The 2009 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 was selling faster than expected, with 230 of the then-planned 300 already sold (at $1.7 million each) before the car’s even more expensive successor, the 2009 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 GrandSport was formally presented at Pebble Beach last August, with the very first of them subsequently being auctioned off for a hefty sum of $2.9 million, though the proceeds did go to charity.
The 2009 Bugatti Veyron GrandSport packs a punch, at least powertrain wise. It’s got an 8.0 liter, 1001 horsepower quad-turbocharged 16 cylinder engine that pushes out 922 lb-ft of torque at 2200 rpm, and that’s mated to a 7-speed DSG transmission.
With all that power, however, comes a significant price. As if Bugatti cars weren’t elite enough already, only 150 of the GrandSports will ever see ownership, and the first fifty of those were reserved for existing Bugatti owners, who, no doubt, see no issue with plunking down a cool $2.2 million for a roadster.
The GrandSport, they say, is worth every penny, with its thickened-for-safety A-pillars and dual rollover bars on the air intakes on the top of the clear polycarbonate targa-style roof. And with that top up, the car can almost fly, reaching a top speed of 253 mph.
As most convertibles do, the GrandSport suffers a decline in speed with the top off, its drag forcing the number down to 229 mph. That’s still impressive, but the removal of the top reveals the Bugatti Veyron GrandSport’s fatal flaw: there’s nowhere to store the top once it’s removed. So what does the average multimillionaire owner do if it rains? They put up an umbrella – an awkward contraption that covers the roof opening once it’s unfolded, and also drags the car’s speed down even further: to 81 mph. That’s slower than the average Toyota Camry drives on Northern California’s Interstate 280, in case you weren’t sure.
That’s not the 2009 Bugatti Veyron’s only flaw, however. The other is the auto insurance bill. Obviously a supercar like this requires super – or at least specialty – insurance from a company that is comfortable and familiar with insuring exotic vehicles and their exotic risk factors, but AutoTrader.com lists the standard version (not the GrandSport) as the most expensive to insure in the world, with a premium almost as ridiculous as the price of the car: $1.3 million. (AutoTrader.com also cautions that even elite/exotic specialty insurers may not touch it, so you can expect that insurance for the GrandSport comes at an even higher price.
Is the 2009 GrandSport the last hurrah for Bugatti? Possibly. At least until 2010, when the next incarnation is set to start production.