Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse takes on the slow roads

Despite its massive horsepower and torque, the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse behaves nicely cruising on a twisty mountain road.

(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)

I wish I could tell you about driving the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse up to its record-breaking speed of 254 mph. Race car driver Anthony Liu did it. Of course, he drove the Veryon on a 5.6-mile straightaway at Volkswagen’s test track in Ehra-Lessien, Germany, taking the speed record for a production convertible.

On the rural roads in Napa, Calif., the best I could manage was a few seconds of maximum acceleration, making all four wheels grab pavement with neck-snapping force from the engine’s 1,106 pound-feet of torque.

With my foot flat on the gas pedal, I wasn’t looking at gauges or consulting a stopwatch, but Bugatti says the Veyron, in its open-top Grand Sport Vitesse form, hits 60 mph in about 2.5 seconds. I’ve driven cars that hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, but those did not prepare me for the Veyron. It is in a completely different class when it comes to stepping off the line.

Put the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox in first, push the gas, and hang on. There’s no time to tap the paddle shifters, but that’s OK, the car will automatically grab the next gear before redline. No fuel shut-off to worry about.

Behind me, I hear disparate noises, most notably the whoosh of the Veyron’s four turbocharger… [Read more]


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