- Bugatti Veyron(38)
Some consider the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport to be a piece of rolling art, while others consider the real masterpiece to be the engineering feats to be what lies underneath. Impressively, French artist Bernar Venet has managed to combine these two notions in one dramatic special edition model: the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Venet.
Venet, whose works can be found everywhere from New Zealand to Versailles, confessed that he initially thought it unnecessary to alter what he already considered a work of art. The French painter and sculptor drew inspiration from Bugatti's engineering equations that led to the development of the Veyron. The numbers and functions were placed on the bodywork in such away that it appears they are being blown off the Grand Sport as it drives at speed. These equations are also stitched into the interior, and the finishing touches come in small replicas of Vanet's works on the oil cap, filler cap and the center console.
The Bugatti Grand Sport Venet will be on display at the Rubell Family collection during Art Basel Miami Beach, which runs through December 9. Check out the video below to see Venet discuss creating this high-speed work of art, surrounded by his own works.
At some point, someone is going to have to hand the minds at Bugatti a physics book and tell them to settle down. Automobile reports the monarch of the Volkswagen stable is out to eclipse its own ludicrous performance threshold by building a new Super Veyron capable of snapping to 60 mph in 1.8 seconds. How? The company plans to shove even more carbon fiber at the ultracar while also turning up the horsepower. Rumor has it the machine will boast either an 8.0- or 9.6-liter W16 engine good for 1,600 horsepower, which should be enough to nudge the vehicle's top end from 259 mph all the way to 288 mph.
All told, the Über Veyron will hold a 550-pound advantage over its predecessor for a power to weight ratio of 2.2 lb/hp. How much will one of these things cost you? Expect to pony up $2.5 million for the privilege of ownership. That is, if it makes it to production.
Getting Intimate With The Supercar On A 479-Mile Road Trip
It's nearly impossible to secure seat time in a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport. Not only are they hard to find (production volume in the low hundreds makes the supercar as rare as active members of the Right Said Fred fan club), but the $2 million sticker price dissuades most owners from handing over their sacred keys. When an opportunity to drive one of the world's fastest vehicles does present itself, it is most often a short jaunt on a restricted route, as each mile on the odometer is understandably very precious.
But some of us do win the lottery.
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.
Jay Leno's Garage very frequently features cars that are old, interesting and even low-tech. Two of those three have been thrown out the window (or out of the removable polycarbonate roof panel) for this episode, wherein our intrepid host puts the spurs to a 1200-horsepower Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse. (For those of you that have trouble keeping track of your Veyrons, that's the targa-topped one that costs about $2 million).
While Mr. Leno doesn't set any land speed record on the California interstate system, he does have a bit of fun taunting his camera car while giving us a very thorough walk-around of one of the most exotic new cars in the world today.
Scroll down to hear some big Bugatti turbos spinning.
The mysterious case of the drowned Bugatti Veyron has taken another turn toward the strange.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's bring you up to speed: Andy House, who owns an exotic car repair shop called Performance Auto Sales, crashed his Veyron into a lagoon in Texas after allegedly being distracted by a low-flying pelican... or something. Naturally, House turned a claim into his insurance company for the totaled supercar to the tune of $2.2 million, which is likely more than the car is actually worth.
Shortly thereafter, video surfaced of the crash, with nary a distraction in sight. The next makes-you-go-hmm moment occured when reports surfaced of a new Veyron, along with a pair of Lamborghini coupes and a Porsche 911 GT3, landing in House's garage. The estimated cost of these supercars, according to Jalopnik, is $2.2 million. All of this made Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company's insurance fraud lawsuit in 2011 - two years after the incident - come as little surprise.
Speculative investors should have held off on purchasing Facebook stock. Instead, they would have been wiser pooling resources for the Special Edition Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse. The one-off supercar, with an asking price of $2.5 million, was shown at "The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering" at Pebble Beach over the weekend... and it was sold to an unnamed buyer before the ink on its seven-digit sticker had dried.
While a standard Vitesse will set someone back about $2.2 million, the Special Edition's $300,000 premium bought a host of cosmetic enhancements (the 1,200-horsepower quad-turbo W16 remains untouched) including a paint job specially prepared as a tribute to the 1928 Type 37A. The top half of the aluminum body is painted in Bianco while the lower half is New Light Blue. Inside the two-place cabin is custom-tailored Cognac leather with contrasting New Light Blue stitching, blue accents in the door handles and map pockets. Pictures don't do it justice.
Before you question a cosmetic upgrade costing more than the average new home, there are a few things to take into consideration. First, Bugatti has had no trouble selling more than 300 Veyrons to date, and as far as we can tell there has been zero depreciation on the secondary market for special one-off models. Second, there are less than 80 build slots left before production stops on what will eventually be considered one of the most extraordinary supercars of its era (and the Vitesse is a the top of the model range). Lastly, consider the interesting backstory about this particular white and blue vehicle.
Before Wolfgang Dürheimer moves to Audi, he's still got a few jobs to finish as head of Bentley and Bugatti, one of them being to oversee the development of the 16C Galibier. It was back in 2009 that the two-tone concept had audiences agog, and rumors and leaks since then have had everyone wondering if the four-seat fastback will ever become reality. To hit 'rewind' on the rumormill, the Galibier was initially greenlit in early 2011 and tipped to go into production this year, a timeframe that was later revised to next year. The model was earmarked to have less than 1,000 horsepower and optional hybrid power, and at the same time, the design was meant to be finalized, but it was instead reportedly scrapped for not being outrageous enough. The Galibier then went back to the design bureau and the horsepower was subsequently announced as surpassing the four-digit mark.
Production is now planned for somewhere around 2015, and according to Dürheimer's chat with Car and Driver, the Galibier on the way will be original and blindingly fast. The executive would only commit to the "over 1,000 hp" line, but C/D believes the ouput will be around 1,400 non-hybridized ponies. Whatever the final number is, it is said to get the Galibier beyond 235 mph and, Durheimer said, be "faster than anything on the market" - and that includes wares from the aftermarket sector. Dürheimer also says the Galibier will have technologies that are automotive firsts.
What remains to be decided is the candy coating that will envelop all that sweetness, since "the final design still is in flux." We'd heard before that the hatchback's entire rear end is being redesigned, but it appears that if nothing else, the eight tailpipes will remain.
The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is a showcase for some of the world's most exquisite vintage vehicles, but if newer metal is more your speed, the Concept Car Lawn is the place to be.
This year saw models from Bugatti, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, McLaren and Bentley as well as SRT, Hennessey, Infiniti and Lexus among others. The ultimate sampler platter of exotic and concept vehicles saw the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse mingle with the Lamborghini Urus Concept and the mighty Hennessey Venom GT, though we found ourselves particularly smitten with the BMW Zagato Roadster and the Aston Martin Vanquish.
Not that we could go wrong anywhere we looked. The 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed seemed perfectly content parked on the manicured putting green, as did the McLaren MP4-12C Spider. Get cozy with the full gallery below to see the smattering of metal on the lawn.
We typically wince any time a manufacturer rolls out a special edition that's little more than a coat of paint, but we'll make an exception in this case. Bugatti parked the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse on the lawn of the Quail Motorsports Gathering, resplendent in its Bianco and Light Blue livery. The paint scheme is a tribute to the 1928 Type 37A. That open-wheel racer took the checkered flag at a number of grand prix events and now finds itself in the loving care of none other than Jay Leno himself.
As with the rest of the Veyron Grand Sport models, the Vitesse can bolt to 62 mph from a dead stop in a physics-obliterating 2.6 seconds. The feat is possible thanks to a range of impressive mechanical systems, though the 1,200 horsepower forced-induction W16 at the heart of it certainly doesn't hurt. Check out the Vitesse in the gallery below and have a peek at the full press release as well.