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Bugatti's Latest Veyron, Most Ridiculous Car on the Planet? 790

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the gas-guzzlers-that-make-your-eyes-bleed dept.
Wired has an amusing writeup that accurately captures the most recent ridiculous addition to Bugatti's automobile catalog. The $2.1 million Veyron sports over 1,000 horsepower, a 16-cylinder engine, and a top speed of 245 mph. The guilty conscience comes for free. "That same cash-filled briefcase could buy seven Ferrari 599s or every single 2009 model Mercedes. You could snap up a top-shelf Maybach and employ a chauffeur until well past the apocalypse. Hell, in this economy, $2.1 million is probably enough to make you a one-man special-interest group with some serious Washington clout."
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Bugatti's Latest Veyron, Most Ridiculous Car on the Planet?

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  • Hell yeah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by SirBitBucket (1292924) on Sunday July 05, 2009 @11:27PM (#28590865)
    I bet you could rack mount a couple servers in the trunk (1U). Fastest datacenter on Earth.
  • by errittus (13200) on Sunday July 05, 2009 @11:29PM (#28590871) Homepage

    Top Gear had an episode some time ago where they opened this beast up on the 5 mile+ straight at Volkswagen's German test facility. So damned fast - 407 kph!

    From the episode: "At this speed, the tires will disintegrate in 15 minutes - That's ok, we've only got enough fuel for 12"

    • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday July 06, 2009 @12:14AM (#28591171)

      They also demonstrated the silliest thing about it, or any 200+ MPH car... It takes quite a while to get to those speeds. You may get 0-60 in 3 seconds, but the acceleration drops off rather rapidly. About the only place you can get a car like that up to speed *is* a test track with an enormous straight.

      I think it must have been 8 miles or more because they commented that the far end was out of sight due to the Earth's curvature!

      A guy tried driving a super-Ferrari (an Enzo, I think) like that here in Southern California a few years back. yeah, You guessed it. Mr. Supercar? Meet Mr. Telephone Pole. Sadly, the dumbass driving it survived.

      Another show mentioned how fragile they are. When they are featured on a show or test track, supercar makers box them up like ancient relics and ship them there. Contrast to the episode with the McClaren SLK that was simply driven to the filming site from two countries away.

      • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe&jwsmythe,com> on Monday July 06, 2009 @12:45AM (#28591351) Homepage Journal

            I can testify to that. My car is right around 4 seconds 0-60. I can jump ahead of just about anyone up through about 120mph. Pushing through 140, it's pushing. I've only accelerated just through 150, but ran out of road. A lot of the high speed numbers are worthless, because they'll never be reached.

            They say in the article, "...you can outrun not only the 5-0's cruisers, but their helicopters, too. If they wanna catch you, they're gonna have to dust off Airwolf...", but that's sensationalized journalism. Like I said, I've been up through 150mph, or 220 feet per second. Driving along at a mile every 24 seconds has it's drawbacks, like a 5 mile stretch takes 118 seconds to cross. What was a nice long straight stretch of road suddenly becomes very very short. What should take 5 minutes to drive at the speed limit is gone less than 2 minutes. God forbid that you're driving on land, where animals may wander across the road, or a car may come out of a side street. It's not like you're going to swerve without some serious side effects.

            I ran across a neat video on YouTube where a motorcycle driver was running from the police. Sure, they couldn't keep up, because he'd zip away in no time. Max air speed for an good unladen police helicopter (no extra equipment, seats, and minimal fuel) is 150mph. If they're carrying their normal equipment and enough fuel to follow with, that drops. He was doing over 150mph, and the helicopter kept up pretty nicely. Why? Because despite the fact that he was able to pull away from the helicopter at points, the helicopter didn't have to follow the road, encounter traffic, nor slow down for intersections. He was driving fast, he wasn't suicidal. A bend in the road creates a shorter intercept route for the helicopter to follow.

            If they're really after you, it doesn't matter how fast you're going. They may radio ahead and say to set up a roadblock, which sometimes can be avoided, but it's hard to avoid a shoulder to shoulder nail strip. 4 flat tires will keep you from getting away, no matter how fast your car was. That nail strip can mean a fatality when you hit it, if you're going way too fast.

            Do I speed as a daily thing? Nope. I cruise right about the speed limit, depending on conditions. My high speeds have been on tracks, where they belong. I know my car is really fast, so I don't have to prove it to anyone. Even if it's a kid with a Honda Civic and a coffee can for a muffler. :) I'm at the "why bother" phase of my life. Do I need to burn up extra fuel just to prove that I can go faster than him? Not really. It's not worth wasting my fuel, and potentially getting a ticket (or worse).

           

        • While I believe this story about the motorcycle is true, you saw this on YouTube BECAUSE a helicopter was close by. There's plenty of guys who never make the news because they just gunned it and got away.

          A lot of cops will openly acknowledge that if a sportbike blows past them, pursuit can be futile without air support. This jives with my experience because in my youth and stupidity, I blew past manned speed traps and most of the time, it seems the cops never bothered. The one time I did see lights and p

        • by AlXtreme (223728) on Monday July 06, 2009 @03:08AM (#28591977) Homepage Journal

          Max air speed for an good unladen police helicopter (no extra equipment, seats, and minimal fuel) is 150mph

          African or European?

        • by cdrudge (68377) on Monday July 06, 2009 @06:39AM (#28592807) Homepage

          I can testify to that. My car is right around 4 seconds 0-60. I can jump ahead of just about anyone up through about 120mph. Pushing through 140, it's pushing. I've only accelerated just through 150, but ran out of road. A lot of the high speed numbers are worthless, because they'll never be reached.

          You don't buy a $2.1m car that can go 245MPH to actually go 245MPH. You buy it to brag that you can buy a $2.1m car that can go 245MPH.

        • by BitZtream (692029) on Monday July 06, 2009 @10:37AM (#28595071)

          Max air speed for an good unladen police helicopter (no extra equipment, seats, and minimal fuel) is 150mph. If they're carrying their normal equipment and enough fuel to follow with, that drops. He was doing over 150mph, and the helicopter kept up pretty nicely.

          Fuel and overall weight makes very little difference in the speed of an aircraft, just pretty much effects the burn rate of the fuel itself and extra load effects other performance factors such as speed during a high G manuver.

          Helicopter speed is limited due to the problem of the speed of the leading edge of the rotor as it moves through the air. The tip travels far faster than the root of the blade. That in and of itself is no problem.

          What is a problem however is that the tip is moving at say 400 mph or so, and the base is moving at next to nothing. Again, by itself this is fine.

          When you add 150 to 200 mph of forward airspeed to it however, you have a tip speed in forward motion that is rapidly approaching the speed of sound. Now you have a problem. You have the problem of part of the rotor operating in supersonic conditions and part of the rotor operating in subsonic conditions. That in and of itself is extremely stressful, couple with it the fact that each rotor blade is transitioning into and out of supersonic mode every rotation and you rapidly run into the problem of having a airfoil that is extremely weak overall transitioning in and out of supersonic conditions hundreds or thousands of times a second. The end result is generally that the helicopter tears itself apart due to vibration and stress in an extremely short period of time.

          We've just relatively recently come up with the technologies and materials to allow us to deal with the stresses of that sort of flight, but I'm pretty sure about the only people with that information are bound by DOD contracts, and as such you're not likely to find a non-military helo that would be able to withstand those speeds.

          The extra weight and aerodynamic drag arent' a problem for helos and haven't been for a while, transitioning between subsonic and supersonic modes of flight a thousand times a second on the other hand, doesn't go over so well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cl191 (831857)
      Said video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO0PgyPWE3o [youtube.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The thing breathes more air in a minute than I do in a week at top speed. If you know how a petrol engine works and that doesn't give you a hardon, please cut your man card up.
    • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Monday July 06, 2009 @01:52AM (#28591671)

      The ones they've had on Top Gear were the hard-top - this is the new convertible, not that you'd know it from the summary. Despite the massive engineering difficulties of slicing the roof off and having it stay rigid and roll-safe, they've managed to keep it as quick as the hard-top. Seriously impressive engineering, even if as a car it's completely insane.

  • Guilty conscience? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by andytrevino (943397) on Sunday July 05, 2009 @11:32PM (#28590889) Homepage
    What's the "guilty conscience" wisecrack for? This thing is not only incredibly cool, but if you can afford it, you already pay enough taxes to support a small mid-American city. Get over it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 05, 2009 @11:34PM (#28590905)

    Sorry, but if I had one, my guilty conscience would have been left behind on the road, choking on the dust from my Veyron.

  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Sunday July 05, 2009 @11:40PM (#28590939)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_vehicle [wikipedia.org]
    The whole point of a halo car is to demonstrate engineering prowess and/or get PR for the company. It certainly worked; Bugatti went from being a maliase-y brand nobody had heard of, to a brand almost any 18 year old kid and any car enthusiast worth his salt knows about. It wouldn't surprise me if Bugatti make a big move into a (obviously lower) luxury market very soon, cashing in on the recognition they've earned.
    • Bugatti brand (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Monday July 06, 2009 @12:53AM (#28591401)

      brand nobody had heard of

      Are you kidding? Bugatti has been around forever.

      Nowadays Bugatti is owned by Volkswagen and the Veyron is it's "gimmick" (for the car illiterate, this is an understatement) to show the world how bloody good they are. The "Volk" (people) part of VW is prohibitive in marketing luxury cars. The Phaeton for example just doesn't get the attention it deserves in the limousine segment.

      IMHO the pedigree isn't there anymore. Bugatti was very successful in the old days but ever since Ettore Bugatti passed away in 1947 the company just didn't have a sense of direction. In 1987 the name Bugatti -and not the expertise and craftsmanship- was bought by an entrepreneur which produced the horrible Bugatti EB110. Now VW produces the Veyron and it's currently the technically most sophisticated car around but the blood line is definitively cut.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by zakkie (170306)

        The Bugatti EB110 is horrible"? To give you an idea of just how "horrible" it was, the greatest driver ever (statistically) - Michael Schumacher - bought one himself, and drove it often. Plus, it was the progenitor of the Veyron's quad-turbo meme. And you were doing quite well, up to there ;-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CodeBuster (516420)

      It wouldn't surprise me if Bugatti make a big move into a (obviously lower) luxury market very soon, cashing in on the recognition they've earned.

      The Bugatti brand has historically been known for exclusive and mostly very high performance automobiles in relatively the same market as other boutique Italian manufacturers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini or the British Aston Martin. The halo effect is well known in mass market brands, but Bugatti and other boutiques like it are NOT mass market brands and cannot be made into mass market brands without losing their boutique pedigree and exclusivity. I would be surprised if Volkswagen attempted to mass mark

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Sunday July 05, 2009 @11:40PM (#28590941) Journal
    Here are the critturs in the supercar world that will replace it:

    At the beginning of 2008 Pininfarina and Bolloré set up a 50-50 joint venture with the goal of designing, developing, manufacturing and distributing an electric car with revolutionary technical features and formal qualities. The company considers the BLUECAR, to be not a mere concept car but a forerunner of the vehicle which will go into production in Italy at Pininfarina starting from 2010. Production on a commercial scale will take place between 2011 and 2017, with the forecasted output by 2015 being about 60,000 units.

    Link to Story. [greencarmagazine.net]

    RS

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06, 2009 @12:02AM (#28591081)

    Kinda puts it in perspective..............

  • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Monday July 06, 2009 @12:13AM (#28591161)

    Hell, in this economy, $2.1 million is probably enough to make you a one-man special-interest group with some serious Washington clout."

    It's a car well suited to bankers who profited from the financial scandals and government bailouts.

  • My question (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06, 2009 @12:26AM (#28591237)

    What advantages does this motor car have over, say, a train -- which I could also afford?

  • In real units... (Score:5, Informative)

    by david.given (6740) <dg@NOsPaM.cowlark.com> on Monday July 06, 2009 @12:59AM (#28591441) Homepage Journal
    ...1000 horsepower is 750 kilowatts. Your average house electricity supply is 30 kilowatts. A single wind turbine, the really big kind they use in wind farms, generates about 1500 kilowatts.

    1000 horsepower is a lot of power.

  • by bmo (77928) on Monday July 06, 2009 @01:13AM (#28591505)

    The days are certainly gone when Wired used to have people like Neal Stephenson write for them.

    Wired used to be cool and had decent writers. Wired used to be something to /read/.

    Now? We have this. A fluff advertisement column, but not only that, nothing about the tech end at all. Nothing about the engineering or anything really interesting except that it's a fast car and costs a lot of money. It's also written in the style of a high-school newspaper or Slashdot summary. Wired has become Maxim, but without the girls.

    --
    BMO

  • Play on player (Score:5, Insightful)

    by e2d2 (115622) on Monday July 06, 2009 @01:50AM (#28591663)

    As a younger man I used to get very upset about the gap between rich and poor, pointing to this type of excess as an example. But having accepted it as an adult, the world is not fair, I actually enjoy seeing this kind of insanity. If the rich want to blow their money on what amounts to "fluff" then so be it. We should be encouraging them every chance we can. It's when they horde it away that truly screws the poor. There's a sucker born every minute, at least with the Bugatti you get a truly well crafted machine that will be rare for the rest of your life and on and on. This machine will also appreciate in value, because like I said, there's one born every minute. If you want to piss your hard earned (or not) money, then who am I to stop you. Play on player. But bear in mind, it's still just a car. One awesome fucking car.

  • by incense (63332) on Monday July 06, 2009 @02:30AM (#28591817)

    The fastest production car is not the Bugatti, but the SSC Ultimate Aero TT. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fastest_car

  • Missing the Pont (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clickclickdrone (964164) on Monday July 06, 2009 @06:00AM (#28592637)
    As Top Gear pointed out, yes it is insanely expensive, insanely fast and insanely high tech. However, with oil prices and availability going the way it is, plus increased green awareness, the Veyron probably represents the pinnacle that petrol based cars will ever achieve. This is it.
    They are also all sold at a considerable loss - they cost much more to build than they sell for. It's a final swansong excercise in ultimate car technology. Sure, they'll be cool and funky stuff along later but for this sort of vehicle, it's the top dog. As such, I admire it as an excercise is engineering and beauty.
    However, it is also (to my mind) an obscene way to spend your money.

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