“The world almost certainly doesn’t need a car like the Bugatti Veyron,” we said in our landmark 5000th road test back in March 2011. “But the fact that it exists in the first place is, we feel, reason in itself to celebrate.”
Bugatti’s flagship supercar was, quite simply, like nothing that had been built before. Here was a road-legal production car, one that was perfectly civilised and easy to drive, that could sprint from 0-62mph in 2.5sec – despite weighing almost two tonnes – and reach a staggering 253mph.
Its outrageous performance was primarily thanks to the powerhouse tucked away amidships: a quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 petrol engine that generated 987bhp and 922lb ft, which was channelled to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
You’d hope that the Veyron would be out of this world in all respects, though, given that at its 2005 launch it would have cost you just over £1 million. A stratospheric price, admittedly, but this was an engineering tour de force – albeit one that we did observe at the time to be a touch clinical compared with, say, a McLaren F1.
However, a good example of an F1 will set you back upwards of £5 million without trying these days, whereas a decent used Veyron will cost from only £650,000. That doesn’t make it the casual investment, though, not by any stretch, because the running costs are simply off the dial.
“That’s what really separates the Veyron from other supercars,” says Carl Hartley, director of luxury and performance car dealership Tom Hartley. “It’s not the price, as there are others that are more expensive, but the costs of keeping one going. The problem is that a Veyron can easily generate a bill of £100,000 for an annual service. I’ve got a Ferrari Enzo in here now and the biggest service is £1400.”