Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport review

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Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport
Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport
Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport
Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport
Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport
Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport

Driven: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport. Fastest road car drops its top.

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport review
Road test: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport

 

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport

It’s not worth what it was, but €1.4 million still buys a lot these days: a country mansion, a private plane or at least a month in the company of Lindsay Lohan. But in the case of the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport it buys the car, only the car. If you’re particularly persuasive you might get a keyring and a cap thrown in with the deal, but that wedge of cash will ultimately buy just four wheels, an engine, a plastic roof that doesn’t fit in the luggage bay and a soft top that looks like an umbrella. So can it be worth it? Yes, we think it can.

This is the soft-top Veyron, the last 150 of the car that changed the world. The basic shape still has that smack in the face impact with the bluff nose and sleek powerful lines, and just to annoy those that got theirs first it just got better with an al fresco version.

It’s hard to get past that price tag, it really is.  But as the power meter swirls round to 1001PS on a Sardinian backroad and the roar of an eight-litre W16 and four turbochargers work their magic, it seems almost cheap.

With the tacit approval of race driver Olivier Thevenin the throttle goes to the boards for one magic straightline blast and the car just takes off.

There’s no tyre bonfire, no wasted momentum, it just goes and with seamless changes up the DSG box it flattens 60mph in 2.7s, 125 in 7.3s and with enough road it would have done 185mph in just 16.7 without the slightest hint of drama. With the roof on it will match the ‘standard’ Veyron’s 253mph, too, although it’s limited to 217mph with the roof off, which would test the toughest toupee.

The car is serene, flat and the only way to know the sheer stupidity of what’s going on is the skin tightening on the neck and the stomach impacting on the seat. Then, as soon as the sheer insanity starts to kick in, the horizon has arrived and it’s time to jump on the 400mm front ceramic brakes that haul 4387lb of carbon-fiber, aluminum and other exotic materials down to a dead stop in a perfect straight line.

In the corners, too, the Veyron is without parallel and the weight just evaporates as the car cuts through bends at a speed that would leave a Ferrari sliding sideways on full opposite lock. That’s partially thanks to 14" wide rear Dunlop Pilot Sport tyres and the most incredible four-wheel-drive system that is way more advanced than the gimp behind the wheel.

An overtake is just a twist of the wheel away and the Veyron flies past whole queues of traffic with barely a time for a regal wave. It just decimates straights, there’s hardly time to register them and while there are cars that claim to be faster at the top end there are none that can get there like this in the hands of anyone that can hold a wheel.

So it’s as fast as anything on the road, but it’s so much more, too. Many Veyrons have high mileage because for those that can afford the fuel bill it is a go anywhere supercar with a bulletproof clutch, or two, thanks to the DSG, none of the embarrassing supercar lurches through town and carefully considered ground clearance that means it won’t rip a nose that costs more than Michael Jackson’s off on the first speed bump.

It’s the complete car, at 2mph or 200, and on a drive to the shops it will make the man or woman behind the wheel feel like a movie star, which makes it worth every bit of that €1.4 million plus taxes asking price. And on that back road, with the throttle mashed to the floor, this landmark of engineering, this historic machine felt absolutely priceless.

 

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