Find a car review


2012 Bugatti Veyron Vitesse review

We drive the world's fastest convertible car, the 255mph, 1183bhp Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse

Evo rating
  • Utterly fabulous
  • Err....

What is it?

An open top Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport with performance improvements. Basically it's a toupee-troubling version of the world's fastest car – the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

It costs 1.65million euros, reaches 255mph and transfers 1183bhp to the tarmac from its W16 cylinder, quad-turbocharged engine. It is the world's fastest roadster.

Technical Highlights

Advertisement - Article continues below

Bugatti has liberated nearly 200 extra bhp from the standard Grand Sport’s engine with larger turbochargers, new water-to-air intercoolers and a tweaked ECU. That's a fifth more horsepower, or a whole Renaultsport Clio. Torque is 1106lb ft, delivered from 3000rpm to 5000rpm - that's a little higher than the 'small-turbo' standard Veyron.

The Veyron's four-wheel drive system is retained, as is the seven-speed DSG twin-clutch gearbox - albeit with reinforced internals.

Springs and dampers are new, the monocoque has further layers of reinforcing carbonfibre and - get this - fuel consumption is improved. Not that you'd notice, or care.

What's it like to drive?

Extraordinary. Unique. Thrilling. It has been said many times, but the Veyron's single most impressive feature is its ability to sustain seemingly endless levels of acceleration. But this is evo, and raw pace is nothing without driver involvement - and perhaps what's not said enough is that the Veyron engages with the driver more than you'd expect. The steering is light and responsive, the brakes offer terrific feel and the throttle response good. The driver controls and feedback are such, and this will sound absurd, that you can hurl the car around pretty soon after stepping inside for the first time. And of course, with the roof removed the visceral dial goes all the way up to 11.

Negatives? You feel the weight of the engine and gearbox pushing you forward in the braking zone, which in turn translates into understeer. Get on the power, and this is forgotten as the car hooks up and fires you onwards. Traction is never an issue - but then we didn't drive it in the wet...

Advertisement - Article continues below

How does it compare?

To what? A private jet? A motor cruiser? An expensive mistress? Bugatti admits that the Veyron is rarely chosen instead of another supercar. Most owners already have a Ferrari Enzo or Porsche Carrera GT, and many also have one, or two Veyrons in the garage already...

In pure performance terms, only Koeniggsegg and Pagani get close - and subjectively speaking there's a sense of indomitable strength in the Bugatti that neither rival can match. Anything else I need to know?

In this realm, unfettered choice is the norm. Normal purchasing dilemmas do not apply.

Customers can have pretty much whatever they want, so exclusivity, owner experience, factory relationships and kudos are the key differentiators when it comes to buying decisions. The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, while not ultimately as engaging as an Enzo, Carrera GT or the Pagani Zonda, is all this and more - offering overall driveability, unburstable engineering, colossal acceleration and the kudos of being the world's fastest roadster. It is a magnificent car.

Oh, and did we mention that it can do 0-186mph in 16 seconds, and the quarter mile in ten?


EngineW16, 7993cc, quad-turbo
Max power1183bhp @ 6400rpm
Max torque1106lb ft @ 3000rpm
0-602.6sec (claimed 0-62)
Top speed255mph
On saleNow

Have You Considered

Mercedes GLE

2019 Mercedes GLE400d review – a worthy original

12 Sep 2019
Porsche 911 Carrera 4

2019 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4 Cabriolet detailed

12 Sep 2019

Mercedes-AMG electric car to target Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S

10 Sep 2019

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 revealed - VW’s electric revolution is here

9 May 2019

Most Popular

Best cars

Best V8 cars past and present – our favourite eights and the cars they’re found in

Whether it’s smooth and sophisticated or motorsport-like in its aggression, the V8 remains one of our favourite engine types, warts and all
20 Sep 2019
spy shots

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS spied – 718 to receive Rennsport treatment

More power, more aero and less weight are already on the cards for Stuttgart’s fastest Cayman
19 Sep 2019
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can evo magazine’s Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to f…
20 Sep 2019

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport - picked by Porsche

Goodyear has many close associations with premium global car brands, but being asked to develop a trackday tyre for Porsche's extreme 911 GT3 RS was a…
14 Aug 2019