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Friday, July 30, 2010

What is the Bugatti Veyron?

To start, Bugatti Veyron is a noun.

From there, things are going to get a bit complicated.. Or, dare I, things get a bit nonsensical.

Bugatti Veyron Gran Sport

We begin describing the Bugatti with numbers. Let's get started with the price first, something you should all feel more comfortable with understanding. It is a cool $170,576.90.

Wait, something isn't right... Oh no! I'm sorry, how embarrassing-- I accidentally moved it to the wrong decimal place. The starting price for a Bugatti Veyron is, in fact:

I repeat, One Million Seven Hundred and Five Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Nine US Dollars. And get this, the company is still losing money for every car sold.

That's not all. The latest special edition Veyron Super Sport is said to be, according to New York Time's Wheels column writer, John Pearley Huffman (I did not make any of this up), priced at $2.5 MILLION!!!!!!! I'll give you a moment to let that settle in.

But it's true, isn't it? You should always get what you pay for.  So what's so special about this car, then, that it has the audacity to charge a price that is even greater than the stimulus amount granted to the schools of Orange County, California?

The first question we should ask when it comes to sports cars like the Bugatti is, "How fast does it go?"

We know it's more than 250mph, but how much is that really? The Veyron can out-accelerate a cheetah to 60mph, reach a higher top speed than a Boeing AH-64 Apache Gunship Helicopter used by our Navy and, in a very interesting 2-mile drag race, it is also a very competent adversary against the British Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon.

I mean seriously, a W16 cylinder quadturbo engine?! When I first heard of those numbers, i nearly crapped my pants. The Veyron would crap itself too if it didn't have ten radiators, only four of which are for the engine itself, to cool off.

No, she is not a midget nor is this photoshopped. Just accept that everything about this car is staggering and completely defies logic.

In spite of all the logic that it defies, we see that this car does exist for a purpose. The Veyron exists to be the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive production automobile in history. When the just-as-ugly Ultimate Aero SSC TT 123ABC decided to challenge the seat for top speed king, Bugatti Veyron answered back by doing what it does best, introducing the Veyron Supersport. It's even faster, even more powerful, even more ludicrous and twice as expensive as the original.

In the last episode of Top Gear (half of you readers probably saw it before I had a chance to), presenter James May gave it a go in the Veyron SS. Upon hitting the magic number, attaining the Veyron SS' terminal velocity of 417.9 kph (259.7 mph), Bugatti sent their factory test driver to take the car out again to do two runs, one at each direction of their oval test track, to average a top speed of 267mph. Now just to be clear, that's a total of three maximum speed runs in a span of one afternoon and this car just kept on going.

But I hate them for it.

On one hand, I am more than impressed by the monumental engineering. The undertaking of such a vehicle is immense and in car terms, comparable to a Saturn V rocket or CERN Large Hadron Collider project. Unfortunately, on the other hand, I feel like all this marvel is always going to be in the hands of people that least deserve it:

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