The Internet was thrown into a tizzy on Wednesday, after the Bugatti website seemed to offer its Veyron roadster in the color of "Rape Yellow" as shown in screengrabs posted on AOL Weird News and on various social media sites.
When AOL News approached U.S. representatives of the French manufacturer, they were as shocked as the rest of us and quickly resolved the glitch that caused this problem.
Today, John Hill, U.S. director of marketing for Bugatti, thanked AOL News for bringing this issue to their attention:
From an e-mail correspondence from Mr. Hill:
Thank you again for bringing this issue to our attention. I alsoappreciate your having completed the research behind the name and foryour explanation which was posted on your site. Although based upon theFrench name for the rapeseed plant, the translation is one that shouldhave been given more thought from our side. We are thankful that it wasbrought to our attention and you will find that the name for this colorhas already been revised on our site.
As discussed in the previous article, the color "Rape Yellow" does not appear in any of the seven authorized U.S. Bugatti dealerships' configuration tools or books, but during development of the official Bugatti.com website, a translation (or more specifically, pronunciation) issue arose with the color.
The confusion comes from the source of the color -- Brassica napus, also known as the rapeseed flower. The name is pronounced "ra" (as in "Ra, the Egyptian god") and "pay" (as in "pay in cash"). The color is quite commonly referenced in Europe, especially in romantic languages such as French and Spanish.
As speculated by Tim O'Hara, general manager of O'Gara Coach Co. in Beverly Hills, Calif., the color's full name of Rapeseed Yellow was probably shortened to simply "Rape" by translators. Given the pronunciation differences, it's understandable why translators and developers for the French-based Bugatti wouldn't have caught the homonym with the term that refers to a violent act.
The writer of the investigative article, Joe Peacock, would like it to be known that if Bugatti would like to thank him with a brand new Veyron, he has a free space in his driveway -- and he will be more than glad to take it in Rapeseed.
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