Getting Intimate With The Supercar On A 479-Mile Road Trip It's nearly impossible to secure seat time in a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport. Not only are they hard to find (production volume in the low hundreds makes the supercar as rare as active members of the Right Said Fred fan club), but the $2 million sticker price dissuades most owners from handing over their sacred keys. When an opportunity to drive one of the world's fastest vehicles does present itself, it is most often a short jaunt on a restricted route, as each mile on the odometer is understandably very precious. But some of us do win the lottery. As luck would have it, Bugatti North America was entering a factory-supported vehicle in the Goldrush Rally. The cross-country jaunt would be following a discontinuous route from Beverly Hills to Miami and the automaker was looking for someone to drive the first long leg. With a solemn poker face hiding my giddiness, I accepted the invite. One expects a supercar experience and the sensationalized bloody fast acceleration – the Veyron delivered both – but I didn't realize the Bugatti would reveal so much more about its true personality during my extended date. The Goldrush Rally, like most events of its type, isn't really a "rally" in the literal sense of the competition. Stripped free of the sugar coating, it is nothing more than an excuse for affluent owners of high-end vehicles to congregate, drive fast and party with scantily clad females at multiple venues across the country. Whether you agree with the attention-hoarding spectacles or not, the events are actually a great deal of fun, and it's important to note that the Goldrush Rally raised money for the Taylor Lynn Foundation this year. I asked about luggage capacity as I needed to bring some gear. "None" was the quick answer. The day before the event I drove down to Bugatti Beverly Hills to check out the Veyron and meet Robert Franklin "Butch" Leitzinger. Butch is a Bugatti factory "pilot" and three-time Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona winner. As Veyrons typically go out on a short leash and with a chaperone, Butch would be my instructor, and my co-pilot, for the entire journey. After a quick introductory walk-around, I asked about luggage capacity as I needed to bring some gear. "None" was the quick answer, as the roadster's small front compartment would be completely occupied by its soft temporary "umbrella" top. Anything I chose to bring on the trip would be relegated to the passenger cabin – crammed into the thin space behind the passenger seat or in the passenger's footwell. During our preflight check, the two of us also unanimously decided to leave the heavily tinted glass roof in place. There is no place to store it within the Veyron once removed and our plotted drive route was sending us directly through the scorching desert in the middle of summer. Formalities settled, we agreed to meet at 7:00 AM the …
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|MPG||7 City / 15 Hwy|
|Transmission||7-spd auto-shift man w/OD|
|Power||1200 @ 6400 rpm|
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