Speed Matters? PH Blog

Those well-connected souls at Autocar have uncovered details of what might be the Veyron's replacement. I read the story and was overcome by a complete sense of ennui. And I'm someone who dearly loves the Veyron because of its sheer silliness.

This + 400hp and Harris isn't enthused?
This + 400hp and Harris isn't enthused?
Why the shrugged shoulders at a car aiming for a 290mph top speed? I'm trying to analyse my reaction and not deciphering anything obvious - maybe it's something simple like that top speed? I just couldn't give a sausage about 290mph in a Veyron Plus Plus. Which shows some rank inconsistencies on my part because I'm very excited about having a go in a Hennessey Venom some time soon. The whole Venom thing seems like madness, and if that's the underlying appeal, maybe the suspicion that VW's crack engineers will be able to rationalise nearly 300mph in a street car into something 'entirely useable' triggers some anti-technology gene in me. 300mph should scare the excrement out of any human being.

Of course in the year 2014 the business case for the fastest, most expensive supercar of the them all bearing a Bugatti badge writes itself. Yet we all know most of them will dawdle about at walking speed. But knowing that many McLaren P1s will suffer a similar fate doesn't stop me adoring the thing. How's that? Is it just that I like the aims of the P1, the way its technology is skewed towards a driving experience and a lap time and doesn't care about top speed? I suspect so.

To fast for the track, too comprimised for the road?
To fast for the track, too comprimised for the road?
The Veyron replacement isn't the only hyper-mega-car announcement that has me reaching for a copy of Cosmopolitan in the search for more interesting reading - there's a new Caparo coming. It will be called the Evolution T1 and have perhaps 700hp. Responding to that news puts me in a similar position to tackling my three-year-old when he demands pudding having barely touched his main course: "Finish that, and you can have some pudding boy!"

I'm sorry, but the whole Caparo T1 thing was a complete mess. The car never seemed to actually work. It was never finished. I'm sure they sold a few, but I've never seen one in the wild or spoken to an owner. I'm sure someone from Caparo will come on here and tell me otherwise, but nothing I've heard or seen suggests the T1 was ever remotely finished, but now we're going to get a faster version. The trouble is, it'll be as redundant a driving device as the last one.

And yet he can't wait to get in the Hennessey
And yet he can't wait to get in the Hennessey
Because try and actually use the T1 on the road and its suspension would have a few difficulties. And having watched my mate Phil Bennett give passenger rides in one at a track day, it's clear the thing struggles to share track space with anything less than an LMP2 car. Because it's silly fast. When it's working.

I know I should be delighted that both Bugatti and Caparo's announcements. But I'm much, much more excited about the Hennessey Venon F5, and anything with a Lotus badge on it. Or the next GT3 RS. Or that bonkers 707hp Dodge Hellcat thing.

Maybe my hormones are playing up. Anyone else feel the same?


[Sources: Autocar, Caparo]



Comments (132) Join the discussion on the forum

  • V8 FOU 08 Aug 2014

    Maybe the whole Nurburgring / Top speed thing is becoming irrelevant? Don't know.
    But shirley, road cars with some track ability should be all about excitement?
    Chris, you are right as usual!

  • grenpayne 08 Aug 2014

    Partially feeling similar, but I'm in my late 30s too, so maybe I'm just getting old? Whilst I applaud bonkers cars and the people that make them, I personally find them less relevant today. Your point about them all dawdling round at walking pace sums it up perfectly. Which is why these days my daily driver is a 12 year old RenaultSport Clio and my weekend toy is an R300 Caterham. There's so much driving fun to be had in both that the thought of doing 290mph leaves me feeling a bit meh.

  • SevenR 08 Aug 2014

    I guess Bugatti have such an awesome vehicle just now in the Veyron that the only way to go with its replacement is up, and that means more speed. They are hardly likely to make it less powerful if staying in the same class with the new car. I would like to quote my brother though. "It's not how fast it goes, it's how it gets there".
    With more power and the hybrid drive train it's bound to be faster in the top end isn't it? Top end is really a by product now of the efficiant new vehicles we can buy. And that's across the board. I mean, I had a Kia Picanto 1 with a 900cc triple engine in it, flat out at 114mph for god sake!!

    Caparo. Nice idea, but agreed, poorly executed.

    Edited by SevenR on Friday 8th August 11:57

  • WCZ 08 Aug 2014

    don't agree at all, personally

  • Fetchez la vache 08 Aug 2014

    I agree about the Caparo, not he bug.

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