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From Renault's new Alaskan bakkie to the latest models at the Frankfurt motor show bound for SA.

Electric cars in SA

The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Loads of money, but lots of fun

2015-02-17 06:08

FAST AND FURIOUS: Bugatti Veyron ownership is not for the faint-hearted. The compulsory annual service alone could mean footing a R900 000 bill! Image: Newspress

DAVE FALL

If you’ve never seen a Bugatti Veyron outside of Europe it’s hardly surprising, I suppose. And there’s a very good reason for that state of affairs.

Arguably the world’s greatest supercar, launched 10 years ago in 2005 and even then costing a king’s ransom at a cool £1 000 000 (that’s R18 million at today’s exchange rate).

No wonder they’re so expensive because the amazing eight-litre W16 engine permits a 0-100km/h sprint time of only 2.5 seconds. Keep your right foot hard down and the potential top speed is an outrageous 404km/h.

R900 000 A SERVICE

Not bad for a rocket-ship that tips the scales at close to two tonnes.

Ahhh, but at what cost?

An annual service will cost you the equivalent of about R900 000 and for this to be undertaken the vehicle has to be shipped back to the Bugatti factory in Molsheim, France. No mean feat if you happen to reside in Cape Town… or maybe the US.

If you think that’s exorbitant, check this out: a tyre will set you back R108 000; and for every third set of tyres you need to purchase a new set of wheels (R900 000).

Some further research about the car reveals that the Veyron with the highest mileage serviced in France to date has only managed to cover a mere 42 000km. Most owners, it seems, rarely use them.

In an interview in the Christmas issue of AutoCar magazine Carl Hartley, director of the London luxury and performance garage Tom Hartleys, reckoned: “By way of comparison a tyre for an Enzo Ferrari will set you back ‘only’ R25 000.

“Everything is recorded by the Bugatti factory in France. Speed, brake applications, economy, journey times are all logged by Molsheim. Most Veyrons are simply treated as showpieces by their owners.”

'I THINK THEY'RE UNDERVALUED'

If you’re in the market for a Bugatti Veyron here in South Africa you’ll be pleased to know I’ve located two second-hand jobbies for sale in London! The first is a 2007 model that’s covered only 6000km, two-tone with matching cream leather upholstery. The asking price, a bit of a bargain I’d say, is R13 500 000.

The second one, two years younger with similar mileage, has chocolate coachwork over gold metallic paint, trimmed with magnolia and coffee leather(!), carries a sticker price of a mere R16 110 000.

If you prefer new then go right ahead and order a new 10-year anniversary edition – you’ll be really pleased to discover it comes with an additional key for activating the high-speed mode, a tablet computer, and a full set of workshop manuals.

Perhaps the last word should come from Hartley: “I still don’t think to this day there’s a car that attracts more attention. I think they’re undervalued.”

Personally, I think the new Ford Mustang (due in South Africa towards the end of the year) might run a close second.

Wheels24 readers may well have other ideas!

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