Back in the 30’s, Bugatti made some of the finest, super-high-class performance touring and race cars. Ettore Bugatti died in ’47, and for some strange reason in postwar France, the company didn’t find the economy conducive to building high-end sports cars and was forced to shut down.
A little more recently, back in ’98, Volkswagen bought the name. Yes, Volkswagen, but stop thinking cute beetle and think huge auto conglomerate — they also own Audi, Lamborghini, and Bentley. They’ve since tossed out a few one-off concepts that weren’t very remarkable (other than an 18-cylinder engine), but in general haven’t been heard from much.
Until now. It’s still not out, but the up-and-coming Bugatti is called the Veyron, and it is very impressive. When I first saw some of the specs, particularly the 1001 horsepower engine, I was reminded of the Cadillac Sixteen, introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last year. But that’s still just a concept — the Veyron is nearing production, and it looks better ;).
I could go more into specs, but I’d just be repeating what I’ve read elsewhere. Bugatti’s site is light on details and heavy on flash animation, but it’s worth a look if you want to see their previous concepts. Instead, I’d recommend this in-depth review at Howstuffworks.com — good explanations of the engineering accomplishments and some great photos. Popular Science also has an article, with less technical detail and more on the history and creation of the car.
And it’s only going to cost a little over $1 million. I’d better start saving my pennies…