Bugatti plans to deliver first Veyron this year

Molsheim, Germany. After postponing the production start-up several times, Bugatti plans to deliver the first units of its Veyron 16.4 super sports car this year.

"I expect to deliver about 15 vehicles in 2005," said Bugatti President Thomas Bscher.

He says finishing more units is out of the question due to an assembly period of five weeks at the Molsheim plant and "extremely high quality standards."

In 2006, Bugatti plans to sell a maximum of 50 units of the two-seat car with its price tag of 1 million euros, or $1.3 million at current exchange rates, plus tax.

"The total volume for this type will definitely not exceed 300 units," says Bscher. "The Veyron production will come to an end after a maximum of six years."

Bscher rejected rumors that the four-wheel-drive car's performance would be reduced because of technical problems.

"We are sticking to realizing all our targets," he said. On the test stand all Veyron engines "achieve the promised 1,001 horsepower despite the usual diffusion levels."

That means the Veyron, with an 8.0-liter, 16-cylinder engine, should be able to reach the announced maximum speed of more than 248 miles per hour.

Michelin will supply tires with run-flat properties.

An insider said tried and tested electronic components from the fourth-generation VW Golf will be used in the Veyron to improve the electric system's reliability.

Bscher believes that a second model series is still possible.

He says he has not yet personally met Wolfgang Bernhard, director of the Volkswagen brand, which includes Bugatti. But Bscher says in phone conversations, Bernhard thinks "very positively of the Bugatti brand."

Tags: Automakers

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