Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport features automotive glazing produced with Bayer MaterialScience Makrolon® polycarbonate for a lightweight, easy-to-handle roof
With a top speed of 252 mph, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport is the fastest super sports car on the road. Its panoramic roof featuring automotive glazing produced using Makrolon® polycarbonate is helping to set the pace.
While it offers the dynamics and safety of a closed vehicle, underneath is the spunk of an open-top roadster. Making the switch is a cinch, thanks to a targa top that incorporates a transparent panoramic roof – removable in a few simple steps.
“To make the roof easy to handle and also reduce its weight significantly, we opted to use Makrolon® in our design,” said Daniel Starmann, glazing project manager in Bugatti’s exterior engineering department. “This polycarbonate from Bayer MaterialScience is an established material for the series production of lightweight automotive glazing. We were also keen to benefit from the company’s know-how, which covers all process steps in the manufacture of polycarbonate glazing.”
Despite being 4 feet long and up to 3.4 feet wide, the panoramic roof weighs no more than 12.4 pounds, including the polyurethane edging. As a result, the entire targa top weighs in at just 29.8 pounds, which makes it easy to handle.
“By using Makrolon® instead of glass of the same thickness, a weight reduction of up to 50 percent can be achieved. This demonstrates the great weight-saving potential of our polycarbonate for automotive glazing,” said Dr. Sven Gestermann, key account manager for automotive glazing at Bayer MaterialScience.
KRD Sicherheitstechnik GmbH, a German company based in Geesthacht, makes the panoramic roof from solid sheets of the polycarbonate Makrolon® GP grey 722 that are less than 0.20 inches thick. Bayer Sheet Europe GmbH produces the sheets from Bayer MaterialScience’s polycarbonate Makrolon® AG2677, which is specifically formulated for automotive glazing. Bayer Sheet Europe has refined the extrusion process for this highly transparent high-tech material to ensure that the sheets are free of streaks, distortion, surface flaws and impurities. As a result, they meet the extremely high optical quality demands for glazing applications.
The Bugatti also features a new generation of infrared (IR)-absorbing colors developed by Bayer MaterialScience to meet the requirements of the Volkswagen Group, which includes the Bugatti brand. The color technology is being used for the first time in a series application for the removable targa top. The chosen color of grey filters the sun’s IR rays as effectively as comparable IR colors for glass, resulting in a vehicle interior that stays cooler.
Formulated glazing made from Makrolon® AG2677 plastic enables very low energy transmission values with dark colors. In fact, the Bugatti’s roof achieves a direct solar transmittance value of approximately 5 percent. What’s more, polycarbonate glazing offers effective protection against UV radiation, which contributes to the degradation of vehicle interiors.
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