The Bugatti Veyron is a mid-engine sports car, designed and developed in Germany by the Volkswagen Group and manufactured in Molsheim, France, by French automobile manufacturer Bugatti. It was named after the racing driver Pierre Veyron. The original version has a top speed of 407 km/h (253 mph). It was named Car of the Decade and best car award (2000 - 2009) by the BBC television programme Top Gear. The standard Bugatti Veyron also won Top Gear's Best Car Driven All Year award in 2005. The Super Sport version of the Veyron is recognised by Guinness World Records as the fastest street-legal production car in the world, with a top speed of 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph). The Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse was the fastest roadster in the world, reaching an averaged top speed of 408.84 km/h (254.04 mph) in a test on 6 April 2013. The Veyron includes a sound system designed and built by Burmester Audiosysteme. Several special variants have been produced. In December 2010, Bugatti began offering prospective buyers the ability to customise exterior and interior colours by using the Veyron 16.4 Configurator application on the marque's official website. The Bugatti Veyron was discontinued in late 2014. But special edition models continued production until 2015. In May 1998, Volkswagen AG acquired the rights to use the Bugatti logo and the trade name Bugatti Automobiles. To succeed the EB 110 model produced under the previous ownership, the automaker quickly released a series of concept cars whose technological advancements would culminate in the form of the Veyron 16.4. Between October 1998 and September 1999, Bugatti introduced a series of Giugiaro-designed concept vehicles, each with permanent four-wheel drive and powered by the Volkswagen-designed W18 engine. The first car, the EB 118, was a 2-door luxury coupe presented at the 1998 Paris Motor Show. The next car, the EB218, was a 4-door saloon presented at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show. The third and final car, the 18/3 Chiron, was a mid-engine sports car presented at the 1999 International Motor Show in Frankfurt. In October 1999, Bugatti unveiled a fourth concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show. The EB 18/4 Veyron was a mid-engine sports car styled in-house under the direction of Hartmut Warkub. In 2000, a modified version, the EB 16/4 Veyron, was displayed at motor shows in Detroit, Geneva, and Paris. Rather than the three-bank W18 engine of the four previous concept cars, the EB 16/4 featured the four-bank W16 engine architecture installed in every production example of the Veyron. The decision to start production of the car was made by the Volkswagen Group in 2001. The first roadworthy prototype was completed in August 2003. It is identical to the later series variant, except for a few details. In the transition from development to series production, considerable technical problems had to be addressed, repeatedly delaying production until September 2005. The Veyron EB 16.4 is named in honour of Pierre Veyron, a Bugatti development engineer, test driver and company race driver who, with co-driver Jean-Pierre Wimille, won the 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans while driving a Bugatti. The "EB" refers to Bugatti founder Ettore Bugatti and the "16.4" refers to the engine's 16 cylinders and quad turbochargers. The Veyron features an 8.0-litre, quad-turbocharged, W16 cylinder engine, equivalent to two narrow-angle V8 engines bolted together. Each cylinder has four valves for a total of 64, but the configuration of each bank allows two overhead camshafts to drive two banks of cylinders so only four camshafts are needed. The engine is fed by four turbochargers and displaces 7,993 cc, with a square 86 by 86 mm (3.39 by 3.39 in) bore and stroke. The transmission is a dual-clutch direct-shift computer-controlled automatic transmission having seven gear ratios, with magnesium paddles behind the steering wheel and a shift time of less than 150 milliseconds, built by Ricardo of England rather than Borg-Warner, who designed the six speed DSG used in the mainstream Volkswagen Group marques. The Veyron can be driven in either semi-automatic or fully automatic mode. It also has permanent all-wheel drive using the Haldex Traction system. Kerb weight is 1,888 kg (4,162 lb). This gives the car a power-to-weight ratio, according to Volkswagen Group's figures, of 390 kW (523 hp) per ton. The car's wheelbase is 2,710 mm (106.7 in). Overall length is 4,462 mm (175.7 in) which gives 1,752.6 mm (69.0 in) of overhang. The width is 1,998 mm (78.7 in) and height 1,204 mm (47.4 in). The Bugatti Veyron has a total of ten radiators. According to Volkswagen Group and certified by TUV Suddeutschland, the W16 engine utilised by the Veyron engine has a power output of 736 kW (987 hp), and generates 1,250 Nm (922 lbf ft) of torque. German inspection officials recorded an average top speed of the original version at 408.47 km/h (253.81 mph) during test sessions on Volkswagen Group's private Ehra-Lessien test track on 19 April 2005. This top speed was almost matched by James May on Top Gear in November 2006, at the Ehra-Lessien test track, at 407.5 km/h (253.2 mph). May noted that at top speed the engine consumes 45,000 L (9,900 imp gal) of air per minute. Back in the Top Gear studio, co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson commented that most sports cars felt like they were shaking apart at their top speed, and asked May if that was the case with the Veyron at 407 km/h (253 mph). May responded that the Veyron was very controlled, and only wobbled slightly when the air brake deployed. The car's normal top speed is listed at 343 km/h (213 mph). When the car reaches 220 km/h (137 mph), hydraulics lower the car until it has a ground clearance of about 9 cm (3.5 in). At the same time, the wing and spoiler deploy. In this handling mode, the wing provides 3,425 newtons (770 lbf) of downforce, holding the car to the road. Top speed mode must be entered while the vehicle is at rest. Its driver must toggle a special top speed key to the left of their seat, which triggers a checklist to establish whether the car and its driver are ready to attempt to reach 407 km/h (253 mph). If so, the rear spoiler retracts, the front air diffusers shut, and normal 12.5 cm (4.9 in) ground clearance drops to 6.5 cm (2.6 in). The Veyron's brakes use cross drilled, radially vented carbon fibre reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC) composite discs, manufactured by SGL Carbon, which have less brake fade and weigh less than standard cast iron discs. The lightweight aluminium alloy monobloc brake calipers are made by AP Racing, the fronts have eight titanium pistons and the rear calipers have six pistons. Bugatti claims maximum deceleration of 1.3 g on road tyres. As an added safety feature, in the event of brake failure, an anti-lock braking system (ABS) has also been installed on the handbrake. Prototypes have been subjected to repeated 1.0 g braking from 312 km/h (194 mph) to 80 km/h (50 mph) without fade. With the car's acceleration from 80 km/h (50 mph) to 312 km/h (194 mph), that test can be performed every 22 seconds. At speeds above 200 km/h (124 mph), the rear wing also acts as an airbrake, snapping to a 55 degree angle in 0.4 seconds once brakes are applied, providing an additional 0.68 g (6.66 m/s2) of deceleration. Bugatti claims the Veyron will brake from 400 km/h (249 mph) to a standstill in less than 10 seconds, though distance covered in this time will be half a kilometre (third of a mile). The targa top version of the Bugatti Veyron, dubbed the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, was unveiled at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It has extensive reinforcements to compensate for the lack of a standard roof and small changes to the windshield and running lights. Two removable tops are included, the second a temporary arrangement fashioned after an umbrella. The top speed with the hardtop in place is the same as the standard coupe version, but with the roof removed is limited to 369 km/h (229 mph) and to 130 km/h (81 mph) with the temporary soft roof. The Grand Sport edition was limited to 150 units, with the first 50 going exclusively to registered Bugatti customers. Production began in the second quarter of 2009. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport is a faster, more powerful version of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4. Production was limited to 30 units. The Super Sport has increased engine power output of 883 kW (1,184 hp) at 6,400 rpm and a maximum torque of 1,500 Nm (1,106 lb ft) at 3,000-5,000 rpm and a revised aerodynamic package. The Super Sport has a 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph) top speed, making it the fastest production road car in the world at the time of its introduction although it is electronically limited to 415 km/h (258 mph) to protect the tyres from disintegrating. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport World Record Edition is a version of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. It is limited to five units. It has an orange body detailing, orange wheels, and a special black exposed carbon body. The electronic limiter is also removed with this version. The model was unveiled in 2010 at The Quail, followed by the 2010 Monterey Historic Races at Laguna Seca, and the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. On 4 July 2010 James May, a television presenter on BBC Two's television show Top Gear, drove the Veyron Super Sport at 417.61 km/h (259.49 mph). Later that day, Bugatti's official test driver Pierre Henri Raphanel drove the Super Sport version of the Veyron on Volkswagen's Ehra-Lessien high-speed test track to establish the car's top speed. With representatives of the Guinness Book of Records and German Technical Inspection Agency (TUV) on hand, Raphanel made passes around the big oval in both directions achieving an average maximum speed of 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph), thus taking back the title from the SSC Ultimate Aero TT as the fastest production vehicle of all time. The 431.072 km/h mark was reached by averaging the Super Sport's two test runs, the first reaching 427.933 km/h (265.905 mph) and the second 434.211 km/h (269.806 mph). When the record was certified it was already well known to the public that the customer car would be electronically limited to 415 km/h (258 mph). The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is a targa top version of the Veyron Super Sport. The engine in the Vitesse variant has a maximum power output of 883 kW (1,184 bhp) at 6,400 rpm and a maximum torque of 1,500 Nm (1,100 lb ft) at 3,000-5,000 rpm. These figures allow the car to accelerate from a stand still to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.6 seconds. On normal roads, the Vitesse is electronically limited to 375 km/h (233 mph). As of 6 August 2014, 405 cars have been produced and delivered to customers worldwide, with orders have already been placed for another 30. Bugatti was reported to produce 300 coupes and 150 roadsters up to the end of 2015. Production amounted to 450 units in a span of over 10 years. The final production vehicle, a Grand Sport Vitesse titled "La Finale" (The Last One), was displayed at the Geneva Motor Show from 5-15 March 2015.