2009 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport: Life of Luxury

Written by Kimatni D. Rawlins

"The Grand Sport is the most exciting contemporary car to come to auction," said David Gooding. “There has already been a great deal of interest shown and we expect the bidding to be as fast as the car." Dave was absolutely right as the vehicle went for $3.19 million including buyer premiums to the highest bidder during the Pebble Beach Auction presented by Gooding & Company.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 58th Annual gathering of the Concours d’ Elegance at Pebble Beach. It’s an elaborate fascination of the world’s most elite and most desired vehicles. So of course the weekend highlight came from the century old maker of high-performance vehicles, Bugatti Automobiles who inaugurated their hand-built, open-top Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport with world acclaim. Yet beforehand, Bugatti, an authentic purveyor of fast moving machines showcased a 1929 Type 43 Grand Sport. During its time the single door roadster was in the same position as the current Grand Sport; a true leader in performance. Its then 2.3-liter supercharged 8-cylinder with 120 horsepower pushed the vehicle to a top speed of 110 mph and 0-60 in less than 12 seconds. Fast forward a few years and the 1001-horsepower 16-cylinder Grand Sport reaches speeds capable of 252 mph and holds a 0 to 62 mph time of 2.5 seconds, making it the world's fastest roadster Bugatti claims.

To differentiate the open-top from the coupe, Bugatti made significant enhancements to the vehicle’s structure and amenities. Fashion cues include a slightly higher windscreen, stylistic headlamps and of course the removable polycarbonate and see-through roof. Keep in mind two individuals are required for removal. The 16.4 even comes with a stored umbrella-like, foldable soft-top so owners stay dry in the rain. The vehicle’s speed is reduced when the secondary top is in place.

Safety and structural changes include reinforcements around the side skirts and the transmission tunnel. Moreover, the B-pillars have been cross-stiffened, and to reduce torsional twisting a carbon plate has been placed beneath the transmission tunnel. The carbon doors feature an integrated longitudinal beam which transfers load form the A to the B-pillar. Furthermore, the twin air intakes double as roll bars. Technology is added with moisture-resistant, backstitched leather, a reversing camera with a 2.7-inch monitor in the rear-view-mirror, and a premium sound system with a digital signal processor.

With production beginning March 2009, only 150 copies of the Grand Sport will be made for 1.4 million €(excluding tax, duties, transportation and PDI). The first 50 of these will go exclusively to registered Bugatti customers. And just as American swimmer Michael Phelps has demolished human swimming barriers, the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport 16.4 is doing just the same in its respective class. Welcome to the Life of Luxury!

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