Sponsored Links

12:50 AM

(0) Comments

Bugatti Veyron loses nothing in translation to convertible

Rafay Ansar

, ,



A picture of The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport will rocket from 0 to 62 mph in 2.7 seconds.
The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport will rocket from 0 to 62 mph in 2.7 seconds.

When Bugatti launched the Veyron, the world was a very different place. More people had money, for sure, and far more moneyed folk were happy to show the world what they could afford.

Into a very different world marches the convertible version of the Veyron, the nearly $2 million Grand Sport. Even those people who have money are finding it prudent not to demonstrably splash it around, even if this car is--almost certainly--the most astonishing convertible ever built.

Other things have changed, too.

When Bugatti launched the Veyron, there was no public consciousness about it. It was just another oddly shaped machine that barely drew a look. That's all gone. Even in car-hating France, people know what the Veyron is. And they love it. They cheer for it. They raise their thumbs for it. They take photos on raised Nokias. When it parks, they call their friends, who all come down to take their own photos.




This is what Ferraris used to be in the 1960s--but faster, stronger and better built.

Taking the roof off any car is dangerous. Convertibles don't feel as composed in corners, they struggle in crash safety, and their windscreens wobble on bumpy corners. Not the Veyron. The carbon-fiber chassis was redesigned around the windscreen pillars, down in the sills and behind the driver to cope with the forces.

And what forces. Nothing in series production accelerates the way a Veyron does, and the Grand Sport lost nothing in translation from the coupe. It's a touch heavier, at 4,387 pounds, but it will still disdainfully explode past 62 mph in 2.7 seconds and smash beyond 124 mph in 7.3 seconds, and 186 mph--considered an end-goal speed for most sports-car makers--will be dead and buried in 16.7 seconds.
The four-turbo, 7.9-liter W16 in the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport is rated at 1,001 hp.
A picture of The four-turbo, 7.9-liter W16 in the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport is rated at 1,001 hp.

The four-turbo, 7.9-liter W16 in the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport is rated at 1,001 hp.

And in spite of Bugatti claiming not to have done much to the driveline--with 1,001 hp, 921 lb-ft of torque and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox--Bugatti heard few complaints about urgency. The noise pedal unveils the biggest change from coupe to convertible.

If you're not careful, both Bugattis will crush the air out of your lungs so hard that you'll feel as if you've been spit out of a submarine. Yet with the roof off (and stowed somewhere other than in the Veyron, which can't carry it), the Grand Sport becomes involving and passionate and menacing in ways the coupe never could.

If you could level one criticism at the monster W16, four-turbo Veyron 16.4 coupe, it is that the noise didn't match the fury that the engine must have felt to propel the damned thing so brutally. Not anymore. The induction starts it all at low revs, followed by the exhaust, and at about 1,500 rpm, the turbos begin their demonic whistle. None of them will cede superiority to the other, and it becomes an escalating cacophony, bellowing and bruising the air around it.

If anything, the Grand Sport is even easier to drive. The lateral grip is prodigious, the brakes (on a public road, at least) are unfailingly strong, the all-wheel drive still works superbly, the springs are a fraction softer, and the Michelin tires are more progressive when they run out of grip (which takes some doing).




The cynical ones might think that a convertible Veyron obviously would be a lesser Veyron. They are wrong.

Only 150 Grand Sports ever will be built, and it's hard to imagine the day when it ever will be outclassed, outsprinted or outposed. Against most machines, it's expensive. Against other things that line up at the million-euro mark (the Ferrari Enzo, the Maserati MC12, the Lamborghini Reventón, to name a few), the engineering runs so deep it's a bargain.
Bugatti redesigned the Veyron's chassis around the windshield pillars for the convertible version.
A picture of Bugatti redesigned the Veyron's chassis around the windshield pillars for the convertible version.

Bugatti redesigned the Veyron's chassis around the windshield pillars for the convertible version.

SPECS

2009 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport

ON SALE: Now

BASE PRICE: $2 million (est)

POWERTRAIN: 7.9-liter, 1,001-hp, 921-lb-ft, quad-turbocharged W16; AWD, seven-speed dual-clutch sequential manual

CURB WEIGHT: 4,387 lb

0-62 MPH: 2.7 sec

FUEL ECONOMY: 10 mpg





0 Responses to "Bugatti Veyron loses nothing in translation to convertible"