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Question of the Week

Bugatti, Koenigsegg or Pagani: Top Gear readers have voted

One of these three pioneers emerged as an overwhelming victor

Published: 23 Feb 2024

This Monday, we asked our readers which of Bugatti, Koenigsegg and Pagani sits clear as your favourite purveyor of high-end exotica. You responded in legions, and showed a clear bias for one in particular. Let’s do this in ascending order, shall we?

It’s a non-negotiable fact that Bugatti - the champ of automotive Top Trumps - excels in measurable metrics, but our key takeaway from your lot’s comments suggest they tend to fall short on passion. Obviously that won’t be your initial thoughts if you had a runway and a Chiron Super Sport for company.

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Here’s Antoine Dufresne-Fortin’s explanation: “Bugatti has lost its soul in terms of design - it makes me feel like they’re old people’s hypercars now. Super smooth and luxurious, go fast effortlessly and they’re easy to drive at low speed, but where’s the compromise? Where’s the rawness? Where’s the soul in that? I really feel like it just relies too much on its ‘fastest production car’ titles.” 

In the middle of the pack comes the brand which Don Lee correctly describes as “art on wheels”, otherwise known as Pagani. While it can’t quite claim to match Bugatti for specs - with most of its cars limited to a mild 230 to 240mph range - it’s absolutely fair to say Pagani’s design philosophy is unique. 

Mr Price commented: “Pagani purely for the drama and aesthetics, because hypercars exist as a collection of numbers and hypotheticals rather than something you can actually utilize in the real world.” 

One of our very favourite comments of the week then came from Sideways 720s in support of Horacio’s artisans: “Every time I see the interior of one of its cars, it’s like some mad view into the 1950s idea of 2050. Exquisite craftsmanship and pure unadulterated bedroom poster factor.” 

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Pretty tough to argue with that, but somehow most of you found a way to. Yes, Bugatti has the numbers on its side, and Pagani has the X factor, but why limit yourself to one or the other when you can have both? This seems to be the reason Koenigsegg is the winner for this week’s debate. By some distance, too. 

Juxtaposed is one of the many who cast their vote for Christian’s shed-turned-factory business, and is just as amazed as we are at the strides his company has made in automotive engineering.

They said: “Every single model has some absolutely insane, never-before-seen innovation that other brands believed was impossible for at least 10 years to come. And that’s despite having nowhere near the resources that the Volkswagen group provides to Bugatti. The DirectDrive transmission, and more recently the Quark and Tiny Friendly Giant powertrain, are absolutely mind-boggling advances.  

“And, of course, they then decided to put these innovations into a four-seat hypercar, because why on earth not? Sure, Bugattis are the pinnacle of automotive luxury, and Paganis the pinnacle of craftsmanship, but as a masterpiece of engineering? Koenigsegg all the way.”

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Dean Jackson provided further support by claiming Koenigsegg “takes something we already know and engineers it differently”, while Hari Gopalkrishnan said Koenigsegg “creates innovations that take them a league above the established hypercar elite”.

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