Bentley meets Ferrari meets Millennium Falcon.
They say that miracles happen every day, but only a few of them ever make it to the history books. When the Bugatti Veyron crash landed on earth, it so violently blew everything else out of the water that no one knew what to make of it. The 8-liter quad-turbo W16 hypercar was released to the world in 2005 after touring the Detroit, Geneva, and Paris auto shows as a concept. Upon its release, a new class of car had to be invented and slotted above the supercar in order to fully encapsulate the Veyron’s abilities into one word.
This new class was the hypercar, a word that invokes images of the extreme. And rightly so because the Veyron was the Apollo 11 moon landing. It was the Wright brothers’ first flight. It was the result of pushing common sense to the wayside and seeing what happened next. In a capitalistic model, success is characterized by profit. In this case, the Veyron is a huge flop because Volkswagen loses about $6.25 million dollars for every $2 million dollar Veyron it sells. But the supercar succeeds in reaching new levels of performance, and even better, it makes it look easy. This nonchalance is the most important aspect of the Veyron.
Sure, other manufacturers can put explosive amounts of power into a car and make it go faster, but the stress of 200+ mph makes them feel like they’re going to fall apart. Not the Veyron. Test drivers like James May say that it remains comfortable and composed even on the knife’s edge of what is possible, and that’s what makes the car so important for Bugatti. It’s a worthy successor for a company that made the world’s most successful racing car because it champions Ettore Bugatti’s mantra of beauty and ridiculous levels of detail in design and engineering. It was said that Bugatti’s cars used to have their engines hand scraped to make their finish so flat that they didn’t need gaskets.
This same level of meticulous craftsmanship is seen all over the Veyron. Even if the Bugatti brand remains Volkswagen’s test bed for the truly outrageous, it at least earns every scrap of respect for its name through dedicated, hard-numbered, trial and error-based engineering. What’s more is that the car is comfortable and livable at low speeds as well. It’s Bentley meets Ferrari meets Millennium Falcon. After a day bragging about your Veyron at the pub, or more likely the country club, you can get in, turn the key, and drive off. There is no difficulty involved aside from telling the newfound cell phone paparazzi to back off. As much as this helped sell Veyrons, it was more of a testament to the car's quality.
Unlike supercars that require a driver with Stig-like talent to meet them halfway, the Veyron’s superhuman engineers did all of the mediation for you, making the relationship between car, driver, and road as frictionless as possible. Considering this, it’s no wonder that Floyd Mayweather likes to slip into the buttery leather seats of a far-from-docile-but-argument-free Bugatti Veyron after a night of boxing or partying.