For those of you who have been growing rather bored with your current $1.7 million-dollar Bugatti Veyron, the company has just put together their Veyron Grand Sport, a convertible model that can hit 220 mph with the top down and 253 mph with a carbonate roof affixed. And it will only cost a cool $2 million. But really, can you put a price on perfection?
If the first paragraph applied to you, you are one of the estimated 3,000-6,000 people on the planet that Bugatti estimates is able to responsibly purchase one of their cars (i.e., you’re not getting four mortgages on your house and cashing in the kid’s college funds). If you’re not one of those people, you can still marvel at the technical wizardly that went into making the fastest car in the world into a drop-top.
Excepting the missing roof section over the cabin, the Veyron Grand Sport looks almost exactly the same as the regular Veyron, with the exception of some slight tweaks for the head lights and the wheels. The same engine is in the car, a W16 that is hand-constructed and tuned by two members of the Bugatti team whose job it is to make sure every engine is perfect. That tuning requires that every engine put out at least 987 horsepower and 922 lb-ft of torque, even at high altitudes where air pressure changes can affect performance. In optimal atmospheric conditions, the power can jump up to 1,050 horses.
A lot of the changes happened out of sight. In order to make the Veyron Grand Sport strong enough to handle the high speed, the engineers had to add a lot of structural supports. Even though they replaced a lot of the front end and the doors with carbon fiber (over the original’s aluminum) to save weight, the added structural supports still make the car 224 pounds heavier. Even then, the Veyron Grand Sport, which has the highest rigidity rate of any open roof car ever, still only has two-fifths the torsional rigidity of the Veyron coupe.
That extra weight does slow the car down a bit, but not much. 0-to-60 mph takes 2.7 seconds, a hair slower than the coupe’s 2.5. And, the lack of a roof lowers the car’s aerodynamic efficiency. Even though the engine is capable of pushing the car to 250+ mph, when the roof is down you literally cannot get through the air fast enough. Mother Nature doesn’t allow it. That’s when you attach the 35 pound carbonate roof, which restores the aerodynamic magic of the coupe and allows you to really drop the hammer. If you leave the carbonate roof at home and get caught in a rainstorm, don’t worry, because the car has an umbrella that can be slotted into place with a conventient detachable handle (check out the picture gallery link at the end of this post to see what I mean).
The real selling point of the Grand Sport is engine. Yes, it is the same engine as the Veyron coupe, but now there’s nothing to separate you from its glorious roar. The coupe’s cabin is kind of like a bubble of calm in the middle of a thunder storm. In the Grand Sport, that thunder is in your ear and wonderful. Imagine the first time you got into a V8-powered car and revved the engine. Now, multiply your enjoyment of that sound by about a 1,000 and you get the picture.
There will only be 150 Veyron Grand Sports made, in addition to the planned 300 Veyron coupes, and there are already 30 of them spoken for (and every one of those 30 people already has already purchased a Bugatti vehicle). That seems like the best sales pitch ever: “Our $1.7 million dollar car is so good, it’ll make you want to buy the $2 million dollar open-top version.”