Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bugatti Veyron

I am on my three week mid year school holidays at the moment and for my birthday, I got a very large kitset model of the BAC Concorde supersonic airliner. So I started it a few days ago, and it is now finished. While building this incredibly beautiful machine, I couldn't help thinking about the huge challenges facing the English and French engineers while they were developing Concorde in the late 1960's. This brings me neatly onto the car I will be reviewing in this post.

You see in 2000, when the Veyron was being developed, German engineers at Volkswagen had similar challenges to the engineers at BAC. They had to create a car that could to 400km/h but could be driven by someone who had just passed their driving test; in the same way that Concorde's engineers had to create a plane that could fly at twice the speed of sound, and could be flown by a pilot who didn't belong to an Air Force.

In a way, the Bugatti Veyron and Concorde are very similar. They both travel faster than any machine of their kind. They both took years to develop, and they are both hugely expensive to run and maintain. They both have mind boggling specifications and facts. Did you know that the Veyron has ten radiators! Did you also know that Concorde was the only commercial airliner to use engines with afterburners? Both have become the yardsticks for speed. And both were designed to show the world how good we humans are at overcoming problems such as 'how to cross the Atlantic in under 3 hours' or 'how do we make a car that goes faster than an F1 car, but looks nothing like one'

Sadly, they both will die due to the same fate. Money and environmental safety. It's quite interesting to note that the Bombardier Q300 has had more landing gear malfunctions than any other plane, and that I'll be flying down from Napier in one during these holidays, whereas it only took one Concorde crash for the whole fleet to be grounded, and eventually retired from service. Concorde died because people were so obsessed with air and noise pollution when one flew past, rather than the spectacle they were being treated to. 

The Bugatti Veyron hasn't died yet, but it probably will within 5 years time. Each Veyron costs Volkswagen at least NZ$15 million to build, but they are only selling them for NZ$2.5million. Money will kill the Veyron, in the same way that environmental safety killed Concorde.
The Bugatti Veyron 
The Concorde


  1. Good article Sam - and an interesting comparison to draw! I fear you may be right about the Veyron, if they're selling it at such a loss. They need to lower their costs. Perhaps they could cut back on radiators?

  2. you know how things stick, people remeber that price, it's just to hard to alter your rep.

    (once you have it.)