Truly a boys’ club

The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 has been around for quite a while, which makes it somewhat surprising that Car and Driver (December) would run an actual road test of the beast this late in the game. Then again, they gave it to John Phillips to write up, so at least some level of entertainment could be expected.

Some random statistics are piled up at the end: destination charge (via Air France, yet) is $100,000; the Feds impose a $7700 gas-guzzler tax; and 240 of the planned 300 Veyrons are already spoken for.

But this is the number that really struck me: of those 240 owners, 239 are men. The one woman in the bunch is Ursula Piëch, wife of Ferdinand Piëch, chairman of Volkswagen’s Supervisory Board. Perhaps the Veyron is the antithesis of the “chick car” as we know it; certainly I don’t know any women who’d be interested in sinking €1.1 million into a single motor vehicle. Then again, according to Mister Snitch, what makes a chick car is “if it looks as if you could stick a big key into it and wind it up,” and the Veyron has just enough unreality to it to make that key imaginable.

And, because we must, a Phillips quote:

From rest, the car leaves civilly, gentlemanly, with almost no wheelspin or tire squeal. It accelerates briskly for roughly one second, until the turbos understand that you mean business. Then there is a deafening roar, the nose lifts, and the car feels as if it’s making a serious attempt to claw itself into the air. The first time you’re about three seconds into this experiment, you, too, will lift. For one thing, you’ll be close to rear-ending a family in a Ford Explorer.

According to the C/D information panel, three seconds in, you’re doing 70 mph, and you’re probably in second gear.

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