The on-again, off-again Bugatti Veyron, rumoured to have been cancelled after several delays, will be available from September 2005, the marque’s president says.

The on-again, off-again Bugatti Veyron, rumoured to have been cancelled after several delays, will be available from September 2005, the marque’s president says.

Thomas Bscher said a maximum of 300 would be assembled at the firm's French factory. Eager buyers who have paid their deposits in full have already snapped up 50 of the 8,0-litre, W16-powered supercars. First deliveries are expected in September 2005, Bscher said.

Hailed as the world's fastest road car, with a 405 km/h top speed, the speedster was supposed to have been launched in April 2003. However, the project was problematic from the start.

The most recent delays involved the vehicle's stability at high speed. Top top speed is rumoured to have been cut to about 350 km/h and the number of cylinders slashed to 12.

The financial situation of parent firm, the Volkswagen Group has also been questioned with slow sales and poor financial results responsible for less funding available for the supercar project. The dismissal of previous head Karl-Heinz Neumann over the delays also added to Bugatti's problems.

An ambitious project, the Veyron was first unveiled as the EB16-4 concept at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1999 and, given its lofty claims, it seemed unlikely that the concept would ever make it into production.

At the heart of this supercar is an alloy-block 8,0-litre 64-valve W16 engine which develops 736 kW at 6 000 r/min. Four turbochargers help the 7 993 cm3 engine develop a peak torque of 1 250 N.m.

A seven-speed sequential gearbox was developed specifically for the EB16-4 Veyron with gear changes effected by paddles situated behind the steering wheel. Its double clutch transmission (DCT) shifts from one gear to the next in two tenths of a second. The car has a permanent all-wheel drive system.