2012 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport
- Originally used as a promotional car by Bugatti North America
- Single ownership and just under 1,100 miles from new
- Recently serviced and ready for the road
- The gold standard of 21st century supercars
A landmark of engineering excellence, the Bugatti Veyron shattered the boundaries of what many thought to be possible with an automobile. Few thought the Volkswagen Group could achieve the goals set out by their chairman, Ferdinand Piëch, once the company acquired the Bugatti name in 1998. Demanding that the company produce a car capable of a top speed of over 248 mph and producing over 1,000 horsepower, Piëch was seemingly asking for the impossible. But, if any company had the resources to accomplish such lofty expectations, it was Bugatti and Volkswagen.
The first hurdle to overcome would be the car’s engine. How does one create an engine capable of getting a road-legal automobile to 250 mph? Bugatti’s solution was to bolt two W-8 engines together to create a W-16 configuration, and then to add four turbochargers. In a documentary about the Veyron’s development and construction by National Geographic, an engineer recalled the first time the Veyron’s engine was run at full throttle at Volkswagen’s Salzgitter, Germany, facility in 2001. The engine produced so much heat that it completely overwhelmed the building’s exhaust system on the roof, which almost went up in flames as a result. The engineers behind the Veyron were truly entering uncharted territory, as such an automobile had never before been built. Months were spent engineering, scrutinizing, and testing all aspects of the car to ensure that none would crack under pressure, or at speed.
Fine attention to detail is needed to produce a car capable of such speeds, and it comes as no surprise that almost every part of the Veyron is hand built. Hundreds of hours are spent painstakingly crafting components such as its carbon-ceramic disc brakes, 10 radiators, and even its tires, designed and produced especially for the Veyron by Michelin. Just eight specialists are employed to produce the Veyron’s monstrous engine, and it is a task that takes one week from start to finish. While each engine is stated by Bugatti to produce 1,001 horsepower, most cars can produce between 1,030 and 1,060 horsepower in optimum conditions; 1,001 was merely the lowest amount of horsepower the cars would produce in unfavorable conditions.
Perhaps its most impressive performance credential is that the Veyron can decelerate faster than it can accelerate, decelerating from 62 mph to a stop in 2.2 seconds, compared with a 0–62 mph time of 2.5 seconds. This is achieved through utilizing the Veyron’s massive rear air brake and spoiler, which provide almost a third of the Veyron’s total braking power. Slam on the brakes at top speed, and the Veyron will come to a halt in less than 10 seconds. The Veyron finally reached its ultimate goal when it smashed Andy Wallace’s top speed record in the McLaren F1 by reaching a Guinness World Record-approved top speed of 253.19 mph at Ehra-Lessien, Volkswagen’s top-secret test facility in Germany.
First shown to the public at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2008, three years after the Veyron entered production, the new open-top Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport upped the ante on the world’s most incredible supercar. Only 150 Grand Sports would be produced, making it twice as rare as its closed sibling. In order to compensate for the car’s open top, Bugatti’s engineers reinforced the chassis and fitted the car with a marginally taller windshield and a modified rear bulkhead, helping to fit the removable top. The Grand Sport also introduced a handful of new features that would also be available on Veyron coupes, including a new integrated rearview camera that was embedded in the rearview mirror, daytime running lights, an upgraded sound system, and new wheels. Retaining the same top speed as the original Veyron, the Grand Sport is electronically limited to 220 mph with the roof off, a speed fast enough to give one’s hair a complete restyling.
The Veyron Grand Sport pictured here is the 54th example constructed. When new, it was retained by Bugatti for promotional purposes and shown throughout the United States. Finished in a Pearl over Cognac leather interior, the car features a center console finished in leather (rather than the standard machine-turned aluminum), and exterior trim strips in matching Pearl. Its first owner first saw the car at a show in the summer of 2012 in Vail, when it was on display by Bugatti, and fell in love with its looks and stunning color combination, quickly arranging to purchase it. Upon purchase, Bugatti flew the Grand Sport back to France, where it was fully serviced. Two wheels were replaced, and the car was fitted with four brand new tires. It was delivered to its first and only owner in April of 2013 following the service and at that time, it had travelled just 980 miles from new. Exceptionally well preserved and seldom driven since its purchase, the Grand Sport is currently showing 1,100 miles following a recent service by Bugatti in Los Angeles. As such, it remains ready to be driven and enjoyed in every aspect.
On its 8th anniversary of being introduced to the public, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport still remains one of the most remarkable automobiles the world has ever seen. To drive and enjoy, the Grand Sport is certainly one of the best Veyrons one can buy, offering a handful of updates over the standard Veyron and the thrill of open air motoring. With history as a promotional vehicle and benefitting from single ownership, just under 1,100 miles from new, and a recent service, this is surely one of the finest Grand Sports available.