Apart from a certain well-known football program, Monday isn't usually a great night for television. But tonight that may change, as the National Geographic Channel delves deep inside the secret world of luxury automobiles for two steamy hours of engineer-on-car action. Added bonus: the cars in question are the Audi R8 and the Bugatti Veyron. Not twins, but cousins at least -- if you're into that sort of thing.
The first of the two shows is technically a repeat, but it only debuted a month or so ago, so it's still fairly fresh. It features the Veyron as part of National Geographic Channel's Man Made series, in an episode unimaginatively but accurately called, "Bugatti Super Car". Nat Geo took their battery of high-end cameras to Alsace, France to show how the Veyron is made, from tip to tail. Over the course of an hour, the team does a good job of explaining the marvels behind Bugatti engineering that help push the Veyron's sticker price to $1,750,000. They also explain why ordinary stuff like fuel economy doesn't matter (in fact, can't matter) when you're talking about a car capable of 250+ mph and packing nearly 1000 bhp. If you missed this show the first time around, here's the opening segment:
Audi R8 from National Geographic's Ultimate Factories: AudiEnlarge Photo
The second show is a premiere, centered on the current darling of the supercar and entertainment worlds, the Audi R8. Ultimate Factories: Audi can seem a little smarmy and over-the-top at times -- but then, that's probably to be expected from the channel that's made an entire TV series about cutting things in half. (That said, this Wednesday's Cut It In Half: Airplane is already on our Tivo queue.)
Despite the razzle-dazzle, the Nat Geo team has put together an engaging episode that explains the R8 in ample detail to hold the attention of enthusiasts and generalists alike. Here's a clip:
Man Made: Bugatti Super Car airs tonight at 8pm ET, followed by Ultimate Factories: Audi at 9pm ET.