Drives: The Fast and the Frivolous
Yes, I've driven a Bugatti Veyron. Twice. Unfortunately, both trips were short, supervised bursts between exits on a Connecticut highway. And both times I was a ball of nerves--partly because I feared getting into a fender-bender and having to fork over what it would cost to buy a studio apartment in Manhattan, but mostly because I feared frittering away my precious driving moments in one of the fastest street-legal production cars ever built. I needn't have worried. I was easily able to get the Veyron, which goes from zero to 60 in 2.4 seconds, up to 100 miles per hour in the space of an on-ramp. Still, my velocity was a far cry from the Veyron's top speed of 253 miles per hour (the reaching of which requires a second key that lowers the car a few inches). With a lavish interior swathed almost entirely in leather, however, the Veyron is more than a carbon-fiber shell for a handcrafted engine. Spending more than $1 million on a car is both ridiculous and sublime (so I've heard). But if this is the year you swap your company for a big pile of cash, a pink slip for one of Bugatti's 300 Veyrons is a mighty nice way to repay yourself for those long hours.
Bugatti Veyron 16.4
Sticker Price $1.4 million
Vital Stats 1,001-hp, seven-speed, quad-turbo, 8-liter W-16 engine; 9.5/18.8 mpg
Good Stuff Besides the mammoth 16-cylinder engine? How about powerful carbon-ceramic brake discs; a sleek, two-tone color scheme; a distinctive horseshoe grille; and all that leather? Oh, and a $40,000 sound system?
Drawbacks At its maximum speed, the Veyron can burn through a full tank of gas in 12 minutes. Plus, it's tough finding roads to test the outer limits of its speed.
Second Opinion "You get up to 150…165, and you don't even feel it. It's like you're in your living room getting shot out of a cannon," says Michael Fux, founder of West Long Branch, New Jersey-based Sleep Innovations, which sells pillows and mattresses. Fux, who sold his company in 2005, is a car collector who keeps the bulk of his 73 autos in Miami and has put 1,300 miles on his Veyron driving around Florida. Fux says he is prudent but that "it's inviting to drive like a maniac."
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