Bugatti Goes Topless with Veyron Grand Sport

Of all the special editions of the inherently special Bugatti Veyron since its much-ballyhooed debut in 2005, including the unpainted Pur Sang and the hide-swaddled Fbg par Hermès edition, the new Grand Sport roadster is surely the most dramatic. Unveiled at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport features a removable hard top of transparent polycarbonate and an integrated roll hoop made of carbon fiber that bridges the engine’s enormous air intakes. Of course, the Grand Sport retains the Veyron’s 8-liter, quad-turbo W-16 power plant, good for a titanic 987 horsepower, but Bugatti has executed a host of under-the-skin modifications intended to ensure that the open-topped Veyron retains the coupe’s safety, structural rigidity, and superb driving dynamics. With the hard top in place, the roadster loses nothing to the enclosed Veyron: Top speed remains a stunning 253 mph. With the top off, terminal velocity falls to a still-astonishing 224 mph. (The hard top can’t be stowed onboard, but the Grand Sport includes a clever “umbrella” soft top — usable to 81 mph — for unexpected downpours.) The Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport is priced at about .1 million, and although Bugatti has promised the first 50 cars to existing customers, the company plans to build a generous 150 examples of the world’s fastest convertible starting in March 2009. (

Matthew Phenix

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