Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Rafale makes its debut at the Sao Paulo Motor Show

Article by Christian A., on October 24, 2012

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).

Press Release

South America Premiere of the Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse at Volkswagen Group Night in São Paulo 2012

Following the success of the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, the European luxury car manufacturer did not have to wait long before it received the first inquiries about an open-top version of the Grand Sport that could also deliver 882 kW (1,200 hp). To kick off the São Paulo Motor Show 2012, Bugatti presents the Bugatti 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse for the first time to the South American market, at the Volkswagen Group Night right the night before.

Dynamics in figures. The new Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse boasts a remarkable maximum torque of 1,500 Nm (at 3,000–5,000 rpm) from the 7.9-liter capacity of its W16 engine. The maximum output (1,200 hp) is reached at 6,400 rpm. These figures allow the car to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) from standing in unbelievable 2.6 seconds. The top speed of 410 km/h (255 mph) makes the four-wheel drive Vitesse (like all Veyrons) the fastest production roadster ever. The maximum speed is reached on closed tracks with special safety precautions. In "normal" handling mode, the Vitesse is electronically limited to 375 km/h (233 mph).

"After we had successfully developed the Super Sport out of the Veyron, we of course considered to do the same with the Grand Sport," says Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber. The new President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. continues: "The result is a unique vehicle onto which we managed to transfer the dynamic alterations from the Super Sport. They convey with the roof off and on as a breath- taking driving experience."

Optimized drive system.

The 199 hp increase over the Grand Sport has been mainly achieved by using four larger turbochargers with new intercoolers. Furthermore, Bugatti has extensively reinforced all drivetrain components in order to safely transfer the immense forces at all times. The gearing of the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) in particular has been adapted to the new requirements. In this context, as on the Super Sport, Bugatti has also modified the air ducting in the area of the drivetrain. As a consequence of the larger turbochargers and the overall reduced back pressure, it was even possible to reduce the fuel consumption slightly despite the increased output. The fuel system, with a four-pump tank, has been taken from the Super Sport.
Chassis. In order to put the unrivalled power onto the road absolutely safely and masterfully, the engineers have reconfigured the chassis of the Vitesse. Thanks to the quick-responding dampers that have been adapted from motor racing, the control of the vehicle has been further improved and perfectly balanced. Body roll and pitching during hard acceleration and braking are now virtually imperceptible. Optimized wheel-load fluctuations have further reduced understeer and allow a maximum level of active safety. In addition to the incomparable lateral acceleration of up to 1.4 g, the precise interaction of the tires (on all-new, lighter 20-inch "Vitesse"-type alloy wheels), together with the intelligent all-wheel-drive system, ensures extremely good handling. The chassis, all-wheel- drive system and the revised ESP form a dynamic alliance: since the reconfigured ESP kicks in slightly later, for example when you accelerate out of corners, the Vitesse also provides a more dynamic performance in these situations. It goes without saying that Bugatti has adapted the brake- cooling system to account for the even higher engine output. The brakes, which are unparalleled in terms of stability and performance, now have additional and larger air intakes.

In general, it can be said that the Vitesse is even sportier than the 1,001 hp Grand Sport, but at the same time it has not been turned into a full-blown racing car. It therefore remains easy to master for the driver. In this context, it is simply astounding that Bugatti managed to increase comfort in the chassis area by reducing the dynamic natural frequency.


Bugatti has developed a new roof spoiler for the Vitesse that significantly reduces wind noise and buffeting in the interior. Furthermore, there will be a new windbreak for the roadster that can be stored away compactly in the luggage compartment when not in use. Both details will also be available for the Grand Sport. Together, they allow extremely relaxed, open-top driving even at speeds of around 200 km/h (124 mph).

Numerous aerodynamic measures at the front and rear that appeared on the Super Sport have been adapted for the Vitesse. The front end is therefore characterized by larger air intakes; the two central air intakes to the left and right of the Bugatti radiator grille are divided horizontally by a bar. The bottom air vent stretches sideways into the wheel housing and gives this exceptional sports car an extremely masterful appearance. Directly below this air intake, you will see a new, visually refined front spoiler that has been designed in a similar way to the splitters used in motor racing. The improved xenon headlights from the Super Sport, which are now framed in black, are also new. The rear end, which is also derived from the Super Sport, is characterized by a double diffusor and a centrally positioned twin tailpipe. A new Park Distance Control system (PDC) watches over the front and the rear.

The two air scoops on the left and right of the engine cover (re-designed for the Vitesse) are a characteristic of the Grand Sport and thus also of the Vitesse. These air scoops fulfil two tasks on the roadster. On the one hand, they pull in air for the engine, and on the other, they are an elegantly integrated part of the anti-roll protection system. As on the Super Sport, a full-carbon-fibre monocoque, which allows an extremely high torsional rigidity combined with maximum passive safety, is also used on the Vitesse. The outer skin is also made completely from carbon fibre and, consequently, the new Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is available in clear-coated exposed carbon fibre.


Carbon fibre is (along with stainless metals such as aluminium and magnesium) also the dominant material in the interior of the Vitesse. Numerous interior parts are now made from carbon fibre in the 1,200 hp roadster. This includes the centre console extension, a cover with EB logo in the rear-bulkhead leather trim (between the seat backrests) and the belt outlet covers on the seats. The décor on the centre console, the door inserts and the adjoining trim on the instrument panel are also made from carbon fibre. Contrasting stitching is also featured on the leather armrest between the seats, which comes without the typical quilting. Also new: knee pads in the centre tunnel area, an additional 12 V socket (in the glove compartment), the restraint systems, the illuminated start and parking lock button (same as Super Sport), an instrument cluster with shift-up information and – as a matter of honour – the power gauge that now goes up to 1,200 hp.

Following the success of the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, Bugatti did not have to wait long before it received the first inquiries about an open-top version of the Grand Sport that could also deliver 882 kW (1,200 hp).

Configuration of the show vehicle.

Each one of the 300 Veyrons and 40 Grand Sports built so far is unique. This also applies to the special Vitesse model Bugatti is showing at the São Paulo Group Night. Major parts of the upper area of the body are finished in the light "Gris Rafale", while the roof area, air scoops, air brake and some parts of the back are in blue visible carbon. This strong contrast of colours is found again in the interior but vice-versa: with lake blue leather seats and a stitching in light grey. This car costs 1.9 million Euros, whereas the base price of the Vitesse lays at 1.69 million Euros (without tax and transportation).

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