ZINVO's Favorite Cars: Bugatti Veyron Vitesse
Welcome to our latest installment of ZINVO’s Favorites—a series where we explore our top choices in cars, destinations, and fashion to unveil what inspires our creativity. At ZINVO, we take many cues from the supercars of the world when designing of our men's watches. For instance, we are big fans of carbon fiber, which you will find on several of our timepieces. So with that, we invite you to discover the iconic Bugatti Veyron Vitesse.
It is the fastest and most powerful production vehicle on earth, and it is also one of the most expensive. It combines aerospace and automotive to produce massive acceleration and speeds, while maintaining safety and elegance. The Bugatti Veyron Vitesse is unrivaled in the supercar space, but how does it achieve all of this safely? More importantly, how does the vehicle sell out, especially when it costs $2.4 million?
Ettore Bugatti created the most extreme vehicles from 1909 to 1947. The Volkswagen (VW) group bought the rights to the brand in 1998 and a few years later the Veyron was born. It is named after a French hero from the 1930s, Pierre Veyron, who was a race car driver and was in the French resistance. The word Vitesse is French for speed and that is how we arrived at the Bugatti Veyron Vitesse name.
The Vitesse has 200 horsepower more than the regular Veyron, but shares most of its main features.
The Vitesse’s W16 engine is a 16 cylinder engine that is a combination of two 8 cylinder engines in a W formation, hence W16. It takes a week to assemble and is built entirely by hand in Germany by the Volkswagen group’s engine engineers. It is made of solid titanium, which was borrowed from the aerospace industry, and the pistons are made from aluminum. The 8-liter engine generates 1200 horsepower and 1500nm of torque, which achieves acceleration speeds to 60mph in 2.4 seconds and a top speed of 255mph. A truly remarkable feat. To put that into perspective, traveling at 255mph, the 25-gallon gas tank would be empty in eight minutes.
The Vitesse achieves the extra 200 horsepower because of four larger turbochargers and four fuel pumps. All of this generated heat is cooled down with 11 radiators that are distributed around the entire vehicle, in addition to large air intakes on the exterior.
Similar to the idea of combining two engines, Bugatti combined two transmissions. A double clutch transmission is how they are able to shift gears in 150 milliseconds. This gives the driver the feeling of acceleration without interruption all the way from 0 to 250 mph, which is very similar to a jet.
The exterior of the Vitesse is made entirely of carbon fiber. We love this distinct pattern so much that we often use it on our watches, just like the Blade Phantom outfitted with a carbon fiber leather strap pictured here. Bugatti offers the option for a clear coated paint to have the carbon fiber exposed for an extra $300,000.
Following Bugatti’s trend of combining for maximum effect, the Vitesse has two braking systems: mechanical brakes to stop the wheels and air brakes to bring the car to a halt even quicker. Together, this braking system brings the car from 60mph to 0 in 2.2 seconds.
The tires were specifically developed for Bugatti to withstand speeds of over 250mph, and without them the Veyron would not have been able to hit the speed it needed to be the fastest production car on the planet. Michelin was chosen for the job. While most car tires take 30 seconds to be made, the Vitesse tires take an hour to be built totally by hand. They also meet aerospace standards and cost $17,000 to replace.
The Vitesse has a carbon fiber and Polycarbon semitransparent hard top roof that comes off, but it’s a two-person job because of the width of the car. To drive comfortably at higher speeds, the Bugatti team developed a wind deflector and a rear deflector. This system magically keeps the car insulated but open to the elements at the same time. The ride is also better because they softened the springs and improved the shock absorbers.
Bugatti calls the Vitesse the “Beauty and the Beast” because it combines massive power with elegance and reliability. It is this reliability that makes the Vitesse so successful and why people are more than happy to pay the $2.4 million to have one.