When Bugatti invited Arizona Foothills Magazine to experience its newest creation- we're kind of a big deal- I jumped at the opportunity to test drive one of the world’s fastest cars. The 2010 Veyron Grand Sport costs approximately $2.1 million, and only 150 will be built over a three-year period. The exact price of the car fluctuates daily due to an ever-changing exchange rate with the Euro. Prospective owners can expect to wait one year for the delivery of their limited-edition beauty.
My co-pilot for the day was Butch Leitzinger, a former NASCAR driver and Le Mans winner. Butch took us out of the Four Seasons, and onto the open roads of North Scottsdale. The massive 16 cylinder engine (essentially two V8’s welded together) was surprisingly quiet. Butch demonstrated the acceleration once we got to a safe location. I liken the experience to the first drop on a roller coaster ride as I felt all of the 1001 horsepower. The Grand Sport’s top speed is 253 MPH, and goes 0-63 MPH in 2.7 seconds.
A special key must be inserted into a slot under the driver’s seat in order to reach top speed, and the polycarbonate, hardtop roof must also be attached. Bugatti engineers blessed the Grand Sport with a removable roof, unlike its fixed-roof predecessor. Those wanting to enjoy a ride sans roof need not worry about rainfall. A textile canopy folds out and cover passengers like an umbrella. The seats offer protection against UV rays and moisture.
Butch allowed me to take over after safely guiding us away from civilization. The interior's most impressive feature is an integrated camera in the rear fender that displays on the rear view mirror. The quilted leather seats, made for a comfortable drive toward Bartlett Lake. Music lovers can enjoy their favorite CD or plug an iPod into the loading device in the center console. The intimidation I felt disappeared once I started my one-hour test drive. This user-friendly vehicle can be driven in manual or automatic transmission. It was easy to forget that I was operating an expensive sports car.
Bugatti commemorated its 100th anniversary by releasing the Grand Sport “Sang Bleu” edition. Sang Bleu features a two-tone design, and body combination of royal blue carbon fiber and polished aluminum. While Bugatti’s headquarters remains in France, Volkswagen purchased the rights to the brand in 1998. The German automaker has maintained a commitment to Bugatti’s core values: art, form and technique.To learn more, visit www.bugatti.com.