Bugatti has unveiled the all new Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport with a unique removable roof. The company says the decision to make a convertible was in response to customer demand.
Major modifications have been undertaken to maintain the Veyron’s unbeatable acceleration and handling, even without a roof. The Grand Sport now becomes the world’s fastest and most expensive roadster.
Without a roof, the Grand Sport’s load paths (areas where physical pressure is applied) had to be completely redesigned to ensure the vehicle’s rigidity and safety, meanwhile other modifications had to made to maintain and to offer additional protection from side impacts and rolling.
The most obvious way to tell the Grand Sport apart from the standard Veyron is via the slightly higher windscreen, stylized daytime running lights, and of course the lightweight, transparent polycarbonate roof.
Under the skin, the modifications include the basic monocoque structure being further reinforced around the side skirts and the transmission tunnel. Moving a little further up, the B-pillars have been “cross-stiffened” using a carbon fibre support. The new doors are now made almost entirely from carbon fibre as well.
If that wasn’t enough, Bugatti has even inserted a central carbon plate beneath the transmission tunnel to deliver minimal torsional flexing. The Volkswagen owned hypercar manufacturer says the Grand Sport is the stigger than any other roadster.
In the event of an accident, this transfers the load from the A to the B-pillar, thereby dissipating impact energy. Furthermore, the two redesigned air intakes for the 16-cylinder mid-engine now feature 10-centimetre wide carbon-fibre elements to offer protection should the car roll.
Moving inside, the interior has also been given a special treatment to cope with the elements. This includes moisture-resistant, backstitched leather, a reversing camera with 2.7-inch monitor in the rear-view-mirror, and the “Puccini” sound system with digital signal processor.
Little has changed in terms of performace, close the roof and the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport can still reach the magical 407 km/h. But if you feel like some topless hyperspeed driving, you can still hit a staggering 360 km/h with roof off.
Given that the roof is not stored anywhere (it’s either on, or off), in the event of sudden rain an innovative folding roof stored in the luggage compartment can be opened up like an umbrella instantly. With this temporary roof on, the Veyron can still hit around 130km/h.
Interested? The Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport will be available from March 2009 at the price of 1.4 million euros (excluding tax) – we suspect that puts the car up at around 2.9 million Australian dollars.
The Molsheim (France) based company will only build 150 Grand Sports with the first 50 of these going exclusively to existing Bugatti customers. Bugatti has donated the funds raised from the sale of the number #1 Grand Sport to charity.
CarAdvice has already been given a tour of Bugatti’s simply astonishing production floor which you can see in the video review, also make sure you catch up with our full behind-the-wheel review of the Bugatti Veyron.
Click through to the next page for the full gallery of this amazing car.