NOT many carmakers can get away with painting a car light grey with royal blue trim and asking an extra US$266 000 for it, but when the name on the grille is Bugatti, you know somebody will buy it, if only for the bragging rights.
Report by Wheels24
This is the one-off, special-edition Veyron 16,4 Grand Sport Vitesse Rafale show car, built specially for Volkswagen Group Night at the 2012 Sao Paulo motor show.
It is, almost by definition, the most powerful roadster ever built, with the same 882kW version of the iconic four-turbo, 7,9-litre W16 engine as the Super Sport coupé, revving to a surprisingly conservative 6400 revs and with peak torque of 1500Nm available from 3000-500rpm.
Driving all four wheels through a beefed-up, seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, it gets to 100km/h from standstill in a nosebleed-inducing 2,6 seconds and has a tested top speed of 410km/h –– although VW don’t recommend driving at much more than 200km/h with the roof down.
Incidentally, all Veyrons are limited to 375km/h in “street” trim; you have to insert a special key and reset the suspension before you get the full monty.
The extra 144kW over the “standard” Grand Sport roadster comes courtesy of bigger turbos and intercoolers, with reinforced gearbox and drive-shafts, bigger brake-cooling ducts and four fuel pumps.
It’s said at top speed they will empty the Veyron’s 100-litre fuel tank in 12 minutes.
It runs on special, lightweight 20” Vitesse rims, and the electronic stability programme has been remapped to kick in a little later, so that you can actually get this monstrous car a little sideways –– if you have the nerve to take it past the lateral grip limit at 1,4g!
The Vitesse also has a new roof spoiler that reduces wind noise and buffeting in the cockpit, and comes with a new windbreak that can be be discreetly stored in the luggage compartment when it’s time to cruise the boulevard.
A number of styling cues, picked up from the Super Sport, distinguish the Vitesse. The two central air intakes to the left and right of the grille are divided horizontally by a bar and the lower air vent stretches sideways into the wheel-arch above a new, deeper front spoiler.
The improved xenon headlights from the Super Sport, now framed in black, are standard, while the rear end gets a double diffuser and dual centrally mounted tailpipes.
All the outer body panels are carbon fibre, and the Vitesse is available in clear-coated exposed carbon fibre.
There’s more of the light stuff inside, along with stainless-steel and aluminium trim elements, including the centre console extension, a cover with EB logo in the rear-bulkhead leather trim, between the seat backrests) and the seatbelt covers on the seats.
The trim elements on the centre stack, the door inserts and the adjoining trim on the instrument panel are also carbon fibre.
The show car is finished in light grey, with the roof area, air scoops, air brake and some parts of the back finished in clear lacquer with a royal blue tint.
The interior, by contrast, is finished in blue leather with contrasting grey stitching.
And for this, Volkswagen are asking US$2,4 million, compared to the base price of the Vitesse at US$2,14 million.