Bugatti has introduced the open top version of its Grand Sport luxury sports car to the South American market. The luxury carmaker has unveiled the Bugatti 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse at the eve of the Sao Paulo Motor Show 2012 during the Volkswagen Group Night.
Wolfgang Schreiber, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S., quipped that after successfully developing the Super Sport from the Veyron, the carmaker also considered doing the same with Grand Sport. This consideration eventually resulted to a distinct vehicle that adopts the mechanicals and specs of the Super Sport sans the roof.
The open-top version of the Bugatti Grand Sport is also powerful, with a W16 engine serving as its core. This dynamic engine has a capacity of 7.9 liters and is able to deliver 1,200 hp (882 kW) of max output at 6,400 rpm and 1,500 Nm of peak torque available between 3,000 rpm and 5,000 rpm. With this awesome power levels at its disposal, the Bugatti 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse could sprint from nil to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 2.6 seconds and achieve a top track speed of 410 km/h (255 mph), making this car as the fastest production roadster so far. Its top normal speed is electronically governed at 375 km/h (233 mph).
Essentially, the Grand Sport Vitesse is 199 hp more powerful than the Grand Sport (1,001 hp), a feat achieved primarily by employing four larger turbochargers with new intercoolers. In addition, all drivetrain components were reinforced to ensure safe transmission of forces at all times. Moreover, Bugatti made sure that the gearing of the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) is adapted to these new specs. Not only that, Bugatti also tweaked the air ducting on the drivetrain. Thanks to the larger turbochargers and the lower back pressure, Bugatti was able to slightly cut the roadster’s fuel consumption while increasing its output. Interestingly, the Grand Sport Vitesse features a four-pump tank fuel system derived from the Super Sport.
While the Vitesse could be considered sportier than the Grand Sport, it hasn’t become a true race car yet. This is primarily because Bugatti designed the Vitesse to be a car that is easy to drive, thanks to the efforts put in making its chassis outstanding enough in handling its power and dynamism. For instance, Vitesse has quick-responding dampers derived from motor racing, resulting to perfectly balanced control. In fact, during acceleration and braking, drivers would hardly feel the body roll and pitching. Understeer has been reduced by optimizing wheel-load fluctuations, resulting to optimal level of active safety.
Furthermore, the new Grand Sport Vitesse boasts of great handling, thanks to an intelligent all-wheel-drive system as complemented by its 20-inch Vitesse-type alloy wheels and a lateral acceleration of up to 1.4 g. Together, the chassis, the all-wheel drive system and the roadster’s revised ESP are primarily responsible for the Vitesse’s dynamic performance especially when coming out from a corner. In addition, higher engine output means better braking systems are needed, which is why the new Vitesse is provided with high-performance brakes featuring extra and larger air intakes.
Meanwhile, the new Vitesse is provided with a new roof spoiler that could significantly lower wind noise and buffeting inside the cabin. The new Vitesse is also given a new windbreak that can be cleverly stored compactly in the luggage compartment when not needed. Both the roof spoiler and the windbreak allow relaxed, open-top driving even when the Vitesse is moving at speeds of around 200 km/h (124 mph).