Ron Dennis brands $2m Bugatti Veyron ‘piece of junk’

SPEED DEMON: The Veyron, which sells for close to $2m, has a top speed of 253mph. (GETTY IMAGES)

SPEED DEMON: The Veyron, which sells for close to $2m, has a top speed of 253mph. (GETTY IMAGES)

The executive chairman of McLaren Automotive, Ron Dennis, has slammed the Bugatti Veyron - the world’s fastest and most expensive roadcar - dismissing it as “a complete piece of junk”.

Dennis, whose company recently unveiled the MP4-12C supercar – a car he says will be the best sports car in the world – told Arabian Business: “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.”

His criticism extended beyond aesthetics. He said a recent televised road race organised by the BBC in Abu Dhabi between the Veyron and the McLaren F1 roadcar – the fastest roadcar in the world from its launch in 1992 until the Veyron was produced in 2005 – had to be rigged to make the Veyron look quicker than it was.

“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.”

The McLaren F1, which sold for close to $1m until production ceased in 1998, has a recorded top speed of 243mph. The Veyron, which sells for close to $2m, has a top speed of 253mph.

The MP4-12C, which will be sold for close to $250,000 next year, is believed to boast a top speed in excess of 200mph.

Dennis said the production of the MP4-12C was costing in the region of $1.2bn, adding that 1,000 would be produced over the next twelve months, a figure that could then rise to 4,000 per year should demand prove sufficient.

“We are either going to lose an awful lot of money or we are going to make an awful lot of money, but there is nothing in between,” he said.

Read next week’s Arabian Business magazine for the full interview.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Jamie

How can Dennis possibly say that the Veyron is a piece of junk? Furthermore, the comment stating that in Abu Dhabi the F1 kept beating the Veyron off the line so it had to be fixed is complete nonsense, the millions upon millions of views who watched the specific episode of Top Gear all saw that the F1 beat the Veyron off the line as it is much lighter, but as the Veyron has more power it caught up and over-took as it is the superior car. It is an absolute engineering marvel! It is like the Concord of the road! (And don't anyone dare try and tarnish my opinions of Concorde as my Grandad helped build it so I think he knows what he is on about when he tells me about it.) Dennis is just jealous that McLaren isn't what it used to be and that the Bugatti Veyron is the ultimate luxurious and fast car ever, and will continue to be in the conceivable future.

Posted by: Zero

"ESP and DSG are not Veyron technology - check Wikipedia. " Majoriy of posters already know. There is nothing to use proven technologies to create something new. DSG for Veyron is built by Ricardo, known for making Formula One transmission, to handle that massive torque for 10-20 years. ESP was the most advanced at its time give the fact driver can take off hands from wheels like driving . "If you gave the McLaren F1 the same power as the Veyron it would reach 280mph! Give the Veyron the same power as the F1 and you get a car that barely reaches 210mph! The F1 is a well rounded supercar while the Veyron only has a higher speed (10mph more) and higher weight to boast about." Not that simple. McLaren F1 would have to be completely redone because its technologies is out of date in today standard. Heck, even F360 beat it on track. Consider the traction meaning F1 is difficult to launch from start. The chassis is not made for 280 mph let alone 250mph. Veyron has twice the torque of McLaren F1 negating latter power/weight ratio advantage. F1 handling is not that great because of twitching issue compared to its rival at the time F50, EB110, Porsche GT1 and Jaguar XJ220. it is amazing how some people are fooled thinking Veyron is only made for speed while overlooking its handling and cornering with its luxury.

Posted by: s

ESP and DSG are not Veyron technology - check Wikipedia. If you gave the McLaren F1 the same power as the Veyron it would reach 280mph! Give the Veyron the same power as the F1 and you get a car that barely reaches 210mph! The F1 is a well rounded supercar while the Veyron only has a higher speed (10mph more) and higher weight to boast about.

Posted by: Zero

Poor Dennis, When it comes to aesthetic, it is a matter of preference. For my view, McLaren F1 looks a modified prototype race car, design is obviously taken from the old Can-Am developed by Ultima. Even though Veyron may not win a beauty contest, he is one of few cars that does not look like another supercar thanks to Ferdinand Pierch insistence to not radically change its look. Ron, you forgot the 243 mph done in 1998 was without rev limited and a slight modification of gearbox while Veyron can easily beat it stock. Gordon Murray understand Bugatti was not aiming to compete with F1 from day one. Big difference is the stability, comfort and the ease of driving. McLaren F1 was not that great due to its twitching handling. In reference of Top Gear, don't you realize the crew set up the launch to favour F1 while holding back Veyron? If Veyron was junk, then why car industry got inspired with the us of some Veyron technology like DSG, ESP. To reply another poster: "The Veyron fails in most respects that define a "sports" car & it is ugly. I can't believe how poorly it performs off the mark with all that power. The only thing that it achieved & will be remembered for is it's so called 1000 hp motor - the first in a production car - even if the programme was held up for a couple of yrs because they couldn't cool the engine & eventually ended up with 10 radiators!!!!!" That is ignoring the initial goal: 400 km/h, 1000 hp, no drastic change from the prototype.. If Veyron has poor performance, explain the 0-100 km/h in 2.5 sec, 0-100-0 mph in 9.9 sec, 400-0 km/h in 10 seconds, an emergency brake with ABS, the fact it bested Ferrari Enzo, Porsche Carrera on Top Gear track despite its nearly 2 metric tons, the fact majority of tested are impressed by its handling given the fact you can let off wheel while accelerating/braking. Veyron goal is not to be a track car but an ultimate road car which is successfully achieved.

Posted by: cosicave

Whilst an image of Ron pottering about in the traditional, English, 'garden shed' may not be an accurate analogy for his big money venture, it is wonderful to find that some Englishmen not only have the ability we've always known we've had, but also the the desire and ambition to demonstrate it again. However, it is interesting that, yet again, it is the might of German engineering which is being challenged; and once again by a relatively small English budget. The Spitfire is possibly the greatest machine ever made. And it was built not just from saucepans and cutlery, but a vision. - A vision held and dreamed up by a man credited with considerable responsibility for winning the Battle of Britain: Reginald Mitchell. In today's terms, Ron Dennis is our Reg'; our visionary. Good luck to the old war-horse and if he needs my saucepans, he's welcome... Chocks away and Tally-ho!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Aviation chiefs call for aircraft tracking upgrade

Aviation chiefs call for aircraft tracking upgrade

The aviation industry has failed to make adequate progress on...

Boeing mulls larger engine for biggest 737 MAX

Boeing mulls larger engine for biggest 737 MAX

Aircraft manufacturer looking at pair of mid-market jets with...

Changing course: Flynas CEO Paul Byrne

Changing course: Flynas CEO Paul Byrne

For nearly a decade, Saudi Arabia’s second airline struggled...

Most Popular
Most Discussed