The Bugatti Veyron Vitesse is the world’s fastest convertible. With a jaw-dropping 1200 bhp it’s more in the category of jet fighter, or super-hero car than street legal, top-down sports car.
With a price tag of over 2,500,000 euros there’re not many who would by this car on a whim. It’s a specialist model for gazillionaires with serious addictions to speed. For that money, though, you do get a rare piece of automotive excellence that manages to blend warp speed, ridiculous power and flash looks with intuitive, confidence-inspiring handling and road safety.
The specs of this car read like an ace card in the deck of sports car Top Trumps – top speed of 410 kph (!), 8 litres, 16 cylinders, four turbos, 365-section tyres and everything is packaged in a way that is as pleasing to the eye as it is primed for high performance from the buffed metal engine components to the plush leather interior.
Bugatti was a French auto-maker founded by Milanese Italian Ettore Bugatti in 1909, in Molshiem, Alsace. Ettore was the son of an important Art Nouveau furniture and jewellery designer, and the younger brought his inherited aesthetical expertise to everything to do with his cars. Bugatti sports cars were known for they’re high performance but also the artistic way in which they were executed. And from the beginning, the company covered itself in glory with victory in the first every Monaco Grand Prix, success culminating in twice winning the 24 Hour Le Mans. The Veyron Vitesse is named after the driver Pierre Veyron who won the Le Mans race for Bugatti in 1938.
Only about 8,000 of the originals were made and the death of Ettore Bugatti in 1947 proved to be the end of the marque with the death of his son Jean in 1939 in an accident in testing, ensured there was no heir to take on the company. The company struggled financially and went into decline eventually being sold for its airplane parts business in the 60’s. Today the company is owned by Volkswagen Group who have revived it as a builder of limited production exclusive sports cars.
The Veyron Vitesse can proudly carry the name and tradition of Bugatti. It pushes all known boundaries and exceeds all our expectations of what sports car should be and never compromises on its artistic qualities. It’s faster than all the competition but eminently drivable too with exquisite traction, stable steering even with a 0-100 kph time of 2.6 seconds (!) It is an extraordinary car with a thrilling driving experience with acceleration that just seems to keep giving and giving…. and giving.
You may ask about the competition, but frankly, at that price, with those stats, there is no competition. You buy this car because you want one, you probably already have a Lamborghini and a Ferrari in the garage. This is certainly not the type of car that you’d ‘nip down to the shops in’, it requires vast open spaces where you can make your own attempt at the world land speed record.
By Hugo Mc Cafferty