Bugatti veyron 16.4 Grand Sport (MOST EXPENSIVE) ~ Greatest Vehicles

Friday, 21 May 2010

Bugatti veyron 16.4 Grand Sport (MOST EXPENSIVE)

This was no mistake, this was an international movement from the ingenious mind of the great Italian artisan Ettore Bugatti whom focused more on design than engineering, unlike his counterparts W.O. Bentley and Ferdinand Porsche. A master of the moment, Bugatti's vehicles were upscale, costly and much talked about. And yes, they won many many races; nearly 2,000 in ten years. Decades later, welcome to the 2010 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport.

It was an extraordinary one day stand in South Florida with Bugatti's topless interpretation of the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport. My anxiety was high enough the day prior to the full-day drive that I turned it in early and enjoyed a relaxing night at the grand Epic Hotel in downtown Miami.

With the forecast bringing great weather for my run from Miami to Tampa Bay with a wonderful afternoon lunch stop in Naples, I began studying the technical capabilities of the 16.4 to fully interpret what was to come. For it's not every day one gets a call from Bugatti's PR company JMPR asking if you want to drive a $2.2 million roadster that utilizes a 16-cylinder, quad turbocharged engine, generating an obliterating 1001 horsepower while blitzing from zero to 60 mph in an eye blinking 2.5 seconds. It's the classic fable of beauty meeting the beast, or simply put the world's fastest convertible.
Veyron is the name derived from the French company's factory driver Pierre Veyron who won Le Mans in 1939 in the T 57C Tank  before World War II. This was actually the same vehicle Ettore's 30-year old son Jean died in after steering into a tree to avoid a bicyclist during a testing session. Jean Bugatti was to take over the company when his father retired. After his untimely death the company never recovered -- as well, society in France no longer yearned for big luxury vehicles.
The Bugatti name and logo would not be resurrected until 1998 when eventual parent company VW brought its rights from an Italian entrepreneur. Ironically, Veyron was chosen from all of the great Bugatti drivers only because his name sounds good in multiple languages and there were no problems registering it.
Time to test out all this technical wizardry after patiently awaiting over a year for my thrill behind the wheel. Yet, like a rookie, I started in the passenger seat while AMLS Pro Driver Butch Leitzinger broke down the vehicle's performance procedures, which all seemed very simplistic from observance and just as easy to operate from the pilot position. The interior layout is far from complicated. Moisture-resistant, backstitched leather seats are very accommodating and supportive; the steering wheel houses the two paddle shifters for gear selection; a new rear view camera transfers images into the rearview mirror, and of course there is an iPod connection. Also, don't expect a navigation screen -- turn by turn and voice guidance are its substitute. The start button sits at the bottom of the multi-function gear selector which in turn is positioned within an oval and shiny plate of machined aluminium. Two simple switches decorate the gear selector -- LC for Launch Control, a mode normally reserved for racing take offs, or should I say lift-offs with this vehicle. The button to the right of lever is Handling mode which lowers the entire vehicle and brings up the rear wing for more downforce. If you don't want to use the paddles but need routine power then set the gear lever in Sport (S) which puts the Grand Sport in its lowest gear, but will deplete your 25 gallon tank at a rate of 8 or 9 mpg. Dynaudio's $30,000 Puccini sound system specifies only four speakers (2 bass drivers in the doors & 2 tweeters) but is advanced with Magnesium-Silicate-Polymer and light aluminium featuring amplification with digital signal processing. Yet, an audio system is irrelevant when you have a 16 cylinder to listen to.
I've never felt acceleration that was so powerful but so liquid. Words can't transcribe unless you are a former Le Mans winner.  “When I had the chance to test-drive the new Grand Sport for the first time myself, I was filled with excitement,” said Pierre Henri Raphanel, Bugatti’s Pilot official. “As soon I shifted into second gear, I knew this was a completely different car. I could immediately feel the difference. Even with the roof still on, in the tips of my fingers and at the base of my spine everything was more present, more intimate. More precise with less understeer, almost as if you had taken away some filters from the suspension and the steering.”
For Bugatti to convert the coupe to a Grand Sport many structural changes had to be made to the monocoque body. It's been toughened near the side skirts, B-pillars have been cross-braced with a carbon fiber reinforcement, a plate of carbon has been placed under the transmission tunnel to reduce torsional flexing, and the carbon fiber doors house a beam for further support. When the top is off and the 16.4 surpasses 120 mph, the sophisticated wing raises to a higher elevation and adjusts to a steeper angle from 15 to 22 degrees for more downforce. Also with the roof off, top speed is limited to only 217 mph. Geez! During a stretch through “Alligator Alley” on route to Naples I let her open. This allowed me to acknowledge the dual clutch gearbox which pre-selects its next gear. One clutch controls 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th while the other clutch manages reverse, 2nd, 4th and 6th. So when you ask for second gear, instead of having to engage another gear, it simply swaps clutches for a very seamless and very fast shift giving drivers the benefits of a manual and the ease of an automatic. I didn't force it so I only accelerated to about 140 mph before emphatically showing off the transformation of the wing to an air brake and the impressive carbon ceramic brakes (8 piston front, 6 piston rear / 4 shoes on each front wheel and 2 shoes on each rear wheel) with hard braking to bring me back down to 60 mph instantaneously.
THATS ALL ........ if u really think u r the one who's gonna make history .... u WORTH it
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 costs you  $ 1,700,000 as the Base Price.


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