The first build slot for the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport sold at the Pebble Beach auction for $2.9 million. Follow the jump to watch a video of the event.
Few cars carry as much interest as the Bugatti Veyron, famous for its ultra-high price tag, striking looks and other-worldly speeds. Now, an even more exclusive ‘roofless’ version dubbed the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport has been revealed at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where the first model will also be put up for auction.
In line with previous speculation, the roof must be removed and stowed away manually. Should the weather turn foul, a secondary folding roof stored in the luggage compartment can be opened up like an umbrella and fixed as a temporary measure. Distinguishing the Grand Sport from its coupe sibling is its slightly taller windscreen, new daytime running lights, and of course the lightweight and transparent polycarbonate roof.
According to Bugatti’s communication chief, Georges Keller, the roofless ‘targa’ option was the only one available to Bugatti because there was no other solution which could fit with the car’s safety cage. While the roof will be removable, there will be no storage space for it within the car, so the cover will have to be taken off at home. Most low-volume supercars use targa panels because of the low cost of development and to retain the structural integrity of the chassis.
With the primary roof in place, the Grand Sport will reach speeds of up to 252mph (407km/h) just like the coupe. Speeds of up to 224mph (360km/h) are possible with the roof stowed away. The temporary umbrella-like cloth roof limits the Veyron's top speed to a rather low 81mph (130km/h), however.
To maintain rigidity and safety levels, the Veyron Grand Sport has been modified to be as stiff as the coupe. The monocoque structure has been reinforced around the side skirts and the transmission tunnel, the B-pillars have been cross-stiffened using a carbon fiber support, and a central carbon plate has been positioned beneath the transmission tunnel to ensure the vehicle suffers from less torsional flexing than any other roadster.
Additionally, the doors of the new Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport are made of carbon fiber, and house an integrated longitudinal beam. 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-centimeter wide carbon-fiber elements to offer protection should the car roll.
The Buggatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport will be available from March next year, at a cost of €1.4 million (USD$2.05 million). Only 150 examples will be produced, with the first 50 going exclusively to registered Bugatti customers. The highly coveted first vehicle to roll off the line will be auctioned for charity at the Pebble Beach Auction.