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Question of the Week

Question of the Week: Bugatti, Koenigsegg or Pagani?

Three of the most exclusive of modern manufacturers, with dozens of engineering masterpieces between them. But which one rises to the top?

Published: 19 Feb 2024

The wonderful thing about being a car person is that there’s a corner in the world for anyone and everyone. Whether you’re a back-to-basics muscle car aficionado, a connoisseur of spirited country lane driving in a rorty hatchback, or even the sort who enjoys the warm embrace of fellow M25 tailgaters - otherwise known as German saloon owners - at your local diner, there’s a place for you somewhere.

But of said communities, one in particular sits head and shoulders above all else because of its sheer exclusivity: the hypercar circle. And of the attendees here, Bugatti, Koenigsegg and Pagani are three of its VIP members. This week, we want you to tell us which of the three you believe creates the craziest cars. But first, a few intros, beginning with the brand founded 115 years ago in Molsheim, France.

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After finding much success with motor racing during the early to mid-twentieth century with vehicles like the Type 35, Bugatti fell into slumber right up until the early ‘90s. But when the sleeping giant woke, it did so spectacularly by creating the then-fastest production car in the world with the EB110

This pursuit of speed became synonymous with every model which came after it, from the iconic Veyron to the masterful Chiron. Let’s not forget that a Super Sport version of the latter even became the first production car to exceed 300mph. If you haven’t noticed yet, this lot does tend to push boundaries. 

And then we’ve got Koenigsegg: the result of one curious Swede and his relentless obsession with, er, speed. This year marks 30 years since the company’s formation (in a shed no less), and it has since grown into one of the world’s premier marques. It kicked off with the CC8S back in 2002, which wasn’t half bad for an initiation product, what with it having a mere 240mph top speed and all that. 

Since then, we’ve had the Agera lineage, which usurped the crown from the Veyron, and then the One:1, which became the world’s first one-megawatt car. But beyond just raw pace, what makes Koenigsegg so impressive is its armada of innovations, which are so complex you'd scramble a few brain cells trying to understand them.

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The third and final case to be made is that of Pagani, which seemingly came out of nowhere to give the guys and gals at Ferrari and Lamborghini plenty of sleepless nights. It began with the Zonda C12 in 1999, and by 2010, the ‘R’ rendition of the Zonda managed to snag the Nürburgring production car record… from Ferrari.

Around 758 ‘we promise this is the last one’ Zonda models later, Pagani unveiled the Huayra, which used a Mercedes-AMG sourced twin-turbo V12 to present a theoretical vmax of 238mph. Like its predecessor, an R-rated version did indeed make production back in 2021, before Pagani announced plans for its third official vehicle: the Utopia.

What do we reckon, readers - Bugatti, Koenigsegg or Pagani? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below, and expect the most thought-provoking arguments to form the basis of Friday’s result post. We look forward to seeing this one play out...

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