Look too quickly and you'd swear that these two exotics are the same car. Anything longer than a glance and you start to notice the differences. Even then, the silhouette of the Bugatti and the Bentley are quite similar. Both brands are under Volkswagen's corporate umbrella, and both cars were touched by the design fingerprint of Hartmut Warkuss. The shape of these two cars seemingly represents what VW's design folks thought of as a supercar eight years ago. We think it still works pretty well.
Remembering our remedial lesson in how to pronounce Hunaudieres brings 1999 flooding back. Volkswagen had recently purchased Bentley, and they made a splash by debuting a supercar concept powered by a W16 engine with rumored LeMans aspirations. In fact, Hunaudieres is the name of the straightaway at LeMans. The car never made it out racing, though Bentley campaigned the Speed 8 from 2001-2003.
A few months after the Bentley was on the stand in Geneva, the Bugatti Veyron was rolled out at the Tokyo Motor Show. The Veyron was originally slated to run a W18 engine, but the production version wound up with a turbocharged W16. The Veyron has gone on to become the fastest and most powerful new car you can buy today. It looks like the Bentley team donated their engine and interior to the final car, which has turned out quite nicely, thank you.
More pictures after the jump