 18/3 "Chiron" that was exhibited at the German Motor Show in Frankfurt. This new study, known as the EB 18/4 "Veyron", is a modern high-performance sports car of striking design, using the mid-engined layout with no technological compromises.
The Bugatti tradition of successful sports cars is reflected in the name chosen for this design study, which commemorates the former Bugatti factory driver Pierre Veyron. A Frenchman, he achieved numerous racing successes for this historic marque, culminating in victory in the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1939.
The Bugatti EB 18/4 "Veyron" has impressively dynamic outlines. The team headed by Hartmut Warkuss, the manager of the "Center of Excellence Design" at Volkswagen, has succeeded in finding a new interpretation of traditional Bugatti values and creating a sports car with looks that emphasise its high performance potential at the very first glance.
The designers have also displayed their sincere appreciation of the character of the Bugatti. Warkuss regards it as a very special challenge to be allowed to interpret the mystic of the Bugatti make afresh in this way.
Of all the models that have appeared in the new Bugatti era, the EB 18/4 "Veyron" is surely the most audacious. Its advanced, sporting design is an indicator that a great future awaits this make of car.
4380 millimetres long and extremely low, with an overall height of no more than 1206 millimetres, this sports car’s outlines can surely be described as sensual; from every angle, they emphasise the dynamic body styling. The three-colour paintwork is a stylistic link between the past and future of a make of car that is already rich in tradition. The short body overhangs and emphatic curves add to the impression of sheer power that the design study creates.
This impression is confirmed when the mechanical elements of the EB 18/4 "Veyron" are examined. This mid-engined Bugatti is driven by a 408 kW (555 bhp) 18-cylinder engine located ahead of the rear axle.
This engine, with a swept volume of 6.3 litres, has direct fuel injection and - another eye-catching feature - consists of three banks of six cylinders.
It is exposed to view behind the seats and topped by two striking, silver-coloured air intake ducts which add a notable visual accept to the "Veyron", in much the same way as the two pairs of circular rear-light clusters of classic sports-car design.
The exceptional character of the EB 18/4 "Veyron" is maintained inside, where sporting and luxury elements blend well together to create an inspiring ambience.