What does it take to get a heavy, luxurioussupercar to 252 mph and back down to zero?
by Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.
The seven-speed sequential manual transmission does not have a clutch pedal. Instead, paddles in front of the steering wheel control dual automatic clutches. One is always engaged; the other waits, attached to the next gear. When you shift, the new gear engages nearly instantaneously, with no pause in power flow.
Bugatti expects one of the most-requested options to be a pair of 1-carat diamonds, each cut into an unusual but symbolic 16 facets (to represent the number of cylinders). One gem is set in the speedometer, the other in the “powermeter,” which displays how many of the 1,001 horses are being harnessed.
Special Michelin PAX tires manage the heat of high-speed running and can run flat for 125 miles at up to 50 mph. The rears are a record-breaking 14.4 inches wide.
Suspension is relatively conventional: double wishbones, coil springs, shock absorbers without electronic controls. But there’s also reputed to be a lifting mechanism to stop the nose from plowing into pavement on steep ramps.
Engineers sculpted the body from hand-laid carbon fiber, though aluminum subframes carry the suspensions at either end (VW knows how to make these absorb energy in a crash). The underbody is shaped to create a venturi effect, sucking the body to the ground for added downforce. A spoiler extends up and backward from the rear of the car at speed, and stays up for a while after the car is stopped to let heat exit the engine bay.
Ultra-expensive carbon-composite rotors are light, resistant to heat and wear, and provide eye-popping deceleration. When braking hard, the car deploys a second spoiler to provide airbraking and additional downforce. The spoiler cuts stopping distance by 65 feet from 180 mph.
Not independently verified.
Top Speed: 252 mph; 0â€62 mph: <3 seconds; 0â€186 mph: 14 seconds; HP: 1,001 at 6,000 rpm; Torque: 922 lb.-ft. at 2,200â€5,500 rpm; Weight: 4,300 lb."]