September 15, 2014

Bugatti Veyron ‘A Piece of Junk’ – Ron Dennis

The McLaren F1 & Bugatti Veyron

The McLaren F1 & Bugatti Veyron - one is a 'Piece of Junk'

Ron Dennis has said in an interview that he considers the Bugatti Veyron a ‘Piece of Junk’ and ‘Ugly as a Pig’. Harsh words. Is he right?

No one can argue with the passion that Ron Dennis – CEO of McLaren Automotive – has for the cars McLaren builds and for cars in general. Equally, no one would suggest that Ron is ‘Mr Tactful’. So it’s no big surprise that Ron has been quoted in an interview with Arabian Business saying that “The Bugatti Veyron is a complete piece of junk. I think it is…I can look at a Bugatti and I think it is pig ugly”.

Some are saying this is sour grapes after the Bugatti Veyron took the crown from Ron’s own McLaren F1 as the world’s fastest production car. Others say it’s a cynical ploy to rubbish the opposition and shine a light on the products of McLaren Automotive. Both are wide of the mark.

I don’t know Ron Dennis. But I do know people who do. Ron is passionate about McLaren and the ethos behind the company. He is also a man who suffers fools very poorly and – despite a long business career – has in many ways not learnt the art of PR. At times he still speaks his mind and considers the potential consequences later – if at all.

I don’t believe there is any hidden agenda behind these statement that the Veyron is a ‘Piece of Junk’. Ron believes it. And, using his – and McLaren’s – parameters for a perfect car, he’s right.

The Veyron is the big, complicated lump it is because the designers were given a set of parameters up front to build it – 1000+ bhp, 250mph+ and 0-60mph in under 3 seconds. To achieve that meant huge cost and ended up using massive power to shift too much weight. Which compromised the handling. And the performance off the line. And made the cost astronomical.

In comparison, McLaren’s philosophy is lightness. Nimbleness. Agility. None of these can be said of the Veyron. In  the interview with Arabian Business Ron went on to talk about the Top Gear F1 / Veyron showdown in Abu Dhabi which had to be rigged to show the Veyron in a good light. It apparently took ten attempts to get the Veyron off the line quickly enough to catch up with the vastly lighter – and naturally aspirated – McLaren F1. And the key to that problem is the reliance by the Veyron on forced induction. Particularly in the heat of Abu Dhabi, which would have exacerbated the Veyron’s know inability to fully utilise its 1000bhp off the line.

So do we agree that the Bugatti Veyron is a ‘Heap of Junk’? No, of course not. But we do understand Ron’s point completely. In his eyes the Veyron is a huge blunt axe compared to a McLaren Rapier. The antithesis of all Ron believes a car should be. The Veyron will be remembered for being a huge technological achievement, and the first road car to come with 1000bhp. It will also be judged by history as a hugely expensive exercise in corporate vanity by Volkswagen

The McLaren F1, on the other hand, will probably be remembered as the ultimate road car.

Source: Arabian Business
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