Following the success of the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, Bugatti did not have to wait long before it received the first inquiries about an open-top version of the Grand Sport that could also deliver 882 kW (1,200 hp). “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,” says Wolfgang Dürheimer. The President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. continues: “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 hp Grand Sport Vitesse.”
The new Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse boasts a remarkable maximum torque of 1,500 Nm (at 3,000-5,000 rpm) from the 7.9-litre capacity of its W16 engine. The maximum output (1,200 hp) is reached at 6,400 rpm. These figures allow the car to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) from standing in unbelievable 2.6 seconds. The top speed of 410 km/h (255 mph) makes the four-wheel drive (like all Veyrons) Grand Sport Vitesse the fastest production roadster ever.
The 199 hp increase over the Grand Sport has been mainly achieved by using four larger turbochargers with new intercoolers. Furthermore, Bugatti has extensively reinforced all drivetrain components in order to safely transfer the immense forces at all times. As a consequence of the larger turbochargers and the overall reduced back pressure, it was even possible to reduce the fuel consumption slightly despite the increased output.
In order to put the unrivaled power onto the road absolutely safely and masterfully, the engineers have reconfigured the chassis of the Vitesse. Thanks to the quick-responding dampers that have been adapted from motor racing, the control of the vehicle has been further improved and perfectly balanced. In addition to the incomparable lateral acceleration of up to 1,4 g, the precise interaction of the tires (on all-new, lighter 20-inch “Vitesse”-type alloy wheels), together with the intelligent all-wheel- drive system, ensures extremely good handling. Since the reconfigured ESP kicks in slightly later, for example when you accelerate out of corners, the Grand Sport Vitesse also provides a more dynamic performance in these situations. It goes without saying that Bugatti has adapted the brake-cooling system to account for the even higher engine output. The brakes, which are unparalleled in terms of stability and performance, now have additional and larger air intakes.
Bugatti has developed a new roof spoiler for the Grand Sport Vitesse that significantly reduces wind noise and buffeting in the interior. Furthermore, there will be a new windbreak for the roadster that can be stored away compactly in the luggage compartment when not in use. Both details will also be available for the Grand Sport. Together, they allow extremely relaxed, open-top driving even at speeds of around 200 km/h (124 mph).
Numerous aerodynamic measures at the front and rear that appeared on the Super Sport have been adapted for the Grand Sport Vitesse. The front end is therefore characterized by larger air intakes; the two central air intakes to the left and right of the Bugatti radiator grille are divided horizontally by a bar. The bottom air vent stretches sideways into the wheel housing and gives this exceptional sports car an extremely masterful appearance. Immediately below this air intake, you will see a new, visually refined front spoiler that has been designed in a similar way to the splitters used in motor racing. The rear end, which is also derived from the Super Sport, is characterized by a double diffusor and a centrally positioned twin tailpipe.
Carbon fibre is (along with stainless metals such as Aluminium and Magnesium) also the dominant material in the interior of the Grand Sport Vitesse. Numerous interior parts are now made from carbon fibre in the 1,200 hp roadster. This includes the centre console extension, a cover with EB logo in the rear-bulkhead leather trim (between the seat backrests) and the belt outlet covers on the seats. The décor on the centre console, the door inserts and the adjoining trim on the instrument panel are also made from carbon fibre. The bicolor black trim parts are also new in the Grand Sport version, and so is a special seat design for the Grand Sport Vitesse.
There is no end to the individualisation options for the Bugatti. Each one of the 350 Veyrons built is therefore unique. This also applies to the two Grand Sport Vitesse models that Bugatti is exhibiting at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show. The blue version of the new roadster is finished in visible carbon fibre. The second Grand Sport Vitesse is painted in dark “Jet Grey”. In both cases, the aggressive, dynamic look of the vehicles fits in with the positioning of the new Grand Sport Vitesse. The classic Grand Sport, a sports car with an elegant, artistic orientation, will, of course, remain in the range. In Geneva, Bugatti is presenting a version of the roadster in visible carbon fibre in a brownish finish for the first time. To create a contrast, the side parts on this Grand Sport, right up to the rear air intakes, are made from polished aluminium.