The wraps – and the roof – have come off the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport here in Monterey, finally answering a question few have asked and even fewer will sample.
As you'd expect, Bugatti hasn't just hacked the roof off the Veyron and gone to the pub. The windshield is slightly higher, the daytime running lights have been tweaked and then there's the showpiece: a removable, transparent polycarbonate roof, which blends the A-pillars into two painted carbon fiber strips that lead into the massive air intakes feeding the 1001 hp, quad-turbocharged, W16.
If you stow the roof at home for the world's fastest open-air, four-wheeled experience and the heavens decide to open, a folding roof stored in the luggage compartment can be – according to Bugatti – "opened like an umbrella." With the soft-top in place, speeds are limited to an incredibly low 130 km/h (81 mph), otherwise, the Grand Sport can hit 252 mph with the polycarbonate roof and 224 mph with the top removed.
Bugatti made several structural enhancements to ensure the Grand Sport shares the same chassis rigidity and safety standards as its fixed roof counterpart. The monocoque has been reinforced around the side skirts and transmission tunnel, the doors feature new longitudinal beams, and the air intakes have been redesigned to include ten-centimeter-wide carbon fiber elements to protect occupants in the event of rollover.
Only 150 examples will be made available, with the first 50 going to registered Bugatti customers. The first model will be auctioned off at the Gooding & Company auction tomorrow night, with all the profits over the 1.4 million euro ($2.05 million) sticker going to charity.