Bugatti’s Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Is the World’s Swiftest Roadster

Never content to leave a speed record unbroken, Bugatti Automobiles this year unveils yet another iteration of its overachieving Veyron supercar. The Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse merges the open-air profile of the Grand Sport roadster with the world-beating power of the Super Sport coupe to create the swiftest open-top automobile that’s ever plied a road (or track).

Over the driver’s shoulder spins Bugatti’s quad-turbo, 8.0-liter W-16 engine, tuned to deliver 1,200 hp and 1,106 ft lbs of torque to all four wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The automaker asserts that the Grand Sport Vitesse will dispatch 60 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds and press on toward 255 miles per hour—a claim that handily establishes this latest Veyron as the world’s quickest, and fastest, roadster. Its top speed betters the standard Grand Sport’s 229 mph and the Veyron coupe’s 253 mph, though it falls a bit short of the Super Sport coupe, which uses the same 1,200 horses to touch a staggering 267 miles per hour.

Like the regular Grand Sport roadster, the Vitesse features a 36-pound removable polycarbonate roof panel. Too cumbersome to stow on board when not in place, the transparent top comes with its own garage stand. For impromptu coverage in the event of a downpour, a clever, umbrella-style canvas soft top resides beneath the car’s diminutive front lid. Like the rest of the Veyron, it’s a masterfully engineered piece—stout billet aluminum knuckles and carbon fiber rods—that allows cruising at speeds up to 124 mph.

To demonstrate its penchant for personalization, Bugatti presented two uniquely prepared examples of the Grand Sport Vitesse on the show floor at Geneva. A startling blue version, priced at 1.91 million euros (about $2.5 million), features a tinted carbon fiber structure with an exposed weave. A cloud gray example, priced at 1.75 million euros (about $2.3 million), juxtaposes gloss and matte surfaces to dramatic effect. Any way you want it, the 2013 Grand Sport Vitesse is available now—and going fast. (www.bugatti.com)

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