Bugatti appeases its Veyron customers
In a bid to outdo each other, luxury super and hyper carmakers introduce new, out of space car models to the markets on a regular basis now. Take, for instance, the Bugatti’s Veyron: its 252-mph top speed makes it the fastest production car in the world. With 1,001 horsepower pumping from its W16 engine, it is also the world's most powerful production car. And with a price tag of about $1.5 million, it's the world's most expensive new car.
It takes five weeks to build, or should we say create, each car. Counting the heater core, the Veyron has 12 radiators. Sixty mph is reached in 2.5 seconds. The car will reach 150 mph 8.3 seconds sooner than a Nissan GT-R. At its top speed of 253 mph, it is traveling 371 feet per second and will empty its 26.4-gallon tank in 19 minutes.
If you can’t locate fuel of 93 octanes or higher, your dealer must detune the engine. The hydraulic rams that raise the rear wing at 137 mph are identical to those that raise flaps on aircraft. During the Veyron’s prototype days, a bird crashed through its aluminum grille - the car was humming along at 205 mph—so now the grille is titanium.
The windows automatically rise and lock in place at 93 mph as a safety precaution. According to Bugatti’s Jens Schulenburg, “They all make more than 1010 horsepowers”, which is kind of scary.
Indeed, the car displays awesome power, as it is evident from its ability to accelerate. The car always leaves civilly, gentlemanly, with almost no wheel spin or tire squeal. It accelerates briskly for roughly one second until the turbos understand that you mean business. Then there is a deafening roar, the nose lifts, and the car feels as if it’s making a serious attempt to claw itself into the air, and you are about three seconds into this experiment, you, too, will lift. Analogies, here, are often futile, but in the time it takes a thundering Audi S8 to attain 60 mph, the Veyron will be going 100.
The somewhat disappointing news is that despite accurate, nicely weighted steering and 1.00 g of skidpad grip, the car isn’t particularly nimble in the hills, where it is taxed by its 4486-pound heft. The Veyron’s weird shifter is as alien as the rest of the car. Push down for parking. Push once to the right for driving. No matter where you shove it, it instantly returns to its original position.
This could be annoying but resist the urge to abuse any gears. A new transmission costs $123,200. Service, in general, will be expensive because it takes two persons - to remove the rear bodywork just to get at the engine. Four of this car’s Michelin PAX Pilots will set you back $25,000. If they’re mounted on wheels, this process is undertaken only in France costing $70,000. Speaking of abuse, within the 366-page hardcover owner’s manual, there are 190-boxed messages headlined “Warning!”
Because of the extremely high costs associated with the keep up, and the complexity of it, Bugatti is introducing a Loyalty Maintenance Program for its Veyron supercar that will help owners maintain the condition of their car while also allowing the automaker to keep its fleet of vehicles pristine, hoping the program can help reduce operating costs for owners. The program is part of Bugatti’s Extended Warranty and Extended Warranty Plus program, which can reach up to 15 years.
According to Franco Utzeri, head of Bugatti Certified and Financial Services, “the combination of a confirmed vehicle history, the Bugatti Certified warranty and individual support by Bugatti Customer Service makes the difference for Veyron owners and is more than just a seal of approval. We are committed to providing our customers with a 360° ownership experience that is unique in the automotive world.”
To earn a Bugatti Certified seal, a vehicle goes through an inspection where everything is tested and replaced if necessary, which includes not only mechanical bits such as spark plugs but also body parts. Updates are also performed. At the end of the inspection process, a Bugatti Certified seal is awarded along with extending the car’s warranty.
Bugatti will offer several different maintenance packages to its Veyron owners so the owner can get the package that best fits his or her lifestyle. Providing such a variety makes sense, as the clientele is a very diverse group of individuals.
Several luxury automakers offer their own maintenance programs in hopes of maintaining mechanical quality across their fleet. Bugatti’s Loyalty Program is a natural step for the automaker, especially with such technical and expensive supercars.