With an unparalleled stature in the upper echelon of the worlds automakers, Bugatti has a reputation beyond refute. The Volkswagen-owned French automaker that uses the Bugatti name today isnt the same as that founded by Italian-born Ettore Bugatti in France in 1909, but its mission in life is not that different: To provide exquisite, high-performance cars for a small sliver of the most discerning buyers.
The Bugatti founded by its namesake gained a reputation for producing some of the most beautiful cars the world is likely to ever see. Today, its hardly uncommon for a prewar Bugatti to trade hands for under $1 million, even if it was not owned by a celebrity or used in a race.
Bugatti today isnt directly related to the original marque; the nameplate was acquired by an Italian in 1987, who created the high-performance EB110 in the early 1990s. By the late 1990s, however, Volkswagen swooped in and bought up the company, with the plan to create an ultra high-performance sports car.
Christened the Veyron, the VW-designed Bugatti boasts an enormous 16-cylinder engine that puts out 1,000 horsepower in standard configuration and 1,184 horsepower in Super Sport models. Moreover, the Veyron holds the record for the highest top speed of any street-legal passenger cars.
Naturally, this latest Bugattis list price is commensurate with its performance credentials; only the most well-heeled buyers need apply for the car that can hit 150 mph from a stop in under 10 seconds.
VW hasnt been clear with just where it intends to take Bugatti from Veyron; it will exist as an ultra-premium brand, but its direction is as of yet unknown.