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Davis Journal

CYCLOPS: Multi-million dollar car doesn’t impress me much

 It took one reading of a recent edition of Car and Driver magazine to realize I am not a true “car guy.” Men are supposed to appreciate fine automobiles, but apparently I missed that particular male gene.

I am referring to the magazine’s review of a car you and I cannot afford: a Bugatti Chiron, described as “the fastest car we’ve ever tested.” Before my car-mania readers start salivating, let me tell you the price: $3.7 million. Put into perspective, that’s the gross national product of a small African country – or half the economy of West Virginia.

The reviewer, a real “car guy,” praised the French car as swimming “in molten torque, with so much pure, concentrated grunt that even at idle, the Chiron is trying to break free.”  To me, that sounds more like toilet training a toddler than visualizing an automobile!  And another description, “It’s a rocket-propelled marmoset; hunched in profile, it’s about to spring and snag its prey,” seems more applicable to Hogle Zoo than a luxury car at a dealership.

The specifics of the car are also lost on me. The Bugatti is memorialized for having 1,479 horsepower. Unfortunately, I’ve never walked into a dealership and inquired “Hey, what’s your strongest horsepower?”  I’m more of a “does this car come in ruby red or a desert storm color?” kind of guy.

And I care a bit about gas mileage. The Bugatti gets nine miles per gallon on city streets. In other words, the buyer would also find it helpful to have his own oil well.  Of course, what can you expect from a car that claims a top highway speed of 261 miles per hour? I can tell you what to expect: the flashing lights of the Utah Highway Patrol!

For your $3.7 million, you should expect a luxurious interior, so I was disappointed to find the inside of the car doesn’t contain a hot tub.  It does, however, come standard with polished sterling silver spokes on the steering wheel, but that seems like an unnecessary indulgence. I would be more interested in knowing how many cup holders the car has – and if there is a sleeve for average Utahns to place extra Dairy Queen napkins and straws.

The reviewer doesn’t mention these important things, but he does alert potential buyers that they should consider “if your Nikes are good enough to touch the polished pedals.”  In other words, before you enter the car, put on shoe covers. Your boots might be made for walkin’ but not for driving a Bugatti Chiron.

You might be impressed that this car weighs 4,544 pounds, about the same as a pregnant rhino. And you might enjoy the observation that driving this car “is so easy that one hand on the wheel is probably enough,” a conclusion that will make any driver’s education teacher shriek.

OK, I’m not a “car guy.” For $3.7 million I could almost have bought the Mike Trout rookie baseball card, the highest amount ever paid for a trading card last year. The card makes more sense; it won’t depreciate once you take it for a spin outside the card shop and I won’t worry about my $3.7 million auto being dented by a newly-licensed teen driver momentarily distracted while streaming the latest Ariana Grande song.