Jul 19, 2010
Reviewed By SCM Staff
Price as Tested $2m

You’ve already read every Veyron superlative, usually involving testing these Bugattis in impossibly exotic locations, so I’ll spare repeating them here. My driving perspective was a little different, as I drove a Veyron from St. Louis to Chicago, on the Interstate, in the rain.

The noise? Sedate at cruise, but on hard acceleration, turbocharger whine times four, combined with the bass induction and exhaust note of the 16-cylinder, are profoundly malevolent. Under full load, the acceleration is the difference between being pressed and literally pinned to the seatback. It’s paralysis.

The removable rigid roof can’t fit in the trunk, so it must be stowed at home, not unlike a surrey-top TR4. Bugatti’s solution is a folding canvas “emergency top,” which unfolds umbrella-like with a center handle. Sit in the car, lower the top over you, fasten two latches, unscrew the handle and stow it. It’s quiet, rigid, and seals perfectly, even at 100 mph in the rain.
The Veyron reminds me of a Cold War-era MiG 25 fighter. It sacrificed range, maneuverability, and engine life for speed (2,500 mph!) and was nearly impossible to see out of. But nothing could touch it. Like the MiG, the Veyron has a blind spot at six o’clock, zero endurance, and major packaging compromises, but it’s likely that nothing will ever dethrone it.

Driving the heavily policed I-55 at one fourth of the car’s max speed, I struggled with its raison d’etre. Its amazing capabilities are wasted at such speeds, and while it does attract its share of attention, I could have achieved the same thing driving a Mini Cooper convertible while wearing a bear costume.

Then I recalled the New York Times Sunday magazine bemoaning the lack of high-speed rail links between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a proposed $33 billion line.

My epiphany: Chuck the rail line—$33 billion buys 16,500 Veyrons. Distribute them throughout California and give commuters in need their own lane from L.A. to San Francisco, speed limit 250 mph. Problem solved. Please put my name at the head of the list.

Fun to Drive
5.0 rating
Fun to Look at
5.0 rating
Overall Experience
5.0 rating