Posted Oct 23rd 2012 6:30PM
Bugatti's Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is downright well-known around these parts. Not only have we reported on the 1,200-horsepower Veyron selling for a pretty penny at Pebble Beach, we've seen a funnyman Leno take one for a pleasure cruise in SoCal.
Apparently, Bugatti believes that the Grand Sport Vitesse is likely to be just as popular in South America as it has been elsewhere in the world, as the company has officially announced that it will be bringing the model to Brazil. Not wanting to merely send out a press release, the French supercar maker has gone and created a one-off Grand Sport Vitesse "Gris Rafale" to mark the occasion.
The new car has been finished in a fetching light shade of gray called Gris Rafale (French for "Gray Burst", with accent pieces done in striking blue carbon fiber. The interior treatment is a reversal of that motif, with blue leather and gray stitching. A special edition that only features a new colorway might seem like a weak effort for any other car, but on one of the most expensive, highest performance road-going vehicles of all time, we'll take it.
Scroll down to continue reading Bugatti's full press release.
Related GalleryBugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse Gris Rafale
South America Premiere of the Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse at Volkswagen Group Night in São Paulo 2012
Bugatti presents most powerful roadster ever
Molsheim/São Paulo, October 21, 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).