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Bugatti Concept Cars: A Fall of Ideals

Concept cars can bring a sense of wonder and awe to a trade show. But what happens to them when the show’s over? Often, these futuristic marvels are either relegated to the company’s museum, stored away in a basement somewhere, or even crushed, cubed and sold for scrap metal. Lately, many concept cars that are showcased look as if they have already been to the compactor.

Concept cars should be edgy, futuristic, high-tech and relay a hopeful vision of tomorrow. The economic downturn has affected luxury auto-makers hard enough to make them conceptualize future that is full of miniature gondolas with wheels. This is relevant throughout the world but much more so in the U.S.

Bugatti Concept Cars: Keeping The Dream Alive

Bugatti ConceptsWith a total of 139 units built between 1991 and 1994, it’s evident that Bugatti has always pushing the envelope with their designs. This model may as well be from the early 2000s. Electronic fuel injection, a V12 engine with 4 overhead camshafts, 6 forward gears, 4-wheel drive and internally ventilated disc brakes are just some of the outstanding features of this 20-something year-old design. And if you continue to look through the historical timeline of Bugatti sports cars, you’ll see that this is a company that was always walking on thin ice and doing so with grace and class.

Bugatti Concept Cars in The 21st Century

Bugatti Concept CarsThe transition to the new century went well for the Bugatti concept car. In 2006, the Bugatti Veyron broke all the records to date and accelerated from 0-60 mph in a staggering 2.6 seconds. The car itself is made from several materials which look more like something you would see in a chemistry lab – aluminum body panels, titanium exhaust, magnesium engine-top and forged-alloy wheels just to name a few. The tires are developed by Michelin and are capable of withstanding the friction that 260 mph causes.

It has 10 heat exchangers to ensure that this monster’s speed and acceleration are not compromised by overheating. Because the car does not use a contemporary active suspension system, costs are kept down as well as giving the pilot the ability to drive on any surface from conventional city streets to a Formula 1 tarmac. Gear changes take 150 milliseconds that you will not even feel as more than a slight tic, more than 1000 horsepower, and even after 15,500 miles, the test car used at the Road and Track blog was still on its first transmission.

As with all of their cars, the trademark horseshoe grille is still present according to the original Ettore Bugatti’s design. Curves and rounded angles and a high-tech futuristic look with the two-tone paint scheme that recalls historic sports cars, an engine that is exposed for maximum ventilation (and show-off factor) and the minimalist interior which is Spartan in its simplicity (a great thing in this blogger’s opinion). Carbon fiber seats, leather/Alcantra dashboard and trim all decked out in a PDA (personal digital assistant) that can sync via Bluetooth and the vehicles telemetry system which provides a huge array of data on everything from tire pressure to exhaust heat which is all sent to the Bugatti service team.

Bugatti Concept Cars: Tomorrow & Beyond

Bugatti is clearly a car manufacturer that will be around for a long time and the American market could do no harm in taking a look at how they approach their concepts. Bugatti cars were featured at the 2007 Frankfurt and the 2008 Geneva Auto/Motor Shows, just to name a few. Sports cars will only get sleeker and sleeker in the future. The flying hovercraft type vehicles from Luc Besson’s fantastic flick The Fifth Element are closer than some may realize. Don’t think so?

Bugatti Concept CarIf you look at Reuben Zammit’s Racer X Bugatti Type 12-2 concept design then you may be inclined to agree. Ample cargo space is built-in on the solid foundational values of the Racer X Design team at Bugatti. This is indicative that this will not only be a car for the tarmac, but eventually could be used for road trips by civilians.

So, Bugatti potentially joins the ranks along with Lamborghini, Porsche and Peugeot accepting the inevitability of sedan development. They dared to dream up concept cars that set the standard for years and now they dare to dream of a future with Bugatti vehicles owned by people around the globe.


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