In the realm of supercars, there are those that take you by the seat of your pants and toss you around for a wild ride. Those are pretty fun – who are we kidding, those are still awesome – but then you have a completely different animal that grabs you by the soul and shakes you from the inside out. These cars, often dubbed hyper cars, are not pretty and they’re not necessarily comfortable, but rather they are functional bodies wrapped around massive amounts of power with a few seats to plop down those hind sides brave enough to sit in them.
One of the kings of the hyper car world in recent years has been the Bugatti Veyron 16.4. It was already powerful as is, but Bugatti wanted more and created the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, smashing the world record for fastest production vehicle (at the time).
This 2011 Veyron 16.4 Super Sport is the ultimate cult car, if your cult consists of folks boasting multi-billion dollar bank accounts and an unscratchable itch to drive the most bad ass cars. But exactly how bad ass is this cult car? We’ll take a closer look and let you know exactly what we think of it with a full review.
To read more, click past the jump and have a look at our full review of the 2011 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport.
To start, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport’s skin is 100 percent carbon-fiber, in an attempt to keep it as light as possible. It also boasts a full carbon-fiber monocoque design for a little added rigidity in the corners and extra strength should you find yourself in a wreck.
As we said about these so-called “Hyper cars,” they are not built to win supermodel contests, that’s for sure. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport is no exception to this rule. The family of artists that put this car’s design together chose a very flat profile, which allows the air to swoop over the hood and roof with as little resistance as possible, 0.39 drag coefficient to be exact. With this type of design comes a very short and stubby hood with massive flanks on each side of it to channel air flow up and over its shallow-raked windshield.
The front fascia is disturbingly angled and looks as if it would act almost like an airflow battering ram, but the engineers managed to work in the chrome-outlined Bugatti horseshoe grille and the side air intake vents in a way that made efficient use of this flatter-than-usual front end without adding excessive drag. At the base of the front fascia sits a lower lip spoiler that yanks the front end downward under high speed.
As the airflow shoots over the hood and windshield then down the Bugatti’s extremely long and slow-descending rooftop, some of it is quickly diverted into a pair of air-intake vents that feed the beast behind the seats. The roof then just seems to extend endlessly until it finally comes to an end by either being used for extra down-force by automatic rear spoiler and dumped over the Bugatti’s rounded backside.
Speaking of the backside, the Bugatti’s rump is a particularly interesting addition to this hyper car, as it actually shows a little style and flair. And why not; most people will be staring at this beast from the backside anyways. Its thin center high-mounted stoplight is flanked by a pair of dual taillights. Beneath the taillights, you get a pair of cooling vents to help keep the beast beneath alive and well. At the base of the fascia, you get a pair of massive exhaust exits that simply round out the entire package.
The backside also gives a great glimpse of the massive rear-wheel flares that keep the large rubber-wrapped rims secured beneath the body. At the front of these massive wells lay cavernous air-intake vents that feed air to the engine and provide a little extra cooling power to the rear brakes. As you proceed back toward the front of this machine, you will also notice that hidden behind the rear wheel is a small heat extractor to cool off those front brakes too.
In terms of colors, you have only a handful of choices. The first color choice is Dark Blue Tinted, which is just as its name alludes to: it is a solid royal blue that really gives the Veyron a mysterious look. What’s more, down the car’s shoulder, you get a thick line of silver that wraps around the backside, giving it a sick contrast. The next color option is dark blue tinted with carbon white silver. The entire car is draped in the dark blue tint color from before, but Bugatti will add in white silver to the doors, the rear air intake, and the front fender. The next hue option is white silver, which is essentially a pure white with a slight tint of silver added to the mix. This color isn’t as impressive as the others, but it certainly adds a little more elegance to the body. The final color option is the World Record Edition, which was only used on the first five Veyron Super Sports built. This model boasts a lacquer coating over the Bugatti’s carbon-fiber skin with highlights of bright orange on its front fascia, ground effect, engine viewing area, roof intakes, and the wheels. While we don’t have official confirmation, we are pretty certain that the World Record Edition scheme is completely sold out. If you really want a custom look, you can pay an extra $428,000 and get a 10-percent-clear lacquer coating, leaving the carbon fiber shell exposed for the world to see.
One thing that people likely don’t realize until seeing and driving the Veyron 16.4 is that it’s a massive automobile. We’re not talking about your sleek Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and Lotuses; we’re talking about a car that weighs in at about 4,052 lbs – roughly 110 lbs less than the all-aluminum Veyron 16.4 – and measures 175.7 inches long x 78.7 inches wide x 45.6 inches long. Yeah, it’s a big boy, but this extra girth and weight gives this hyper car a very grounded feeling, which we’ll get into in a bit.
As a whole unit, the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport’s body isn’t overly elegant, but it has a functional elegance about it. Bugatti took great care to make sure it is not confused with any other car, giving it a unique shape that not many carmakers would even think of using on a car like this.
Length x Width x Height
175.7 inches x 78.7 inches x 45.6 inches
Weight Ratio Front/Rear
45 percent / 55 percent
To say that some supercar and hyper car manufacturers get a little extreme with their interior design is an understatement. Many times these manufacturers are only thinking about adding more buttons to push and knobs to twist, oftentimes leaving the average user wondering what all of those buttons do.
Bugatti managed to stay away from that confusion and stuck with simple comfort on the inside. Gracing your backside is diamond-tufted leather seating with just enough wraparound to secure you, but not enough to make you feel uneasy. Supporting these seats is a carbon-fiber shell that simply looks right in place inside this interior. The tufted leather carries over the center console, giving the seating area a perfect fit and finish. On the headrests of the Veyron’s seats, you get “Super Sport” stitching, just in case you forget what you’re in.
When you get up the gall to park yourself in front of the Veyron Super Sport’s driver seat, you feel a sense of simplicity. It is devoid of the crazy buttons, extreme gauges, and all of the clutter seen on today’s cars. All you have to interact with it is a racing-style wheel with a trio of posts and the famed “EB” logo staring back at you asking “Whatcha gonna do?” Atop the center of the steering wheel is even a centering mark, donning a nice coat of silver – no need for electrical tape to find center again.
As your eyes drag you toward the center stack, you’ll find the one of the sore spots of the Bugatti’s interior: the unattractive sea-of-black dashboard. A little extra contrast on the dashboard would have done Bugatti well, so there’s at least a single knock on it. However, once you reach the center stack, you are sucked back into the fact that Bugatti really went the distance in making things really simple, yet elegant, on the inside.
The center stack is cleanly organized with only the very basic information staring at you. There are no massive TFT screens to navigate through to launch this rocket ship, no random toggle switches to start it up, and no extreme number of modes to choose from for each different driving situation. All you get are the basic audio controls, a contrasting-stitched gear selector, and HVAC controls. This entire area is surrounded by elegantly shaped carbon-fiber and it topped off with a clock that we are certain costs thousands of dollars to replace.
Though we complained a little about the sea-of-black dashboard, we can comment on the fact that Bugatti gave its farthest edge a nice strip of carbon fiber, which wraps all the way around to the door panels. Once this trim piece hits the door panels it explodes into a full-bore carbon fiber insert on the door panel – an otherwise excessively boring door panel at that.
it is a perfect combination of style, simplicity, and effective use of space.
Overall, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport’s interior is a stunner. It falls really flat in a few places – the door panels and dashboard – but overall it is a perfect combination of style, simplicity, and effective use of space. This is one car that despite its mammoth performance potential; the average driver wouldn’t be intimidated with hopping into and taking it for a spin. We can’t say that for every supercar and hyper car on the market.
Engine and Drivetrain
Enough with the aesthetic crap, let’s get down to brass tax and see what makes this hyper car truly “Hyper.” First off, the fact that Bugatti found its 1,001-horsepower W-12 engine in the base Veyron subpar is preposterous, and it’s that kind of irrational thinking that makes us love this realm of automobiles.
Bugatti took the existing 16-cylinder monster from its base-level Veyron and added a quartet of larger turbochargers singing in harmony through larger intercoolers to add an extra 199 ponies and 184 pound-feet of twist to this 8-liter hunk of lovely. Bugatti also revised the fuel system to add a little extra pressure to help mix with the additional forced air, via two additional fuel pumps in the gas tanks. Also revised was the exhaust system, giving it a freer flow and causing more sweet, sweet noise in the process.
In terms of raw power, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport pumps out an unreal 1,200 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and an equally impressive 1,106 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm. This gives the Veyron a stout 3.37-pound-per-horsepower and 3.65-pound-feet-per-pound rating, which is awesome for any car, let alone a 4,000-plus-pound one.
The engine pumps this massive amount of power through a 7-speed DSG transmission that transmits its power through all four wheels. This gives the driver impeccable control, great acceleration, and zero lag between shifts.
it can hit a top speed of 267 mph, which if you're keeping score, puts the Veyron Super Sport on the cusp of crazy and flat out redonkulous.
All of this technology meeting engineering gets this massive hunk of carbon-fiber jellybean – and we say that in the kindest way possible – to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 2.5 seconds. Plus it is electronically limited to a top speed of “only” 415 km/h (257.8 mph) to help conserve its ultra-soft tires. Without this limitation, it can hit a top speed of 267 mph, which if you’re keeping score, puts the Veyron Super Sport on the cusp of crazy and flat out redonkulous – yeah, we said “redonkulous.”
To put things into perspective here, at its original top speed, this monster would rip through its $42,000 Michelin tires in just 15 minutes. Oh and to boot, when you replace the tires, you also have to replace the wheels at the bargain basement price of $69,000. So for how much that 15 minutes of face-lifting fun, you could have snag up a Porsche Carrera 4 GTS.
Want to talk about fuel economy and emissions? Probably not, but we’re going to entertain the idea anyways. The 2011 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport actually gets what you may consider marginally respectable fuel economy – yeah, that works – as it gulps down 37.2 liters of premium fuel for every 100 km in town (6.32 mpg city), 14.9 liters per 100 km on the highway (15.8 mpg highway), and a combined 23.1 liters per 100 km (10.18 mpg combined). If you happen to like the top speed of this Bugatti a little too much, you can expect to suck down a full tank of gas (26.4 gallons) in just 10 minutes of top-speed driving. As for emissions, the Bugatti takes down the ozone layer just as quickly as it eats up rubber, spewing out 539 grams of CO2 per km. But hey, it’s a hyper car, not a Geo Metro, so deal with it.
The only real complaint about the drivetrain, with the exception of daily trips to the gas station, is the fact that the engine sounds like an out-of-tune symphony of whizzes, pops, whirls, and buzzes. Don’t worry though, that’s pretty much normal in this type of car, as noise control is a distant thought in the engineering of this sort of car. Remember, it is a Bugatti, not a Ferrari!
In closing, the entire driveline is loud, powerful, spunky, lively, annoying, tedious, impossible to work on, fuel guzzling, and ozone killing… Yeah, it’s everything we expect in a hyper car.
8.0-liter W-12 quad-turbocharged
1,200 horsepower at 6,400 rpm
1,106 pound-feet at 3,000 rpm
7-speed DSG automated manual
0 to 60 mph
0 to 100 mph
257.8 mph (electronically limited)
Fuel Consumption city/highway/combined
6.32 mpg / 15.8 mpg / 10.18 mpg
539 grams per km
Handling and Braking
Okay, so the Bugatti Veyron is fast; really, really fast. But how does it handle its speed? Well, Bugati could have just slapped the Super Sport onto the base model’s suspension system and likely been just fine, but that wasn’t good enough. Bugatti raised the main spring rate, giving the Super Sport a noticeably stiffer ride, but also lowering the body roll in the twist. Also added in were stiffer anti-roll bars, revised shock absorbers, and a suspension design typically reserved only for race cars.
The Bugatti is not only good in the twist, but it is also serviceable going into and coming out of them. Heading into a turn you get a massive set of 15.7-inch carbon-composite discs up front and the added benefit of the air-brake integrated into the rear spoiler to bring this 4,000-pound behemoth to a quick slowdown – 124 feet from 60 mph.
Coming out of the turn, the Veyron’s super-soft rubber and AWD system combine to allow it to pull 1.4 lateral Gs without losing control. With the massive torque that this engine punches out, that is very impressive. Additionally, the Veyron was officially tested holding 0.99 Gs on a 200-foot skid pad and could hold 69.6 mph on a 700-foot slalom with 100-foot spacing.
We spoke earlier about how the sheer mass of this car is actually an added benefit and we will elaborate now. When you get the typical supercar to 200+ mph, you often hear of a little uneasiness. According to reports, the Veyron feels like it is riding like a slot car and literally feels like it drives itself near the 200 mph mark. This is all thanks to the massive weight, wide track, and the 882 pounds of down-force that its body and spoiler systems produce at 256 mph.
Oh yeah, it’s awesome. Will it out-handle smaller and nimbler supercars (i.e. Porsche 911 GT2, Ferrari F12berlinetta, Lamborghini Aventador, etc.)? Probably not, but it sure does hold its own for the type of car that it is.
Carbon-composite with 15.7-inch front rotors and 8-piston calipers / Carbon-composite with 15-inch rear rotors and 6-piston calipers
Braking 60-to-0 mph
200-Foot Skid Pad
If you gotta ask, it’s too much for you.
Well, there is not much you can say about the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport’s pricing that hasn’t been said a million and one times… It’s expensive! Bugatti doesn’t even list the price on its website, which brings back the old saying “If you gotta ask, it’s too much for you.” We managed to find out that the base price for the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport is $2,250,880 – enough to make a multi-millionaire feel like he flips burgers at Mickey D’s. With all of the other extra goodies Bugatti offers up, it is pretty easy to see you spending upward of $4,500,000 on a well-equipped and partially bespoke Veyron 16.4 Super Sport.
Well, the competition for the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport is slim to none, but there is one true competitor: the SSC Tuatara. SSC specially designed the Tuatara to compete with the Veyron and there is no hiding that fact.
Under the hood, there’s a significantly more efficient 423-cubic-inch V-8 engine designed by SSC and made from billet aluminum. This beast boasts a pair of turbochargers and a pair of water-to-air intercoolers to keep the forced air at a lower temperature. This is good for a very stout 1,350 horsepower at 6.800 rpm and 1,042 pound-feet of torque at 6,800 rpm. Attached to this 1,350-horsepower beast is a 7-speed manual transmission – an option Bugatti lacks – or a 7-speed SMG automated manual, which throws the power to the rear wheels only. This is good for a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 2.5 seconds and a Bugatti killing 276 mph. To boot, the SSC Tuatara is boasting a 9.75-second quarter mile time at 144 mph, while Bugatti doesn’t give us a concrete time.
Engine and Driveline Comparison:
8.0-liter W-12 quad-turbocharged
423-cubic-inch V-8 twin-turbocharged
7-speed DSG automated manual
7-speed manual transmission or 7-speed SMG automated manual
Bugatti Veyron Super Sport
9.9 at 145 mph
9.75 seconds at 144 mph
256.8 mph (official)
276 mph (projected)
In the handling department, the SSC Tuatara is pretty basic, as it features unequal-length upper and lower A-arms with coil-over dampers, and anti-roll bars on the front and rear. Where the SSC starts showing its technological side is outside of the springs. It boasts 15-inch slotted rotors on the front and rear that are made from carbon ceramic, keeping them extremely light. Squeezing these discs are 8-pot calipers up front and 6-pots on the rear. This helps bring the SC Tuatara to a halt from 60 mph in just 103 feet, 21 feet quicker than the heavier Bugatti.
In a fit of genius or insanity – you be the judge – SSC fitted the Tuatara with one-piece carbon-fiber rims, measuring 19 x 9.5 inches on the front and 20 x 13 inches on the rear, hugged by 235/35YR19 and 335/30YR20 Michelin Pilot Sport PS2’s, respectively. The carbon-fiber rims alone are enough to give the SSC a huge advantage in unsprung weight, and its svelte 2,750-pound carbon-fiber body and frame with aluminum crash structures simply make it a superior handler.
The SSC Tuatara is claimed to hold 1.05 Gs on the skid pads, compared to the Bugatti’s 0.99 Gs. That may seem insignificant on paper, but a 0.06 increase on the skid pad is gigantic, especially when you get over that 1 G mark. There are no recorded slalom tests on the SSC to date, but we can safely assume that it would easily crest the 70 mph mark. In handling, it’s obvious that the SSC is simply the winner.
In terms of exterior styling, the two couldn’t be more different than one another. The Bugatti brings a touch of elegance to the hyper car realm, but not ignoring the usefulness of sleek aerodynamics. The SSC Tuatara, on the other hand, goes all-in on the hyper car persona, boasting a space-shuttle-like design and leaving very little surface area for any air to contact. This gives it a huge advantage in aerodynamics over the Bugatti, 0.328 to 0.39. At the risk of sounding non-committal, we’ll leave the exterior styling up to your personal preference. We like the look of both cars, but they both serve a specific type of person. The Bugatti is for someone that wants a car that’s not too ostentatious, yet still noticed, whereas the SSC Tuatara grabs you by the back of your neck and says “LOOK AT ME!!!” You pick…
On the inside, there is no competition. The SSC Tuatara is downright vulgar on the inside. All of the crazy pop-up screens and unsupported trims just look bad. Sure, we are all for going futuristic, but c’mon SSC, really? Did you actually have to go all “Back To The Future” meets “Judge Dredd” meets “Demolition Man” on us? Then again, all of the images we can see of the Tuatara’s interior look like they are computer generated, so maybe the final product looks a little less R2 D2-esque…
As for pricing, there’s no competition. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport comes in well over $2 million and the SSC Tuatara, though there is no official word on price, will hit around $1.3 million. Unfortunately, there is a huge problem right now for SSC and what appears to be an eminent victory… the Tuatara is anticipated to hit the market in 2013, according the SSC’s CEO, and we have yet to see anything other than a shell of a concept car and some computer-generated interior shots.
However, given the fact that SSC does not have the reputation of shortchanging its customers, we can take Jerod Shelby at his word that the Tuatara will indeed look and perform as it’s advertised. Now the decision becomes yours. Do you prefer the added elegance and slightly decreased performance for nearly double the price, or would you rather save a million bucks, get a lesser-known car, plus gain a better performer? In a world of unlimited funds, we would take the Bugatti, but if we had just enough to buy the Bugatti, we would actually opt for the Tuatara and use the leftover cash to have it customized to our personal preferences (i.e. scrap 90 percent of the interior).
Jay Leno reviews the Bugatti Veyron SuperSport
Chris Harris reviews the Veyron Super Sports
Elegant styling, for a hyper car
2.5 seconds to 60 mph
Even if Dr. Evil’s $1 million demands are met, he still can’t buy it
Looks like it just fell out of the Jelly Belly bag
$100,000-plus for tires, really?