The Bugatti Veyron was the world's fastest car, generating 1184 horsepower from its giant quad-turbocharged 16-cylinder engine and able to reach a top speed of 268 m.p.h. Priced at $2.3 million by the time it went out of production, it was also one of the most expensive to buy, and to maintain (a tire change will run you over $25,000, which is the price of a nice Honda Accord).
A synonym for Automotive Excess, the car attracted successful musicians who did not shy from the public eye. Chris Brown, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Flo Rida, The Game, Birdman, and Xzibit all had a Veyron. Many others have sung about the car, including Britney Spears, Kanye West, Rick Ross, A$AP Rocky, Frank Ocean, Future, Nicki Minaj, R. Kelly, A Tribe Called Quest, Lana Del Rey, and Ice Cube. And Justin Bieber crashed one, of course.
The Veyron was the pinnacle of automotive mayhem. Topping that is like creating a successful successor to a monster album - not just a commercial hit, but a critical one as well: going from Off the Wall to Thriller. The German-developed, French-produced brand has attempted to do precisely that in its new, $2.9 million Chiron (Bugatti is a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group), the first production versions of which have just been delivered to customers.
The new car is clearly related to the old one, but is more in every way: more menacing and elegant styling, more luxurious interior trim, more wind-cheating aerodynamic doo-dads, more technology, and, most important, more power. The 8-liter W-16 motor now makes 1500 horses. Top speed has yet to be released, but the brief for the new car was quite direct: "Do everything better in all dimensions. Remarkably better." Expect something akin to a terrestrial jet.
And expect celebrities to queue up for one. "People want to be recognized, be special and unique, and they want to be part of something that matters," says Stefan Brungs, Member of the Board of Bugatti for Sales, Marketing and Customer Service on the car's undeniable allure for the world's boldface names. "Bugatti is the pinnacle brand in the car world, a Bugatti is the ultimate and incomparable super sports car. With this special positioning our brand offers an exclusive platform for our customers of presenting themselves as part of this very special experience."
Bugatti customers each own an average of 64 cars (yes, sixty-four). They put them on and take them off like we do shoes or shirts, wearing them for specific occasions. So which musicians will purchase a Chiron for their elaborate stable? Bugatti will not discuss its specific customers, so, as someone close to the brand said, "We will have to wait until we see them on the street."