Bugatti reveals Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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In the realm of the supercar there are such hallowed marques as Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Pagani. Then there's Bugatti. Based in Molsheim, France, Bugatti was founded in 1909 and gained a reputation for building exuberant automobiles such as the 57SC Atlantic of the 1930s and, most notably, the modern-day Veyron 16.4. With its 1,001 metric horsepower output, the original Veyron 16.4 was a stunning sensation upon its introduction in 2005 until production ended last year. But the Veyron lives on as the 1,200-horsepower 16.4 Super Sport and the open-roofed 16.4 Grand Sport, and now Bugatti has introduced and new open-top version at the Geneva Motor Show: the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse.

Based on the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, which was introduced for the 2009 model year, the Grand Sport Vitesse is essentially the same targa-topped vehicle, with one significant exception: Power for the Vitesse is provided by the same 1,200-horsepower engine specified for the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, which is otherwise known as the fastest road-legal production car on this planet.

"We were instantly electrified by the idea of transferring the power of the Super Sport to the Grand Sport, which previously delivered a maximum of 1,001 hp, and thus taking the roadster to a new level," said Wolfgang Dürheimer, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. "Our team has managed to transfer the world's most powerful car engine to the open-top sports car while taking all vehicle dynamics and aerodynamic parameters into consideration. We are proud to present the fastest roadster ever at the Geneva Motor Show with the world premiere of the 1,200-horsepower Grand Sport Vitesse."

As Dürheimer mentioned, the Vitesse generates a peak output of 1,200 horsepower from its 7.9-litre, quad-turbocharged W16 engine (the 16.4 designation signifies 16 cylinders, 4 turbochargers). Maximum torque is rated at 1,106 pound-feet and the gigantic engine comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch direct-shift gearbox, with power routed to all four of its lightened, 20-inch "Vitesse"-type alloy wheels. With its enormous powerplant, the speed is astonishing; acceleration from zero to 100 km/h is claimed in just 2.6 seconds. Top speed is rated at a colossal 410 km/h. In short, Bugatti claims that the Vitesse is the world's fastest production roadster.

More power isn't the only significant revision of the Vitesse over the Grand Sport. The new car has a reconfigured chassis with dampers that help reduce body roll and pitch. The Vitesse generates a lateral acceleration figure of up to 1.4 g and features a revised electronic stability program and larger air intakes for the brakes. The Vitesse also bears larger air intakes at the front and revised bodywork throughout. Like the Super Sport, the Vitesse is constructed with a full-carbon-fibre monocoque and features a carbon-fibre body.

Aptly named after the French term for "speed," the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse continues in the French automaker's tradition of creating astounding automobiles. Unfortunately, with a price well over two million Canadian dollars, not many automotive enthusiasts will be able to experience driving the Vitesse.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Roadster, Bugatti, 2012, Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, $99,999+, Exotic, Supercar,

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