Bugatti has confirmed that it will build 150 of the new Veyron Grand Sports after the open-top version of the world's fastest car was launched at the Pebble Beach Concours.
Rumours of an open-topped Veyron had been around since the car's introduction, but the Grand Sport was only confirmed for production last year. 40 Grand Sports will be built a year, taking total Veyron production up to 450 cars by the time the final example is delivered in 2011.
The Grand Sport weighs just 53kg more than its coupe sister, and its carbonfibre monocoque has been redesigned and stiffened to offer equivalent crash protection to that offered by the hardtop car. According to Wolfgang Schreiber, Bugatti’s head of engineering, it’s the stiffest roadster in the world.
The removable roof panel is made from polycarbonate and is see-through, although to drive the car as a convertible it has to be left at home. Bad news from the point of view of using one in British weather, although the Grand Sport does come with a fabric ‘umbrella’ stored in the luggage space, which can be fitted to give temporary weather protection at up to 85mph.
For roll-over protection, the Veyron coupe’s distinctive air intakes are re-designed to include 100mm wide carbon-fibre tubes to protect occupants. The maximum theoretical speed without the roof in place is 227mph.
The Grand Sport also gets new, LED headlamps, different alloy wheels and a rear view camera display. Chassis settings have been softened slightly from those of the coupe, and Schreiber claims the revisions means the roadster actually has less understeer. When the Grand Sport programme started, the coupe’s chassis settings were used unchanged, resulting in high-speed oversteer problems.
Production will start in March 2009, with the Grand Sport set to cost a cool £1.14 million before taxes - around £150k more than the Veyron coupe.