The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse unveiled during the 2012 Geneva Motor Show last month has been making headlines. Why not? It is one of the few cars in the world that surpass a thousand horsepower. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is powered by an 8.0-liter W16 quad-turbocharged engine that could provide up to 1,200 hp of output and 1,500 Nm of torque.
Other supercars pale in comparison with the Grand Sport Vitesse, even its standard Grand Sport elder sibling. The Grand Sport is powered by an engine that delivers around 1,000 hp of output and 1,250 of torque – already so superbly powerful, but is definitely no match for the Grand Sport Vitesse.
According to Bugatti, they were able to squeeze almost 200 hp more from the same engine by installing four enlarged turbochargers and intercoolers. To handle the tremendous power brought forth by the engine, Bugatti modified the chassis of the Grand Sport Vitesse.
The looks of the Grand Sport Vitesse is based on the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, showcasing a new front bumper and new side sills. The Grand Sport Vitesse is also fitted with the same exhaust system found on the Super Sport.
The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport currently holds the record as the world’s fastest production car, with a speed of 431 km/h. According Bugatti President Wolfgang Dürheimer, the inspiration for developing Grand Sport Vitesse roadster was the instant success of the Super Sport.
He likewise paid tribute to Bugatti engineers whose hard work proved that the company could redefine the boundaries of what is technically feasible. With the Grand Sport Vitesse roadster having the same engine output as the Super Sport, it is hatched as the world’s fastest roadster.
Without a doubt, the Grand Sport Vitesse is more athletic compared to the Grand Sport even if the latter brings a power of 1,001 hp. Even then, the brand made sure that the Grand Sport Vitesse would not become a full-blown racing car making it easy for any driver to master. By lowering the dynamic natural frequency, Bugatti has managed to improve the comfort, especially in the region of the chassis.
Speaking of the chassis, the engineers at the brand made sure to reconfigure this component so that the unmatched power would be channeled to the road masterfully, and of course, safely. Using quick-responding dampers, the same ones that are used in motor racing, control of the Vitesse is better as well as its balance. Both pitching and body roll are hardly noticeable even when braking or conducting hard acceleration.
The combination of the improved chassis, the modified electronic stability program (ESP), and the all-wheel drive system, allows the Vitesse to deliver excellent performance. A good example is when the vehicle is accelerating out of a corner. Since the ESP enters the picture a little later, it allows the car to have better dynamic performance.
Given that the output of the engine is higher, Bugatti made sure that the Vitesse would have a brake-cooling system. The brakes in particular reveal unmatched performance and stability and come with extra, and much larger, air intakes. By making sure that the wheel-load fluctuations are optimized, it helps lower the understeer while ensuring the level of active safety is maximized.
With lateral acceleration now increased to 1.4 g, this meant tire interaction would play an important role and that’s how the alloy "Vitesse"-type 20-inch wheels came into play. When paired with the all-wheel drive, it allows for good handling. This is not all as Bugatti also placed on the new Vitesse a roof spoiler that helps lower the wind noise while reducing the buffeting of the interior.
There is also a windbreak which can be stored easily in the luggage compartment when the driver decides not to use it. These two features will be made available for the Grand Sport as well. Combined, they ensure more laidback open-top driving even when running at 124 mph (200 km/h).