The 2011 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is the fastest and most powerful production car in the world, but it doesn't have a Total Car Score. With a price comfortably into seven figures, it's also the most expensive supercar on the planet. That kind of exclusivity doesn't lend itself to many expert reviews.
The Veyron goes for the "too much of everything" approach. Its engine has 16 cylinders fed by not one but four turbochargers (hence the 16.4 in the name), combusting around 10 liters of fuel every minute. It's an all-wheel-drive machine, with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. An active suspension adjusts ride height automatically according to road speed. The magic lies in how all this hardware behaves and interacts to produce 1,200 horsepower, 1,106 pound-feet of torque, a 2.5-second zero-to-60 mph time and a top speed of 268 mph.
That's in the Super Sport model. There aren't any trim levels as such, but a few current Veyron owners wanted something even more extreme. So Bugatti created this ultra-powerful version as it has made other special editions. The "plain" Veyron still has 1,001 hp and can still reach 253 mph. And plain is a relative term here, since the Veyron is filled to bursting with luxury touches of fine leather and aluminum.
The Super Sport is 2011's contribution to the range of Veyron possibilities. The company only plans to make 300 Veyrons in total, with 260 sold since the car's introduction in 2005.
The 2011 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is a two-seater coupe, although a version with a removable hard top -- the Grand Sport -- could probably be ordered, considering the seven-figure sum Bugatti will be receiving in return. For 2011, the big news is the super-powered, super-fast Super Sport variant.
This model brings the standard Veyron's 1,001 horsepower and 922 pound-feet of torque to 1,200 and 1,106 respectively, pushing top speed from 253 mph to 268 -- a world record for a production car. This is thanks in no small part to a quad-turbo 16-cylinder engine arranged in a W formation and displacing eight liters. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission somehow manages to channel such prodigious power to all four wheels.
Safety equipment does not include a drag chute, but traction and stability controls, plus huge carbon-ceramic brake rotors with ABS should help enormously if things start to look expensively disastrous.
There aren't options so much as myriad choices with which to personalize one's very own Veyron, although standard equipment already includes leather and a 400-watt audio system with Bluetooth and iPod capability.
Anyone concerned with fuel costs is looking at the wrong car, but for the sake of completeness, the EPA rates the 2011 Veyron at 8 mpg city/15 mpg highway and 10 mpg combined.
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