Saturday, December 24, 2005
Will factory that builds 16-cylinder Bugatti Veyron 16.4, world's fastest vehicle, be located outside the largest city on the Red River waterway?
MOLSHEIM, France -- Many people thought that Volkswagen lost touch with its customer base in 2003 when it introduced the Phaeton, a luxury sedan perfectly wonderful in almost every way save for a price tag that veered uncomfortably close to six figures.
What, then, will the skeptics make of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, the fastest, most powerful and - no surprise - most expensive production car in the world? Bugatti is owned by VW, and the Veyron's engine is related, if distantly, to the W-8 power plant available in the last-generation Passat.
Not to worry; the Veyron's credentials speak for themselves. A 1,001-horsepower two-seater that blasts to 60 miles an hour in 2.5 seconds - and continues pulling all the way to 253 m.p.h. - the car is a sheer technological wonder.
Still, nothing prepares the newcomer for the reality behind the bald performance statistics. The Veyron is blisteringly, and effortlessly, fast. Other vehicles on the road appear to stop as the Veyron whooshes past with the ease of a Formula One car. It is a sobering realization that the grand prix racer is not as fast as a Veyron.
More sensational driver's impressions here.