The Fallen Stars Bugatti Veyron 18.4

  • 16 July 2022
  • 3 min read
  • 6 images
The Fallen Stars Bugatti Veyron 18.4

Ferdinand Piech’s goal, after the Volkswagen Group’s acquisition of the Bugatti brand, was to surprise. What else had Ettore Bugatti done during his heyday, if not surprise? 

Hence, the idea of a new engine: an W18-cylinder with a displacement of 6,250cc, with three banks of six cylinders in a W configuration. 

1-Bugatti-engineTwo Vs with an angle of 60 degrees and three banks of 6 cylinders are the features of the powerful 6.3-liter engine used to develop the first Bugatti of the Volkswagen era

It made its first appearance in a concept 4-door fastback saloon, the. EB118 designed by Giugiaro. A refined car capable of evoking the Bugatti style of the past.

2-EB118-coupéThe EB118 coupé was the first concept with W18 front-mounted engine in 1998

A few months later, in the spring of 1999, the EB218 appeared, a spectacular evolution of the EB 112. Despite being received to wide acclaim from both the media and the public, the idea of a front-engined, four-door Bugatti was abandoned.

3-Bugatti-EB218-1536x1125A longed-for car: the large Bugatti EB218 concept sedan is reminiscent of the most majestic models from the brand’s golden age

The new concept was a mid-engine super sports car, still using the W18 engine, of course, given the name of the race driver Chiron and the initials 18/3. The signature was still Giugiaro’s. 

4-Chiron-183The Chiron 18/3, presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show 1999, was the first mid-engine sports car. The idea of a luxury sedan was abandoned

This seemed like the perfect solution. But there was yet another development: the 18.4 dedicated to the race driver Pierre Veyron, who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1939 alongside Jean-Pierre Wimille behind the wheel of a Bugatti Type 57S Tank, presented at the Tokyo Motor Show in the same year. 

5-18.4-Veyron-1448x2048The 18.4 Veyron presented in Tokyo the same year stylistically prefigures the model that finally went into production

Two years passed before we finally got to see the pre-production car: powered by a W16 engine and not the W18, the Veyron 16.4 was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2001. That signalled the end of the road for the 18-cylinder engine: a lot of energy wasted just to surprise, and a lot of authentic genius cruelly lost in the process!

6-Bugatti-Veyron-1536x1152The first Bugatti of the Volkswagen era did not make its appearance on the market until 2005. The Veyron, however, no longer used the 18-cylinder engine, but a W16 quad-turbo capable of delivering over 1000 HP