Bugatti has earned a name for themselves as the creators of some of the most exclusive and the most expensive supercars of the 21st century. While their style may not be to everyone’s taste – McLaren boss Ron Dennis once described the Bugatti Veyron as “pig ugly” – there is no denying that they are well engineered, and out-perform many of their biggest European rivals when it comes to speed.
At first glance, the name Bugatti sounds Italian, like the makers of many of the best supercars in the world such as Lamborghini, Maserati, and Ferrari. However, the company was actually founded in the city of Molsheim, which is now in France but which was in Germany at the time Ettore Bugatti started his enterprise in 1909. The Bugatti name is now part of the giant Volkswagen automotive group, along with a number of other subsidiaries including Porsche, Bentley and high-end motorcycle manufacturer Ducati.
The rich and famous may be willing to spend ridiculous amounts of money to have a car with the Bugatti name sitting in their garage, but these luxury supercars are not without their faults, as this list below illustrates. The company has even had to recall a number of models over the years because of mechanical issues with their cars – not something motorists expect when they have shelled out $1 million for a new vehicle!
20 Bugatti Veyron Recalled For Structural Problems
One of those recalls was for Bugatti Veyron models built between 2006 and 2010, the 2010-2012 Bugatti Veyron Sport and the 2011-2013 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport which all had structural problems with their bodywork.
The company recalled around 100 vehicles in 2016, after they found that aluminum panels on the vehicles could corrode and fall off – a potentially dangerous fault, especially at the kind of speeds the Bugatti Veyron can reach – while the jack plates were also found to be too weak, meaning that anyone trying to fix a flat tire could easily end up with their jack embedded in their million-dollar car.
19 And For Issues With Fuel Tank
At the same time, Bugatti also had to recall several Veyron vehicles which had problems with their fuel gauge. The gauge on the dashboard would show that there was plenty of fuel in the tank, even when the car was practically out of gas, leaving drivers stranded by the road when they eventually broke down.
At top speed, a Bugatti Veyron can empty its tank in just 19 minutes, so getting an accurate reading from the fuel gauge in your dashboard is vitally important! Only a few cars were affected, but people who spend millions of dollars on their cars expect better quality from their vehicle manufacturers.
18 No DIY Repairs
Part of the fun of owning a car is getting to tinker around with the engine on a weekend. Good luck trying that with any of the Bugatti vehicles, however, as its hi-tech engine is sealed under the hood, and is only accessible to Bugatti-registered repair shops. Any problem with the engine has to be taken to an official mechanic, even something as simple as an oil change or changing the spark plugs need to be done at the repair, often at great expense to whoever owns the vehicle!
If you enjoy a little motoring DIY on a weekend, then a Bugatti might not be the car for you.
17 High Maintenance Costs
Unsurprisingly, having to take your car to an official Bugatti repair shop every time even the simplest repairs are needed is going to lead to some pretty high maintenance costs over the course of the car’s lifetime. Not to mention the fact that you might live a long way from the nearest garage which is qualified to repair Bugatti vehicles.
Even that simple oil change can cost Bugatti owners $20,000 a time at a licensed Bugatti repair shop. And if you live in California, the gas-guzzling Bugatti Veyron will cost you at least $320,000 in tax, before you even get to take it out onto the road.
16 Spare Parts Cost A Fortune
It isn’t just the cars themselves which cost a lot of money, or the repair shop bills for repairs. Spare parts for the Bugatti fleet of vehicles are also expensive. After all, the same engineering and design has gone into every aspect of Bugatti vehicles, so even the smallest branded spare part will set you back a few hundred dollars.
Spare tires are $30,000 each – significantly more expensive than many of the best family cars on the market. If you’re looking for a bargain, the cheapest Bugatti spare part is the camshaft position sensor, which costs just $9.
15 Aluminum Grilles Damaged By Bird Strike
The Veyron may be the best known of the Bugatti family, but the company has created other vehicles – which also have their cons as well as their pros. The Bugatti Chiron used to have a front grille made of aluminum, the same material used to make the car’s bodywork. However, like jet engines, the car started to have problems with bird strikes.
At a top speed of 249mph, birds would simply smash straight through the grille and end up wedged in the radiator, leaving the front end of the car dented and damaged. Later Chiron models now have a titanium grille, which is tough enough to withstand any altercation with a winged adversary.
14 Not As Exclusive As Other Hypercars
Bugatti vehicles may seem pretty exclusive to us ordinary mortals, but in the world of super-expensive supercars, rarity is everything. If someone is going to pay millions of dollars for a car, they want to know that they’re not to going to end up parked next to the same vehicle at their next Hollywood party.
While Bugatti has made 450 Veyrons and 500 Chirons, other hypercar manufacturers produce their vehicles in single figure numbers to ensure exclusivity. For example, Koenigsegg only made 49 models of their CCXR Trevita, while Icona made just one Vulcano Titanium, which last changed hands in 2013 for nearly $4 million.
13 Faulty Seats In Bugatti Chiron
The Veyron wasn’t the only Bugatti creation that was the subject of an embarrassing recall. In 2017, several Bugatti Chiron models were recalled because of problems with the welding on the front seats, which meant that the recliner function wasn’t as secure as it needed to be for the safety of the driver and passenger.
Unlike other companies, however, who rely on owners to bring the vehicles in for repairs themselves, Bugatti made personal phone calls to every affected Chiron owner and even sent a truck in order to transport their vehicle to the nearest official garage so that it could be fixed.
12 Too Many Special Editions
We have already seen that when it comes to the most expensive cars, exclusivity is king; something which Bugatti failed to take into account when they decided to make so many Veyrons and Chirons. In some sort of misguided attempt to make their vehicles seem more exclusive than they really were, the company took to making special editions of their vehicles; lots and lots of special editions.
So many, in fact, that there were often only the tiniest changes between one model and another, and the similarity of the names chosen by the company could easily lead to confusion about which Bugatti was which.
11 Top Speed Is Impractical
Aside from the cachet of having a Bugatti parked on your driveway, the main reason to blow a million dollars (and more) on one of their vehicles is the need for speed. Bugatti’s powerful engines may be hidden away from DIY fans, but there is no doubting their power once you get behind the wheel. The Veyron has a top speed of 267mph, while the Bugatti Divo is thought to be able to reach 280mph – though it has been electronically limited to 261mph.
And therein lies the problem. Unless you take your car to a racetrack – or the German autobahn - no-one is going to be able to take their Bugatti anywhere near top speed without incurring the wrath of local enforcement or putting other road users at risk.
10 Expensive Insurance Premiums
Any item which costs more than a $1 million is also going to need some expensive insurance. Add the fact that this is a super-fast supercar, with the capacity to drive at speeds of well over 200mph and you can start to appreciate why getting your Bugatti insured is another financial hurdle to owning one of their cars.
Experts estimate that insurance for a Bugatti is likely to run to between $2,000 and $4,000 per month, depending on the driver’s own history, though in truth very few insurance companies are going to offer these kinds of specialist premiums, so owners might need to do some shopping around first.
9 Mandatory Annual Detailing Costs
It isn’t just insurance and repairs costs that Bugatti owners have to worry about; after all, they are expenses that every motorist has to take into consideration, even if they drive a rust-bucket that is about ready for the scrap heap. If you’re going to join the Bugatti set, then you also have to pay a mandatory fee of $10,000 every year for detailing!
Yes, Bugatti doesn’t even trust their clients to wash their own cars, insisting instead that they pay professionals at an official Bugatti garage for what must be one of the most expensive car washes in the world.
8 Very Poor Fuel Efficiency
Unsurprisingly, considering the Veyron can empty its fuel tank in 19 minutes at top speed, Bugatti vehicles are not known for their fuel efficiency. At a time when most car manufacturers, even those at the supercar end of the market, are looking into making more environmentally friendly vehicles, Bugatti is unapologetically continuing to make their gas guzzlers.
The Bugatti Chiron only gets 9 miles to the gallon in the city, while the Bugatti Veyron is even less green, managing 8 miles per gallon in the city and 10mpg on the highway – or just 3mpg when driving at its top speed of 260mph.
7 Don't Compare Well To Other Hypercars
We have already seen that when compared to other hypercar manufacturers, Bugatti seem to have made a misjudgment regarding the exclusivity of their vehicles. However, there are other aspects in which Bugatti vehicles like the Veyron, Chiron, and Divo don’t quite live up to some of their high-end rivals.
When it comes to bhp, the Koenigsegg Regera is more powerful than both the Chiron and the Veyron, while the Hennessy Venom GT has Bugatti beat with its official top speed of just over 270 mph, and is also far lighter than either the Veyron or the Chiron at just 2740lbs.
6 And Not As Attractive As Rival Models
And it isn’t just underneath the hood where Bugatti doesn’t always live up to its hypercar label. McLaren boss Ron Dennis is far from the only motoring aficionado who is less than impressed by the appearance of some of the Bugatti models, particularly the Veryon which seems to come in for more than its fair share of criticism regarding its looks.
Even the Chiron, which is widely accepted to be one of the more stylish Bugatti vehicles, has taken some flak for its appearance from automotive guru Jeremy Clarkson, who described the front of the vehicle as looking like a “snout.”
5 Bugatti Chiron Recalled Over Airbag Problems
The problem with the front seat wasn’t the only time that Bugatti Chiron models had to be recalled – not a great record for a car that would set you back at least $3 million. A number of 2018 Chirons had to be recalled after an issue was discovered with the side airbags, which could have led them to fail to deploy or not deploying properly in the event of a collision.
And given the speeds that Bugatti cars can get up to, drivers and passengers would want to be certain that all the safety measures in their vehicles were performing as they should.
4 Difficult Entry
To be fair to Bugatti, this isn’t a problem which affects just their vehicles, but every supercar ever made. The fact is that most high-end sports cars, Bugattis included, are simply not designed for the larger driver – whether that means height or weight. You only have to look at the pictures of wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson trying and failing to gracefully exit his Pagani Huayra, which has similar dimensions to the Bugatti Veyron, to see the problem.
The low seats also make it difficult for ladies in short skirts to get out of a Bugatti without doing an accidental Basic Instinct!
3 Engine Sounds Awful
So far, most of the complaints about Bugatti cars relate to the expense of owning one, or the unattractiveness or impracticalities of their design, while the engine has come in for nothing but praise. While there is no doubting the Bugatti engine’s excellent performance, there is one area in which it lets itself down; it sounds bad.
That may seem like a small complaint, but one of the best things about driving a supercar is listening to the engine purr as you move through the gears, while the engine in the Bugatti Veyron Vitesse sounds more like a diesel truck.
2 No Pedigree In World Of Motorsports
One thing that many of the best supercar manufacturers have in common is that they have all enjoyed success in motorsport. Ferrari and McLaren have long Formula One pedigrees, while Porsche has been dominated in the classic 24 Hours of Le Mans race. However, despite the tremendous speeds their cars can achieve, Bugatti has not yet made any impact on the world of motorsport. Or at least, not in the 21st century.
Early Bugatti cars won the first Monaco Grand Prix in 1929, and took driver Jean-Pierre Wimille to two Le Mans victories, in 1937 and 1939. The Veyron and Chiron are even named after former Bugatti racing drivers.
1 Far Too Expensive
There is one glaring problem with all Bugatti vehicles; their price. Not only do they cost a fortune to maintain and to insure, but only those drivers with some serious disposable income could ever dream of owning a Bugatti supercar. As well as the $3 million Bugatti Chiron, the company has also slapped a $6 million price tag on its Divo sports car – both of which make the Bugatti Veyron almost seem like a bargain at $1.5 million.
The company also set the record for the most expensive new car ever built when their one-of-a-kind Bugatti La Voiture Noire sold for $19million in 2018.
Sources - Bugatti, Car Buzz, Top Gear, Trusted Choice, Art of Gears