Car And Driver's Original Review of the Bugatti Veyron is a Poetic Tale of the Absurdity of a Hypercar - Latest Global News

Car And Driver’s Original Review of the Bugatti Veyron is a Poetic Tale of the Absurdity of a Hypercar

Most car enthusiasts have certain stories from car magazines that have stuck with them since they first read them, be it a portrait of an important figure, a review of a favorite car, or a strange feature or cultural history. Car and driver‘s Instagram account I recently posted a look back at perhaps my best review ever – John Phillips’ test of the Bugatti Veyron in 2008 – and it’s still so damn good that I had to share it with you all.

In the play, Phillips drove this Veyron to a Kruse auction in Auburn, Indiana, and described the reactions of auction goers, passers-by and other drivers along the way. It perfectly captures what it’s like to drive a car like the Veyron, especially at a time when hypercars were still in the development phase (the Veyron was the first, after all). As Phillips writes in his intro:

Driving a Bugatti Veyron is like carrying around a 14.6-foot-long open wallet spitting out $50 bills. The drivers rush up from behind, close together, before turning into one of the Veyron’s rear three-quarter blind spots, where they hang out of the windows like monkeys to take photos with their cell phones. They also won’t leave because they know that the Bugatti, with an average fuel economy of 11 mpg, won’t go far without refueling and that its driver will soon have to take a minute to calm down. And when you open the Veyron’s door to exit – a gymnastics feat that requires you to grab one of your ankles to drag it across the huge, hot window sill – you’re greeted by 5 to 15 people brandishing cameras and asking questions. If you wear shorts or a skirt, here’s a tip: wear underwear.

Phillips does a fantastic job of combining technical information about the Veyron with actual driving impressions and entertaining prose. As he says at the beginning of the story: “Describing an exaggeration with an exaggeration is not a useful occupation. In the case of the Veyron, the facts are sufficient.” Bugatti began work Veyron At the end of the 1990s, but thanks to an intensive development cycle, it only reached customers’ hands in 2005. At this point we already had incredible cars like this Ferrari Enzo And Porsche Carrera GT, but still no other car on the planet could keep up with the Bugatti. It was the first true hypercar, with absurd numbers like a 1,001 horsepower engine and a price tag of $1 million, not to mention McLaren F1 – with a top speed of 253 miles per hour.

For a young kid like me, the Veyron was devastatingly cool on a level that no other car had ever been, and that feeling still rings true two decades later. It had the same impression on many of the people who came to Phillips during his time at the Veyron:

We parked next to a racing blue 1948 Talbot Lago. A French car next to a French car. But the Bugatti destroyed any interest in the great Talbot and we felt sorry for its owner. So we parked in a row of a dozen Lamborghinis. This lasted 15 minutes before the Lambo salesman looked sick. “We’re trying to sell here,” he pleaded. “You are killing us.”

All people who come across a Veyron are moved to say:
“I bet the car makes more moves than a monkey on 18 feet of vine,” one said.
“If that’s your car,” said a blonde, “then I’ll marry you.”
“It’s like a good movie,” said another. “Contains violence, profanity, possibly nudity.” (We’re not sure what that meant.)
“I Do I think this is the most beautiful car I have always “seen,” said a southern belle who drove to Auburn in her Ford GT.

At the Kruse auction, the Bugatti caused a stir among the 175,000 visitors. “I would buy one,” said a man in a Shelby T-shirt, pushing aside a child to get closer, “but it’s too much of a hassle.”

“You should see this car on YouTube,” one teenager shouted. “It goes to 60 in about 2.5 seconds.” We told him we did the same test and drove the car for five days. “No, really,” he insisted, “you can watch a man drive this car on YouTube.”

But it’s this encounter near the end of the review that most closely matches my reaction to seeing a Veyronalso now in 2024:

A 60-year-old woman became hysterical. “It looks like the devil,” she shrieked. “I’ll buy one.” That wasn’t an idle threat. She showed us a photo of a Hispano-Suiza parked in her garage in Madrid.

In classic Car and Driver fashion, the Veyron was relegated to a tiny space on the issue’s cover, almost entirely taken up by a comparison test between three different vehicles C6 Corvette variants. There have literally been tons of Corvette reviews over the decades that all fit together – it’s that Veyron story that I still think about all the time. Seriously, read it.

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