Veyron Top Gear race faked?
Two notorious hypercars – of which only one, it would seem, is a thoroughbred.
Ron Dennis does not suffer fools gladly.
The boss of McLaren cars carved his reputation in the uncompromising world of F1, where he rose from a simple mechanic to become one of the most astute (and abrasive) team managers the sport has ever seen.
Since retiring from McLaren’s F1 racing activities, Dennis has applied himself to ensure the company’s second roadcar offering – the MP4-12C – is as good as its first, the incomparable F1 hypercar.
The MP4-12C simply has to best the Ferrari 458, Lamborghini Gallardo and Noble M600 dynamically to be considered a success by Dennis.
To ensure the expectation and tension reaches fever pitch once the car is finally brought to market early next year, Dennis has marched an army of media professionals through McLaren’s high-tech facility in Woking.
'Okay, Take 10. Let's do it again.' The old burgundy supercar proved too much for the fire engine red Bugatti.
Fake Top Gear race?
During an interview with a business journalist from the United Arab Emirates, Dennis vented some rather terse criticism at the world’s big-daddy hypercar - Bugatti’s Veyron. Succinctly put, Dennis called it a "piece of junk."
He further espoused that it was, "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."
Beyond rubbishing the Veyron’s aesthetics, Dennis also called the car’s performance credentials into question. To prove his point, Dennis cited the second episode of Top Gear’s thirteenth season – where a McLaren F1 and Bugatti Veyron race each other in Abu Dhabi…
"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."
Stig preferred the one with a seat in the middle.
F1 roadcar remains the greatest
The intimation from Dennis is simple – the entire filming exercise had to be changed ad hoc to make the Veyron look quicker than it actually was.
Curiously, the McLaren F1’s designer - former Durbanite Gordon Murray - has moved position somewhat on the Veyron issue over the years.
Murray was a rampant critic of the design when it was first unveiled, saying it was too elaborate and built with asymmetric dynamic principles. Over the years Murray's found some redeeming features in the integrity of the Veyron's design.
Ron Dennis though, he thinks it remains pure rubbish.
Then again, when your company has the F1 racing and roadcar heritage McLaren has, you are probably entitled to a rather weighty opinion.