Meet Steve Jenny, the Frenchman who test drives every new Bugatti Hypercar before they are delivered to customers.
Steve Jenny has tested around 90 percent of all Bugatti vehicles handcrafted and sold to this day.
He has driven more than 350,000 kilometers in the Veyron, Chiron and Divo Hypercars.
A test drive takes up to five hours and usually covers a distance of about 300-km across the Alsace region.
All in all, Bugatti cars are driven between 350 and 750 kilometers for detailed testing, before being shipped out.
Meet Steve Jenny, a test driver at Bugatti who is in charge of final delivery as well as responsible for ensuring the world’s greatest hyper sports cars are delivered in perfect condition.
Yes, a dream job, of course, but Steve’s job also requires a lot of discipline and focus as every drive must be reproducible and comparable.
“Bugatti always demanded that cars must be delivered in perfect condition. A hyper sports car that goes faster than 400 km/h must work perfectly,” the Frenchman explains.
As an expert for quality assurance, Steve Jenny pays attention to the smallest detail, checking 90 percent of all bugatti vehicles handcrafted in molsheim to this day.
Steve has driven more than 350,000 kilometers in the Veyron, Chiron and Divo Hypercars. His first ride since he became a Bugatti employee in 2004 was in a Veyron on March 3, 2005 :
“I was much too nervous. As a passenger, sitting next to the experienced quality engineer, I had to focus on many technical aspects. So, I wasn’t really able to enjoy the ride,” says Steve.
According to Bugatti, a test drive takes up to five hours and usually covers a distance of about 300 kilometers across the Alsace region.
During the driving dynamics inspection over the next few hours, Steve Jenny checks pedal weights and responsiveness, steering feel and listens intently for any unusual sounds. At the 80-kilometer mark, he tackles a rough cobblestone road, delivering a stern test for measuring comfort and noise from the suspension.
“You have to feel the car with every fiber of your body and interpret its responses correctly. Technical expertise is helpful in this effort, but experience is paramount,” he says. The winding roads of the Vosges mountains are ideal for this drive.
For acceleration and high-speed testing, Steve drives every Bugatti on the closed runway of Colmar airport, pushing his cars nearer to the limits they were designed for.
There, the hyper sports cars undergo various function tests at speeds exceeding 300 km/h : launch control, airbrake deployment, rapid lane change, heavy braking at 200 km/h, full braking and an ESP-check.
These tests are critical in delivering confidence for Bugatti drivers all over the world, who wish to travel faster than any other production car is capable of.
“With such an individual and handcrafted vehicle, everything must be perfect. Our aim is to correct even the smallest cause for criticism before shipping the car. Only then will our customers be happy,” says Steve Jenny.
After the tests at Colmar airport, Steve heads back to the Atelier at a more leisurely pace. There, the test driver puts down his notes; only if the car fulfils every one of a long list of criteria is it prepared for the next step.
Mechanics change the oil in the gearbox, change the wheels, and attach the original underbody. This is followed by a one-hour test drive, spanning at least 50 kilometers, to arrive at the final driving dynamics approval. All in all, Bugatti vehicles are driven between 350 and 750 kilometers for detailed testing, before being shipped out.
When asked whether his job ever gets boring, Steve Jenny shakes his head. “No. Every day is unique and driving these amazing cars is a source of continuous joy to me,” he says.
“With the Chiron and its 1500 PS, Bugatti has perfected the hyper sports car. In the Chiron Super Sport3, the 8-liter W16 engine even delivers 1600 PS and achieves speeds of up to 440 km/h. The drive for perfection and optimization simply never stops at Bugatti,” says Steve.