Ricardo role in supporting world’s fastest production car unveiled

Ricardo role in supporting world’s fastest production car unveiled
12 September 2010

It can been revealed today that Ricardo has assisted Bugatti with the design and engineering of the upgraded advanced Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) for the newest version of the Veyron – the 16.4 Super Sport, which is the most powerful version yet of this highly successful supercar and officially the world’s fastest production car. Ricardo will also manufacture the DCT at its Leamington, UK, facility.

The seven-speed DCT of the Veyron is the result of a highly successful and long-standing design, development and manufacturing collaboration between Ricardo and Bugatti which includes both the transmission hardware and its electronic control unit and software. This state-of-the-art transmission is an important contributor to the exceptional driving experience offered by all versions of the Bugatti Veyron. In addition to providing support on the design and development of the DCT, Ricardo has been responsible for the manufacture and supply of these exceptional transmissions for all versions of the Veyron from a dedicated production unit at the Ricardo facility at Leamington, UK.

This extremely high performance Ricardo DCT – for which the company was awarded the Royal Automobile Club’s prestigious Dewar Trophy for technical achievement in 2006 – has been comprehensively re-engineered for the Veyron Super Sport. The challenge required a much higher level of integration between the transmission and engine management system in order to provide a launch and pull-away performance and feel commensurate with the Super Sport while maintaining the same exceptional standards as for the original Veyron. A maximum aggression kick-down strategy provides a full 50 percent improvement in acceleration during shifts, making a significant contribution to full-demand performance. Oil flow has been further optimized to reduce transmission losses, thus accounting in itself for an estimated 3-4 km/h increase in vehicle top speed. Finally, the gear design has also been updated to cater for the new raised top speed and massive torque requirement of the Super Sport.
Mark Barge, Ricardo director of high performance transmission products said: “Ricardo has been a long standing partner to Bugatti on the advanced dual clutch transmission system of this truly awesome super car which represents the true pinnacle of automotive engineering excellence. We are particularly proud to have supported Bugatti on the engineering and development the Super Sport version of the unit and we look forward to supplying the DCT requirements of this new ultimate performance version of the Veyron as it goes into production in the autumn of this year.”

The world’s fastest production car
In early July 2010 at the proving grounds of Volkswagen Group at Ehra-Lessien, Germany, in the presence of the German technical inspection agency (TÜV) and a representative of the Guinness Book of Records, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport driven by Henri Raphanel, Bugatti’s Pilote Officiel, recorded an average top speed of 431 km/h (268 mph), comfortably securing the title of the world’s fastest production car. The Super Sport has a uniquely high performance of 1,200 hp (882 kW) and a maximum torque of 1,500 Nm. In production the Super Sport will be limited to a top speed of 415 km/h in order to protect the tyres, but in other respects it will be mechanically identical to the record car. However, the first five production cars will constitute a special series – in a special black exposed carbon and orange finish – and will be identical in all respects to the record car. This special World Record Edition has already been sold in full.