Designed and developed by the German Volkswagen Group and produced by Bugatti Automobiles SAS at their headquarters in Château St. Jean in Molsheim (Alsace, France), the Veyron's chief designer was Hartmut Warkuss, and the exterior was designed by Jozef Kabaň of Volkswagen, with much of the engineering work being conducted under the guidance of former Peterbilt engineer and now Bugatti Engineering chief Wolfgang Schreiber.
The car is named after French racing driver Pierre Veyron, who won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1939 while racing for the original Bugatti company. It was named Car of the Decade (2000–2009) by the BBC television programme Top Gear.
A number of special variants have been produced, including two targa tops. In December 2010, Bugatti began offering prospective buyers the ability to customize exterior and interiors colours by using the Veyron 16.4 Configurator application on the marque's official website.