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Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse: World's fastest convertible (pictures)

Last month, Anthony Liu put the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse into the record books as the fastest open-top production car, piloting it up to 254 mph. CNET takes a look at the car on the slower roads of Napa, Calif.

Wayne_Cunningham.jpg
Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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1 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
Bugatti launched the first Veyron in 2005, then a supercar with 1,001 horsepower. Since then, the company has followed with the open-top Grand Sport, then increased the horsepower with bigger turbochargers for the Super Sport. The most recent variation is this Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, an open top using the more powerful engine of the Super Sport.
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Bugatti was originally founded in France by an Italian, Ettore Bugatti, and had its heyday pre-World War II. Volkswagen bought the marque in 1998.
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These hatches painted with the EB logo, for Ettore Bugatti, sit on either side of the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse. The right side is for gasoline, and the left is the oil filler.
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The Veyron's designers managed to put classic touches into the styling, reminiscent of earlier Bugatti models.
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5 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
The Veyron is built around a center carbon fiber tub, with aluminum suspension components to the front and back. Dressed in carbon fiber body panels, it uses a mid-engine, two-passenger layout. For the open-top Grand Sport, Bugatti had to reinforce the sides.
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The Veryon Grand Sport Vitesse features a fixed suspension and all-wheel drive. It is more softly sprung than the hard-top Veyron, but still rides like a sports car.
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The top is a single panel that takes two people to lift off, one on each side. There is no place in the car to stow the top.
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Electrically boosted power steering delivers linear, precision control. Paddle shifters are fitted to the steering-wheel cross-spokes.
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This shift lever merely selects the drive modes for the seven-speed dual clutch transmission, or Dual Shift Gearbox in Bugatti terminology. The transmission hosts two computer-controlled clutches that can automatically grab gears or respond to driver inputs for up and down shifts.
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This car included an audiophile Puccini stereo system, but you're not likely to hear it when accelerating with the top open.
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Bugatti has a 30-pin iOS device connecter sitting in a space designed for an iPod or iPhone. If you have enough money for the car, you can certainly buy an iPod to leave in it.
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12 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
At more than $2 million, the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse is only obtainable by a few, but it is also extraordinarily engineered, and delivers amazing acceleration while being surprisingly drivable.

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