Haute Test Drive: The New Bugatti Vitesse


Bugatti doesn’t come out with new models every day so it’s exiting to see the new Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse  (aka Vitesse)– and let alone drive it. The $2.4 million dollar car has all the things you come to expect from Bugatti: 1200 horsepower, maximum torque of 1,500 Nm (at 3,00-5,000 rpm) and sleek, sexy lines. What you don’t expect is a car that is so drivable and easy to control. Yes, one must be conscious when putting the proverbial pedal to the metal, but normal, every day driving is easier than expected in a super car. It even comes not with park distance control. While it’s nearly impossible to really enjoy all that this car has to offer on the crowded streets of Miami, but that didn’t stop me from trying. So when a brand new Bugatti Vitesse materialized in front of our Design District offices, complete with professional Bugatti expert to escort me, I was so very excited.

After a quick tutorial I was ready to take the wheel. The smooth car had the most interesting low register exhaust sound as we flew over 195’s bridge to Miami Beach, unlike any exotic I had heard. Even the brakes sounded different – naturally they are very special, extremely cutting edge technology carbon brakes that will never need changing. But everything on a Bugatti is a little different. Even the way that the convertible top comes off with an umbrella-like mechanism is amazingly simple but ingenious.

So after a few laps around the causeway, I was in love with this beautiful exotic that elicited thumbs up and smiles from just about everybody in traffic who bothered to look up from their smartphones. And it’s French, so there’s that. The name might sound Italian, but the cars are designed and assembled in Molsheim, France. True, the French know their products are the best in the world and charge accordingly, but what you’re really paying for in a Bugatti is the technology, and maybe all the carbon fiber interiors. Everything is made anew in the best, most cutting edge way for lightness and beauty.

Unique as I felt, my bright orange Vitesse wasn’t the only Bugatti in town last week. For Art Basel, the brand unveiled a Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport with a special paint job by artist Venet. The piece has been dubbed appropriately, the world’s fastest art. The artist got is inspiration for the designs from engineering specs the company used to develop the car. The scrawl is set so it looks as though it’s blowing off from the speed of the car.

*The editor and assistant Shahini aka Thelma and Louise