Posts Tagged ‘Veyron’

Bugatti wanted another crack at the TG lap record – Piers Ward was there from 09|2010

WE’VE JUST SEEN FIVE OF THE BEST supercars in the world attack our track, and the’re all mighty fast, but this thing puts them to shame: 1,200bhp in the Veyron SS is more than double the output of any of the others. Unbelievable.

The SuperSport is off the truck by 9am and the engineers have a wander around it to check it over visually, before firing it up and immediately plugging it into a laptop. For all the pomp surrounding the Bugatti, and for all its 1,950,000 Euro price tag, to the engineers this is just a car – they’ve spent so long with it that they treat it with about as much respect as a Ford Focus from Hertz.

Perched here outside the TopGear production office, the Veyron has underlying menace. The engine grumbles, rather than shouts, and there’s a lot of nervous tension in the air. Which isn’t helped by the sudden appearance of the Stig.

This isn’t going to be an easy task- the big, heavy Veyron is not an ideal track car, despite its enormous power. And as Loris Bicocchi, the senior development driver, points out, the SuperSport needs to be supple as well as fast. “If a car has a number plate, it needs to be comfortable.” He forced Bugatti to change the dampers as a result: there is now a larger oil reserve for them, which allows them to react quicker, so more of the tyre is in contact with the tarmac at any given time.

Doubtless the Stig is grateful for this. Launch control armed, the Bugatti’s tyres rotate a fraction of a turn before gripping. It’s gone in a blink, and in what seems like two blinks later, it hoves back into view. We can see the airbrake rise sharply before the noise of £20,000-worth of tyres struggling for grip under hard braking hits us.

At the end of the lap, the Stig U-turns and gets plugged into a laptop. Through binary de-coding he “tells” us that the Veyron SS is not operating a well as it might. Because it’s so hot today, the ABS is triggering too early. And the SS is also trickier on the limit than the last Veyron. It’s easier to get the tail to step out (that’ll be the extra 200bhp) and it’s snappier at the back.

Which makes the time even more impressive. I think back to the Gumpert’s time of 1.17.1. That’s pretty quick. Will the SuperSport have beaten it? Was it worth the journey here? Hell, yes. There it is right at the top of the leaderboard one minute 16.8 seconds. And Stig reckons it’d go even faster. What a car.

Top Gear Magazine September 2010 (208)

The September issue of TopGear magazine is out now, and it’s the one we snappily call the Massive Supercar Megatest Summer Spectacular.

Because we are selfless like that, we corralled together the five greatest supercars of the year – the Ferrari 458, Merc SLS, Lexus LFA, Lambo Gallardo Superleggera and Porsche GT3 RS – and thrashed them from one side of Britain to the other, ending up at the TopGear test track.

But since we couldn’t agree on a winner, we handed our quintet of supercars over to our trio of erudite presenters to pick their favourites. Read why Jeremy loves the SLS more than his own dog and witness a big old fight between James and Richard on that knotty old Porsche-versus-Ferrari debate. Clearly the boys were never going to reach a unified verdict, so there was only one thing for it hand all five cars over to the mysterious man in white for a thorough Stigging. Sideways, smoky and smelling slightly of veal – it’s the only way our tame racing driver knows how.

It’s not just fast cars in this issue of TopGear magazine, though. Oh no. We’ve got a very fast bike and a very fast bikist too. That’s John McGuinness – 15-time Isle of Man TT champion, the quickest man ever to lap the terrifying street circuit and all-round fearless loon – and, clinging terrifiedly round his waist, our man Piers Ward, a journalist who’s as familiar with superbikes as Deborah Meaden is with bonhomie and good cheer. Watch the video of Piers’s sphincter-narrowing lap here.

Kicking off our smorgasbord of road tests this month is the 911 GT2 RS, the fastest and most powerful Porsche in history. With 613 turbocharged horses coursing through the rear wheels, it’s every bit as deranged as you’d imagine.

We’ve also reviewed the Renault Wind, Hennessey Camaro, Fiat 500 Twin, Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, Mercedes C63 DR520 and, oh, loads of other stuff.

How do you upstage the billionaires who cruise round Knightsbridge in their Veyrons and Enzos? With a fantasycar, that’s how. We ‘borrow’ Citroen’s astonishing GT concept and head to Harrods to wind up some oligarchs and oil barons. Things get a bit messy.

And, talking of messy, that’s our new Jaguar XJ. In the depths of Morocco. Getting all dusty and broken. Find out if the lovely big Jag conquered the Atlas Mountains – and see Tom Ford with a snake on his face!

Because we occasionally dabble in sensible grown-up car journalism, we’ve got a head-to-head test between the Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke, in which we discuss sensible grown-up things like boot space and economy and ergonomics and, er, skateboards.

We’ve also got the scandalous behind-the-scenes story of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz’s Hollywoodtastic visit to the TopGear telly studio. Think of us as Hello but with more toppling Korean hatchbacks.

All this, and more, in the September issue of TopGear magazine, on sale today. Go, hurry, and buy a packet of retro crisps while you’re at it!