Every year, just as rowdy Bike Week is ending in Daytona Beach and even wilder spring break is in full swing along every coastal Florida town with sand and cheap motels, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance at the Ritz Carlton is an oasis of beautiful vintage cars, manicured lawns, and well-heeled, finely mannered enthusiasts. It ain’t at the Ritz for nuthin’.
World’s Fastest Car
With the golf course in back packed with nearly 300 show cars and 18,000 guests, the front of the gleaming hotel is perfect for parking your exotic wares (for a fee, of course). Valets hustled all weekend to clear away common transports in order to showcase a more impressive fleet, including three Maybachs, a Spyker, a Bentley Arnage, a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, a Rolls-Royce Phantom, and, most exclusive of all, a Bugatti Veyron.
The Bugatti Veyron has wiped the floor with the opposition in Autocar’s annual 0-100-0mph contest, featured in the current issue of the world’s oldest car magazine, even managing to beat a Suzuki GSX-R1000 superbike. Featuring 25 of the world’s fastest cars, from the 14th placed £79,995 Aston Martin V8 Vantage to the second-placed £34,995 Ariel Atom, the shoot-out pitches the cars against each other in a straight fight to see which is the fastest to 100mph. There’s more to it than just outright speed though – slowing from 100mph to a dead halt is just as important.
A Bugatti Veyron Car to Turn a Profit
Even at $1,250,000, the Veyron is not expected to earn a dime of profit for Bugatti when development and tooling costs are counted up. But this outrageous 253-mph supercar will certainly put the Bugatti name back on the automotive map in a big way and will set the stage for future Bugatti models that will be less ambitious, less expensive, sell in higher volumes, and perhaps make money for the marque.
In an interview in the German magazine Auto Motor and Sport, Thomas Bscher, the head man at Bugatti, has conceded the Veyron is “only an investment in the marque. We will make no money from it. That must come from a new model.”
Bscher envisioned a small Bugatti sports car, two doors, four seats, costing perhaps e100,000 ($125,000), with a production run of maybe 2000 vehicles a year. The new model “would use components from the VW Group,” he added, “possibly from Bentley even, where a small car will not be competing with the Bentley cars. The new Bugatti may be fitted with a VW engine.” Should such a new model arrive for 2008, Bugatti predicts the company would be making a profit the following year.
That will make for an unconventional Bugatti lineup, with one model costing about 10 times as much as the other one. It will also make Bugatti both cheaper and more expensive than the other ultra-luxury marques in the Volkswagen fold, Bentley and Lamborghini. These marketing problems will likely prove more challenging than the actual design and engineering of the new, higher-volume Bugatti.