Steane Klose | Aug 18, 2008

If the standard Bugatti Coupe seems a little on the plain side then you might be more interested in the latest release from Bugatti - the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport. In layman's terms that model designation translates to eye-popping performance and the option to explore it with a big chunk of the roof missing.

Now generally an open-top iteration of any vehicle involves a basket of compromises, but Bugatti has worked hard to ensure buyers can enjoy air-in-the-hair motoring without sacrificing too much of the vehicle's capabilities.

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Powered by the same 1001hp W16 engine, the staggering 400+km/h top speed is unchanged should you choose the keep the roof in place - Bugatti recommends keeping below 370km/h or so if you can manage it. Removing the roof drops the suggested top speed to a touch over 300km/h if you can handle the wind noise. The weakest link is the new folding roof which will not take kindly to speeds above 130km/h. So while some people might think you're opting for the soft option with the open-top, it's hardly the case.

A higher windscreen aims to reduce wind intrusion into the cabin while moisture-resistant back-stitched leather is used to minimise the risk of damage from any unexpected showers. A reversing camera with a 2.7inch monitor in the rear-view-mirror and and upgraded Puccini sound system are among a handful of interior revisions to set the Grand Sport apart.

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Lost structural rigidity is reclaimed by reinforcements to the sills, b-pillars, transmission tunnel and side impact bars, with extensive use of carbon fibre to keep weight in check. Roll protection is handled by installing 100mm carbon fibre inserts inside the the prominent air-intakes behind the cabin.

At 1.4 million euros and with only 150 Grand Sports being produced, 50 of which are already spoken for, you'd better get in quick if you fancy the idea of owning one of the world's most prestigious vehicles in it's most eye-catching configuration yet.

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