By on April 12, 2010

I know that they have to cut the car open to take the engine out. To make an engine in that configuration, you know, it doesn’t go around corners. When we did the race in Abu Dhabi, we beat it off the line so many times that the film crew was getting frustrated because the outcome was supposed to be for the Bugatti to win. So we had to do that whole thing about ten times before it managed to get off the line cleanly and catch us up. Because every time they dropped the clutch it bogged down and we were gone.

McLaren’s Ron Dennis lays into the Bugatti Veyron at the Middle East launch of his firm’s new MP4-12C [Arabian Business via Wired Autopia]. What Dennis leaves out is that the Bugatti has a (computerized, sequential-shift) automatic transmission, so it’s difficult to know what he means by “they dropped the clutch.” Besides, it sounds like the former Formula 1 boss is spewing bile, rather than objectively critiquing the Veyron… which there’s plenty of room for.

What makes us think Dennis is suffering from a case of early-harvest viticulture? How about this line:

The Bugatti Veyron is a complete piece of junk. I think it is. I believe I can look at a range of women and I can see beauty in most of them, but I can look at a Bugatti and I think it is pig ugly.The Veyron doesn’t do anything for me. I’ve been looking at it for years, and I don’t see one single thing that makes me feel good.

For the record, Ron Dennis looks like this. And at about $250k, his MP4-12C doesn’t even compete with the Veyron. Perhaps Arabian Business couldn’t print his quotes about the Ferrari 458…

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20 Comments on “Quote Of The Day: Veyron’ From The Truth Edition...”

  • avatar

    The Veyron uses a sequential manual doesn’t it? I dont think it has a standard autobox where the only option for hard launching it would be brake-torquing. It can be tough to get a big AWD supercar to launch properly. I’m pretty sure the Murcielago for example doesn’t really take to hard launching.

    Still, it does sound a bit like sour grapes. The Veyron is faster than the F1 in a straight line, and it handles surprisingly well considering how heavy it is. It stands no chance against a Gumpert or an Ascari at the track, but its not exactly slow around corners.

    What I’d like to see more than Veyron against F1 is Veyron against a Koenigsegg CCXR. There’s a very real chance there that the Koenigsegg will win that one.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s a DSG sequential autobox… which means it has two clutches, neither of which are controlled by the driver. All that sandy heat must have gone to Ron’s head.
      Incidentally, the F1’s designer Gordon Murray went off on the Veyron in evo Magazine some time back, saying:
      The most pointless exercise on the planet has got to be this four-wheel-drive 1000 horsepower Bugatti. I think it’s incredibly childish this thing people have about just one element—top speed or standing kilometre or 0–60. It’s about as narrow minded as you can get as a car designer to pick on one element. It’s like saying we’re going to beat the original Mini because we’re going to make a car 10mph faster on its top speed—but it’s two foot longer and 200 kilos heavier. That’s not car designing—that just reeks of a company who are paranoid…
      But then, Murray is currently building a city car with a “revolutionary” manufacturing system… and the last time his Planet Murray blog was updated, there was another subtext to this tabloidesque drama:
      We now have a running vehicle, our laboratory car called Lizzie – There’s a tradition amongst the team that goes back to the F1 Road Car project where all laboratory and prototype vehicles were given a name. For the F1 project they were named after English Kings, the SLR project they were named after German Kings and we’re following the Royalty theme once more with English Queens.
      Moral of the story: Mclaren had a bad experience with Daimler, and Germans are all the same. Or something.

    • 0 avatar
      Greg Locock

      Murray got to drive one later and modified his attitude substantially. You know, admit that he was somewhat mistaken, in the light of experience. Not something you see much of round here.

      “To be absolutely fair, the Veyron team did not set out to challenge the McLaren F1, Enzo or Porsche GT as the ultimate driving machine. This it certainly doesn’t do at two tons with turbo lag. It also falls short of the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti and the Mercedes SLR McLaren for high-performance touring because of the outward vision problems and lack of luggage space. Where it absolutely succeeds is as a massive technical achievement — a statement for VW AG. And it will be guaranteed a place in automotive history because of the performance figures.”

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not really an automatic in that it has a gate change gearbox (like a manual), not an epicyclic gearbox like a slushbox.

      Top Gear used the transmission in manual mode, not automatic, so they do have some control over the gear changes.

      And lardy gear changes are quite common for DSG transmissions. (Doesn’t mean he’s right of course).

    • 0 avatar

      The speed of shifting is merely dependent on the software set-up.

      Even an old Enzo can execute a shift in 150 milliseconds, if you have it set to do so.

      We all wish to think we can outdrive a well-programmed computer, but the nasty facts are that we can’t.

      There’s a reason the F-16 was 100% fly-by-wire a long time ago and the computer makes the ultimate call – it’s that Commander Data is quicker than us humans.

      Humans are great at all sorts of things that comps aren’t, but if it’s ‘calculate all the possibilities and make the best odds-on choice in the next millisecond’ it ain’t the wetware that will prevail.

    • 0 avatar

      My favorite comment from GOrdon Murray was about the aerodynamics of the Veyron. If they put a cover over the rear, the car would go the same speed with 100 less horsepower

  • avatar

    I don’t happen to think the Veyron looks that good either. I also don’t happen to like modern TVR’s, most Lotus’s, the production LFA, the 548, and the SLS.

    Not that it really matters.

  • avatar

    Whatever happend to Ronspeak? He is getting rather bitter in his latter years. But it might explain why Jensen Button sold his Veyron last year. :}

    Given how long ago the Mclaren F-1 was built and designed I’d say it acquitted itself pretty well.

  • avatar

    It doesn’t matter, I’d believe anything that McLaren says over anything that anyone from either Damiler or VW has to say in the matter. Gordon Murray and Ron Dennis has tons of credibility since the F1 project almost twenty years ago, a car that is still on par with recently developed projects. Not to forget that the McLaren mentality more closely resembles the true spirit of Bugatti than Bugatti does itself. In comparison, the Veyron is the Blower Bentley of today, the worlds fastet truck. They aren’t whining or bragging, whatever they have to say, I believe.

  • avatar
    H Man

    Wikipedia has Richard Hammond claiming they didn’t use the auto launch of the Veyron in order to make it a fair(er) race. Given the way the Veyron manhandled the Pagani Zonda Roadster in the same race (at the Top Gear track) I’m inclined to believe it.

    • 0 avatar

      So you’re trying to say DSG > Stig? I refuse to believe that for one second. And I believe that the Top Gear leader board does have a Zonda F roadster with a slightly better time FWIW.

      And I do agree with the statements in this post to some extent. Is it the best track car? Is it a beautiful car? Both of those I’d say no. Get a Lotus Exige Cup and an Alfa 8C. The greatness of the Veyron is that it has the least amount of compromise. Sumptuous interior, good road manners, ridiculously fast everywhere.

      The MP4-12C is at best going to be 2 out of 3, maybe only 1 out of 3. And it sure as heck isn’t exactly pretty.

    • 0 avatar
      H Man

      re: meefer

      Not sure what you are referring to re DSG > Stig. The race I’m referring to was a straight line drag race between the James May-piloted Pagani and the Stig-piloted Veyron. As May said, “The Veyron mullered the Zonda.” The Zonda did beat the Veyron around the circuit by half a second, but in a straight line it wasn’t even close. Which leads me to believe that Hammond didn’t use the auto launch against the F1.

  • avatar

    Did anyone see the video of the Veyron vs. The BMW M3?

    The M3 gets a good 30 feet ahead from take off and then the Veyron gobbles it up.

    The Veyron is so heavy that – Yes – the McClaren easily takes off and leaves it, but that’s only short term. In the long term, the McClaren is going to loose in straight line and the veyron will keep pulling ahead well into 240MPH.

  • avatar


    Good point. If he were alive today, Ettore would probably despise the Veyron.

  • avatar

    Let’s see how they do at the Nuringburg ring.


  • avatar

    It’s disappointing to see pettiness. The F1 was an achievement that speaks for itself. More than 15 years on, it still looks as fresh as the day it arrived. The driver ergonomics haven’t lost an iota of appeal, and the engine is still a titan among supercar mills. It was, and is, almost as perfect as a car can be. That a turbocharged Bugatti is quicker above 150 MPH is nigh on irrelevant.

  • avatar

    Comments like that probably come when you live in the automotive strata that Ron Dennis does. Same with Jeremy Clarkson, who in one review, said the McLaren had ‘steamship’ body roll. Us normal people can giggle and bench race all we want, in the meantime.

    The McLaren F1’s fanatical devotion to being the ultimate drivers car goes as far as having the brakes and steering be unassisted for maximum feedback. Likewise the Veyron’s fanatical devotion to looking a certain way while hitting performance targets should also be considered an amazing feat.

    The McLaren F1 doesn’t have any sort of forced induction, unlike most of the other hypercars with similar or better performance.

  • avatar

    It is bad form to dis the competition, but he’s right.

    The Veyron is as big of a wanker-mobile (and looks about as good) as a Hummer.

  • avatar

    Wow. Pretty insecure for such an accomplished set of guys like Ron and Gordon. Sad.

    And btw, they can criticize the Veyron all they want, but as far as the new McLaren goes, smashing a Gallardo into a 430 and calling it ‘done’, doesn’t exactly qualify as a design; sorry.

    To borrow a phrase:
    “I believe I can look at a range of women and I can see beauty in most of them, but I can look at the MP4-12C and I think it is bland, soulless and derivative. The MP4-12C doesn’t do anything for me. I’ve been looking at it for months, and I don’t see one single original idea or line about it that makes me feel good.”

  • avatar

    Why use such a weird name? Why not just use “F2”?

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