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2006 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Review

The Most Luxurious & Fastest Car

A view of a gray and blue 2006 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 racing across a dry lake bed

In short: Top speed and top luxury don't come cheap.

One of the fastest and most expensive production car ever made, the $1.1 million Bugatti Veyron 16.4 had its world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, 2005. Hand-produced in Molsheim, France, this super sports car was also shown from October 11 to 18, 2005, in Madonie, Sicily, famous for the renowned Targa Florio race where, in the 1920s, the company’s founder Ettore Bugatti achieved the most racing victories.

The new Veyron 16.4 is named after Pierre Veyron, a Grand Prix motor racing driver most remembered for winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans race with Jean-Pierre Wimille in a Bugatti 57C in 1939. The Bugatti name has long been associated with top-of-the-line vehicles, particularly racing cars. In 1998, Volkswagen purchased Bugatti’s trademark rights, assuring that this legendary name lives on.

Several shots of the interior, engine and exterior details of a 2006 Bugatti Veyron 16.4

To say that the Veyron is impressive would almost be an insult, considering just how unbelievable this car really is. The luxurious, classic interior is reminiscent of the brand’s racing past while the outside is striking with dual color enameling, chrome-plated radiator shutter and protruding back fenders which enhance the car’s sleek, athletic look. With some cars, looks can be deceiving, but here any performance expectations you might have by just looking at the car are sure to be exceeded.

Reaching 60 miles per hour in just 2.5 seconds, the Veyron has a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch transmission, a direct-injection 8.0-liter W-16 engine with 64 valves and 4 turbos and a top speed of 250 mph. This means that if you want to grab dinner in Los Angeles and a show in Las Vegas, the Veyron will get you there in one hour! The car's speed capabilities are enhanced by aluminum and magnesium components, which help keep it light. Its power output tops at 987 horses (1,001 metric horses) at 6000 rpm with 922 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,200 rpm. Toggle switches on the steering wheel sequentially switch transmission, and power is evenly distributed with continuous four-wheel drive.

A view of the 2006 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 on an open stretch of asphalt

Speed demons will gladly trade their souls for the chance to drive this car, which not only reaches unprecedented speeds but also does so with refined technological class. Once the car reaches almost 140 mph, the normal 4.9-in. ride height is lowered to 3.1 in the front and 3.7 in the rear, while the rear spoiler rises and the wing extends nearly a foot. Then, at 230 mph, the driver is required to turn a key in a lock located near the driver’s seat, lowering the car even more to a miniscule 2.6 inches in front and 2.8 in the rear. The front underbody flaps close and the rear spoiler and wing retract, as the car zooms to its top speed.

While many might fall in love at first sight with the Veyron 16.4, few will find themselves with one in the garage, considering its ultra-hefty price tag. Also, the company plans to produce no more than 50 cars a year, with a maximum of 300 units overall. Yet for the lucky few who can afford it, the Veyron promises to be worth every penny.

Read a review of the 2010 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport

A view of the 2006 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 on the road

Base Price: $1,100,000 / As tested: $1,810,020

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: mid-engine, all-wheel drive,
2-passenger, 2-door coupe

Engine: 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16
Horsepower: 1,001 bhp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 922 lb-ft @ 2,200 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed clutchless manual

Curb weight: 4,300 lbs
Wheelbase: 106.3 in
175.8/78.7/47.5 in
Turning circle: n/a

Brakes: four-wheel disc with ABS, electronic brake assist and high-speed wind deflector air brake

Suspension: adjustable independent front and rear
all-wheel drive, traction control, stability control, multi-vector automatic wind deflector
Safety: n/a

0-60 mph: 2.5 seconds
Top Speed: 253 mph (governed)

EPA City: 7 mpg
EPA Highway: 10 mpg


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Photography: Bugatti

(Updated: 02/18/10 NW)