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Fail of the Century

Fail of the century #25: Renault Vel Satis

Dear Top Gear,

As chairman of the British Official Vel Satis Owners Club (BOVSOC), I am saddened to learn you consider the Vel Satis a ‘fail of the century’. A failure? How dare you? Before the Vel Satis, many asked if France could ever break the German stranglehold on the executive segment. After the Vel Satis, they certainly knew the answer!

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Have you never sampled its cabin? Having owned a Vel Satis from new, I can report it is a truly luxurious environment, a place where one’s worries simply melt away, particularly those worries related to having paid BMW 5 Series money for a Gallic depreciation catastrophe.

And how about the design? Have you ever seen anything like it? Exactly! No one has! Every morning, when I open my curtains, the Sat’s bold form strikes me afresh, frequently causing me to spill my tea. I remain a particular fan of its angular front end, which in no way resembles the face of a friendly rodent from an early Sega MegaDrive game.

Some have dubbed the Vel Satis a sales flop. I beg to differ. Nearly 1,300 of us wise British souls bought Vel Satum (yes, that is the official plural). Do you know how many people ever bought a Bugatti Veyron? Four hundred and fifty. And I don’t see you calling that a failure, do I?

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