So the Veyroniest Veyron is pretty sweet, eh? Four turbos, sixteen cylinders, 1106 pound feet of twist and a single digit quarter-mile time. Indeed the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport is a 1200 horsepower show stopper, a $2.6 million dollar panty dropper – with one exceptionally ridiculous problem.
on earth do you clean that rear window?
Here’s the problem: One of the most prominent upgrades to the Super Sport is that smooth new NACA-ducted roofline which Bugatti claims improves aerodynamics and helps the big V achieve its 268 mph land speed record. But know what else it does? It puts the rear window in a dark little cave, out of reach of the even the longest arms of a professional automotive detailer.
And even though it is protected from rain and birds and random blasts of road grime, wind vortices swirling off the back end do draw in a bit of dust and moisture. Enough to coat the back glass with a fine layer of dust during a short stint of driving I had in sunny and dry Seville.
The solution? One of the most fantastic, Rube Goldbergian contraptions I have ever seen – but you’ll have to pay close attention because its operation is a bit confusing.
But let’s examine the problem. The window we’re talking about is the vertical slice of back glass that separates the cabin from the engine bay. At first, the problem looks pretty simple, except when you realize that a long arm won’t reach and even if it did, whoever is reaching in runs the risk of burning himself if the car has been running for even a short while.
Simply using a long stick with a chamois on it won’t work either, as it lacks the dexterity and leverage to clean the edges or any serious grime on the outside window. Plus, c’mon, a stick and chammy for a THE baddest Bug?
Bugatti is working on a better solution and showed us a prototype at the introduction of the car in Spain. The device in question was developed by one of Bugatti’s engineers who also just happens to be a hardcore fish freak. After careful consideration of the problem he came up with a solution that utilizes technology aquarium fanatics use for cleaning hard to reach areas in large fish tanks. Magnets!
As I explain how it works, you’re going to need to refer to photos – trust me. The device has three major parts: a lightweight telescoping arm and two cleaning pads. Each of the three parts has at least one magnetic element embedded inside. On the tip of the cleaning wand is a semi-strong magnet that allows it to hold firmly to the back of the half spherical cleaning pad. Under the chamois-like cleaning cover and padded face of the half sphere is another stronger magnet (or perhaps a piece iron, I’m not exactly sure) that allows it to stick to another cleaning pad (the black knobby one in the pictures). The flat faces of these two pads are kept separated by a simple ring of plastic, so that the cleaning cloths are kept apart and the pieces are relatively easy to separate. Got it?
will once ysee how it works, which is so deliciously complicated it requires two people. First, the three-piece gadget is separated into two pieces: the two pads are separated from each other, with the half spherical side left attached to the telescoping wand. That knobby half is given to a fella who then gets into the cabin of the Super Sport and waits. The guy outside of the car then extends the three section arm to position the face of the half sphere on the back window. Now here is where it gets tricky: the guy on the inside of the glass aligns the face of his cleaning to match the face of the one on the outside. Because they are magnetized, both pads lock into place with the glass sandwiched in between. Since the magnetic force is stronger between the two pads, the guy holding the arm can just pull back, leaving the outside half sphere magically (if you’re an ICP fan) stuck to the outside glass.
And because both of these pads are covered in a cleaning cloth, the guy inside can clean the inside and outside glass quite quickly with some vigorously applied elbow grease. Much quicker that it takes to explain the process, in fact. Once the cleaning is complete, removing the pads is as simple as reversing the attachment process. The tip of the arm magnetically attaches to the outside half sphere and the guy on the inside gingerly twists off his section. The outside half then releases from the glass and all is right again in your super luxurious world.
it work? Absolutely, I saw it with my own two eyes and even messed with it a bit. Ridiculous? God yes. The thought and effort that went into solving this somewhat minor issue created by the new Veyron is only slightly less staggering than the Super Sport itself. And it is such a complicated, yet efficient solution, it could only come from Germany.
Downsides? Well it’s not finalized yet. Bugatti is still working out kink, like where to store the damn thing. The tiny front trunk of the Veyron is completely filled by its car cover and there is little room in the cabin for even a fully collapsed wand. And given that the device is used to service Bugatti’s baddest Bug, the device will likely cost an extra $50,000.
In America, I think we’d keep the money and use a powerwasher for the dirt and blast the glass dry with leaf blower.