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Veyron tops countdown of the most important cars of the last two decades in bumper anniversary issue of Britain’s biggest car magazine

BBC Top Gear magazine has declared the Bugatti Veyron the greatest car of the last two decades.

In a bumper issue celebrating the 20th anniversary of the best-selling car mag, the 267mph Veyron topped a countdown of the 50 most significant cars since 1993, decided by BBC Top Gear magazine’s editorial team and an online poll of more than 100,000 readers.

“Following heated discussion and a staggering response online, the Veyron emerged as a worthy winner,” said Charlie Turner, editor of BBC Top Gear magazine. “In its latest iteration, the world’s fastest car costs two million euro, makes 1,187bhp and 1,107lb ft from its 8.0-litre engine, will hit 267mph and burn eight litres of fuel every minute while doing so. But it is more than just a sledgehammer of physics. The Veyron is the distilled essence of the Volkswagen empire: as luxurious as a Bentley, with the build quality to put an Audi A8 to shame.” 


“Whether we will see its like again is open to question. However we do know the car industry’s desire to improve itself, its technology and its products continues to gain momentum, and the gathering pace of change is set to make the next two decades an even greater adventure.”

The “high watermark of humanity” Veyron pipped the second-placed VW Golf GTI – described as “the finest hot hatch of the last 20 years” and the “sublime” Rolls-Royce Phantom in third. BBC Top Gear magazine’s top ten runs as follows: 

1. Bugatti Veyron (2005)

2. VW Golf GTI (2005)

3. Rolls-Royce Phantom (2003)

4. Ferrari 458 (2009)

5. Porsche Boxster (1996)

6. BMW 320d (1999)

7. Ford Focus (1998)

8. Porsche 911 (1993)

9. Renault Clio Williams (1993)

10. Lexus LFA (2010)

Also highly placed were cars bucking TopGear’s traditional obsession with speed and horsepower, including the Toyota Prius, Fiat’s dinky 500 and the heroically ugly Fiat Multipla. For the full 50-car countdown, see below.

The 20th anniversary collectors’ edition of BBC Top Gear magazine includes a round-up of the team’s most ambitious road trips ever, and reveals a host of until-now untold secrets – including the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of Mazda’s astonishing Furai concept (hint: it involves the East Anglia fire service). The team also named and shamed the 13 worst cars of the past 20 years, with Chrysler’s PT Cruiser Cabrio emerging on top. Or perhaps bottom.

It has been a busy year for BBC Top Gear magazine with the launch of its fully interactive digital edition on iPad. It now tops the Apple newstand as the most popular motoring app in the UK, and second most popular in the USA.

The October issue of BBC Top Gear magazine is on sale now, priced at £4.99 including a 51-page 20th anniversary special. It also boasts the finest prize in the magazine’s 20-year history: the chance to win a brand-new Toyota GT86, worth £24,995

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