Because building only 450 didn't make them special enough.
Production of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 ended in August of 2014 with the 450th model produced. In its wake, the Veyron left the record for the fastest street-legal production car in the world at a speed of 267.856 mph in Super Sport form. It was built to go incredibly fast, and, to do that, the Veyron had to cram some incredible technology under the hood and take aerodynamics to the next level. Powering it is some outrageous engineering in the form of an 8.0-liter, quad-turbocharged, 16-cylinder engine in a W arrangement. In base form, it feeds 987 horsepower and 922 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels, while a co-efficient drag of just 0.36 when the suspension setting is at its lowest helps the Veyron cut through the air.
Because Volkswagen put the Bugatti badge on it, the Veyron also had to live up to that name in quality, luxury, and exclusivity. If 450 models being built and a price tag in the millions didn't make it exclusive enough, 34 of those models fell into the bracket of special editions or one-offs. These are the cream of the crop.
The specific Veyron model that hit 267.856 mph was the 16.4 Super Sport, and the more powerful and faster version of the 16.4 was limited to 30 models. The Super Sport version pumped the engine's output up to a phenomenal 1,184 hp in 2009, but 25 of the 30 models were electronically limited to 258 mph to protect the tires from coming apart. The five World Record Edition models didn't have their top speed limited, and they also came in black with a distinctive black exposed carbon body, painted orange body details, and orange wheels. While top speed may have been the biggest weapon in its arsenal, this iteration of the Veyron also handled better than the standard version.
Bernar Venet is a French conceptual artist, and, according to Bugatti, "one of the most influential contemporary sculptors of our time." Bugatti also describes the Veyron Grand Sport Venet as the "fastest artwork ever," and what a piece of art it is. Venet is known for his abstract style leaning into mathematics and science and incorporated formulae used by Bugatti engineers to develop the Veyron across its front fascia and over its flanks. One of the artist's trademarks is a rusted metal finish, and that's also featured on the outside. Inside, the orange science and math theme is continued in even finer detail.
Bugatti put together six special Veyrons as part of its Legends Series, and Black Bess is our favorite. It pays homage to the Bugatti Type 18 Black Bess, a legendary race car built from 1912 to 1914. The legendary Type 18 was driven by Ettore Bugatti and propelled him to a class victory in the 1912 Mont Ventoux hill climb. The Veyron edition features a black carbon body and an intricate interior. Inside, the door inlays, dashboard, and cowl panel are made of Havanna leather. Hand-painted on the leather are scenes featuring the original Black Bess and Garros's airplane - a Morane Saulnier Type H.
The Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Sang Bleu was the last of the series of special Bugatti models. It was made to mark Bugatti's centenary and did so by taking the brand's signature color and combining it with a pure aluminum finish. The combination of Sang Bleu (meaning blue blood in French) tinted carbon fiber, and aluminum bodywork was a first for Bugatti. The one-off was actually stolen in Oberrieden, Switzerland in 2011, and was destined for Poland via Germany. Police caught the thieves and the car in Germany, but not before the driver scraped the side on a guard rail.
"When some of our designers were looking at production and once again became aware of the technical beauty of the structure," says Achim Anscheidt, Head of Bugatti Design, "they came up with the idea of finishing the car in its pure material configuration. And that means without a coating of paint." Hence, the Pur Sang was born to highlight the art, design, and technology underlying the Veyron. According to Anscheidt, "... the pure materials used to underscore even more clearly the unified extremes of this car." If you think the Pur Sang was a cynical way of using fewer hours to make the car and sell it for more, think again. A single, special alloy is used exclusively in the Veyron (AlMgSi 0.3 Vitral 42, if you must know.) and polishing it to the point there are no differences in gloss with the inside material is no mean feat.
The Grand Sport L'Or Blanc brings up mixed feelings from us. On the one hand, it's the only supercar made partially from porcelain. It's an incredibly delicate piece of work, using 12 pieces of porcelain, including porcelain fuel and oil caps, and a porcelain caviar tray in the center console. On the other hand, the finished color scheme is ostentatious and bordering on tasteless, and a porcelain caviar tray in your multi-million dollar record-breaking sports car is the kind of thing that can spark off a class war. The paintwork was its most unique feature, though, making the exterior look like wet porcelain under lights when in fact it was a solid livery that took hours to perfect.
The third of the Legends Series of Veyrons was the Meo Constantini model. It celebrates Bartolomeo Constantini, Bugatti's head of motorsport for eight years in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Constantini was an important figure for Bugatti, not only was he a close friend of Ettore Bugatti, but Costantini also won the Targa Florio road race twice before winning the Spanish Grand Prix and the Grand Prix of Milan in 1926. When he retired a year later, Costantini went on to manage Bugatti's racing team until 1935. The blue-painted carbon-fiber and bare aluminum body aren't anything special by Bugatti standards. However, look closely, and you'll find the headrests and the fuel cap are embossed with Costantini's signature, and scenes from Meo Costantini's time as a racer for Bugatti are etched into the leather on the door panels. Under the wing, you'll also find a map of the original Targa Florio route.
Bugatti's final edition and marking the end of the Veyron's run, the Grand Sport Vitesse La Finale is a somber goodbye. It deliberately carries similar styling cues to the very first Veyron chassis built but has a red painted hood over black fenders as a direct contrast. It was the first use of crimson toned carbon-fiber for Bugatti and was complemented with maroon wheels and contrasting air intakes. Inside, the scarlet theme continued with more exposed carbon fiber. A shade of leather called Hot Spur was mixed with cream upholstery for a more upbeat vibe, and Bugatti's famous elephant logo appears cast in bronze on the storage compartment cover. The logo also appears on the wheel center caps, fuel door, and oil cap. It's an understated end to a car that will become a legend over the coming decades.