Descriptors such as “world’s fastest car” and “1,000+ horsepower” are sure to get you waved into the most visible and privileged parking spots at your local Cars and Coffee event, but they just scratch the surface in the Bugatti Veyron’s story. Everything else on this car’s data sheet—from engine specs to MSRP—is as breathtaking now as when the car came to market in 2005.
When the Bugatti name was revived by Volkswagen in 1998, its first production project was a mid-engined supercar that would surpass previously accepted street supercar boundaries in price, performance, and sanity. Prototypes were running in 2003 with the first production examples leaving the French factory in 2005. The Veyron’s carbon-fiber cockpit cell has attached to it a unique 8-liter, W-configured 16-cylinder, 64-valve motor that utilizes four turbochargers to push enough boost through its plenum for 1,001 horsepower upon the cars introduction—with more powerful editions following. This power is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox propelling the car to a 250+ mph top speed, and reeling all of this in is Brembo carbon brakes as well as an honest-to-goodness airbrake that deploys out of the rear bodywork.
Over the Veyron’s production run, Bugatti has issued dozens of limited editions given the cars’ low production numbers to date. Most memorable of all special editions is the Super Sport and the Targa-roof Gran Sport Vitesse, both with 1,200 horsepower. All of this exclusivity comes at an exclusive price, with the sticker price approaching $1.7M, annual service costing $20,000, and tires requiring $30,000 and a trip back to the factory to mount them.