Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Thousand Horses = Heaven On Earth

Vision of a deranged petrolhead

This car was the brainchild of Ferdinand Piech, the former boss of Volkswagen who bought Bugatti and got his team of engineers to come up with a concept car. He had only 3 criteria for his engineers, the first, the car would have to look sleek and muscular. Second, it must produce 1000 horsepower, and last of all, it must be capable of hitting 400kmh. No big deal right?

So the engineers began tinkering in their laboratories and workshops like busy little beavers. Laboring for years on end to produce what you see here now. In fact, word has it that the engineers spent months and months trying to design windshield wipers that worked at speeds of more than 320kmh (You see, it's pretty tricky to get them to motor back down when you're barelling along in excess of 300kh, what with the gale-strength force of the wind and all) before somebody pointed out that who in the world would be crazy enough to do 300kmh+ in the rain? In the end, they decided that only lunatics would be capable of doing so, and that the world would not be worst off if there is one less psycho around. So screw the wipers!

Engineering at its finest

The development of the Veryon was no walk in the park, mind you. First of all, in order to create an engine capable of 1000hp (and which will not blow up after a few pedal-to-the-metal runs), VW's engineers mated two Audi A8's to create an 8 litre W16. Did I also mention that it has 4 turbos as well?

Such a combo however, generated huge amounts of heat - heat which had to be disipated through the use of not 1, not 5, but 10 radiators! That's enough radiators to cool a significant portion of the Gobi Desert! Enough to cool the Earth's core! Enough to...to...okay, you get the idea.

At its maximum speed of 403kmh, you'd be basically covering 370ft a second. That's the entire length of a football field, in one second, in a car! Madness! At those speeds, the force of the wind is phenomenal. 400kmh winds can knock over an entire modern city as easily as Godzilla on a bad hair day, so getting a car to be both stable and controllable at such speeds is no small feat.

So it has the power, but how quick is it?

This car is capable of going from 0-100kmh in 2.2 seconds. If that's not enough to impress you (you fussy bunch of people), just imagine this, in a drag race with a McLaren F1, you can afford to let the McLaren F1 hit 180kmh before starting and still beat it to 320kmh.

Mere mortals like us can't possibly comprehend what it feels like to be doing such speeds. The closest we can get is by huddling in front of a Playstation 2, with a copy of Gran Turismo 4 and a PS2 controller clamped in our balmy, sweaty hands.

Sure, there are critics of the Bugatti Veryon. Some people say that it is a totally pointless exercise in excessive engineering, that it will never be able to earn the company a single cent, that for its asking price you could buy yourself a track car, a drag car, a luxury saloon and perhaps even a light aircraft. To those naysayers, I have this to say....

The Bugatti Veryon isn't about sound business sense. It isn't about generating huge fat profits. It is about doing the impossible. It is about the triumph of lunacy over common sense.

It exists purely because it can. And for that, I'm thankful.



Blogger Bernice said...

Guys and their obsession with cars... Something I will just never get.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Bernard Yong said...

Girls and their obsession with shoes...
Something I will just never get...lol :)

2:44 PM  
Blogger DavidLee said...

Did you just watch TopGear? Hmm... Ehehe.

Awesome episode. Jeremy Clarkson's one lucky fella to have driven it.


3:59 AM  
Blogger Bernard Yong said...

davidlee : I didn't watch it, but i read about it on their website..heheh. Most of my info (and some quotes) were taken from that article. Superb stuff!

8:36 AM  
Blogger DavidLee said...

I've got the video. My name is DL. AHaha. They make funny shows. You've gotta see it.


3:40 PM  
Blogger Bernard Yong said...

Cool, do u have it on DVD or did u download it? Pinjam ler

9:55 AM  
Blogger DavidLee said...

I have a couple of DVD, but this episode is quite recent .. so I haven't burnt it. I don't have a DVD burner either.

I've got the episode where Jeremy Clarkson actually .. drove a Mercedes Mclaren SLR across 8 countries .. in a race against the ferry. Good episode!


8:16 PM  
Blogger Bernard Yong said...

davidlee : Cool, bring it during Saturday service ler...heheh

8:42 AM  
Blogger DavidLee said...

Sorry ... was a typo. I have a few episodes on one DVD. Just started downloading them. Keeping the cool episodes only.


12:50 PM  
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