Bugatti: A Pioneer In the $1,000,000 Sedan Market


Let’s say you’re shopping for luxury sedans with a $1,000,000 budget. What would you buy? Four Bentleys? Nine Mercedes S500s? Thirty Toyota Avalons? Maybe you’d like twelve hundred 1985 fair condition Cadillac Sedan De Villes?

How about one Bugatti. One million dollars seems like a lot of money just one car, so how can the French automaker justify such a sticker price? Enter the Veyron.

Shortly after becoming a Volkswagen subsidiary in 2000, Bugatti SAS began the development of a new super car called the 16.4 Veyron. Bugatti’s clear intention was to build the fastest car ever offered to the public, at the highest price the automotive world had ever seen. Production faltered throughout the early part of the decade, due to vehicle stability issues during high speed tests.

The rear mounted engine was your run-of-the-mill 8.0 liter quad-turbocharged W-16 with 987 horsepower and 922 pound-feet of torque. The 0-60 time is just 3.0 seconds, and 0 to 186 mph took fourteen seconds. In addition to special cross-drilled brakes, the car was also equipped with a rear air brake. This feature helped bring the Veyron from 252 mph to a halt in less than ten seconds.

The final version 16.4 rolled off the production line in 2005. Bugatti now plans to follow up with a sedan version.

The new Veyron is a 950 horsepower, one million dollar sedan. An entirely new platform has been constructed, but the same W-16 engine and (AWD/seven-speed transmission) drive train will be utilized.

Production shouldn’t be as painstaking here, because the new Veyron will need less high-speed-focused engineering. The 200+ mph top speed potential will be limited far short of that. Although the sedan will be built with revolutionary aluminum and carbon composite materials, it will retain many traditional Bugatti features, like the split rear window and absurd price.

While the market for the previous Veyron 16.4 super car was understandably finite, chairman Thomas Bscher is confident that Bugatti can find buyers for the sedan. Certainly, this car is marked by being in a class by itself, with respect to both price and performance.

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