It’s hard to understate the significance of the Bugatti 16:4 Veyron in the annals of automotive history. Conceived to be superlative to every car extant when it hit the market a decade ago, in nearly every respect, with a seven-figure price, 1,001 horsepower, 0-60 mph acceleration in the mid 2-second range, and of course, its 253-mph top speed—it has remained at or near the very top in all of those respects ever since. Wolfgang Dürheimer, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S., may have put it best when he described the Veyron as “an icon of longitudinal dynamics.”
Alas, after building 450 Veyrons—300 coupes and 150 targa-style roadsters, the latter called Veyron Grand Sport—it is time for the legend to retire. But don’t think that the big Bug will buzz softly into that good night. Indeed, it will rage, rage against the dying of the light in the form of the spectacular, one-off 1200-hp Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse dubbed La Finale, freshly unveiled at the 2015 Geneva auto show and displayed next to the one that started it all, Veyron #001.
In a fitting and reverent nod to the first production Veyron, a coupe model with a black body and red fenders, Veyron #450 is features the same color scheme in reverse. Even more striking is the fact that the effect is achieved without the use of paint, but rather with its exposed carbon fiber body gleaming in all of its red and black glory. Colored carbon fiber has been Bugatti forte for years, as seen in several of the Veyron’s many special editions, but La Finale is the first automobile to wear red, and brings the number of carbon fiber colors Bugatti has offered to eight. Another first (and last, we suppose) for the La Finale are black painted air intake snorkels and intercooler.
The cabin of La Finale is awash in cream and red hides, with some red carbon fiber accents and a rendering of Rembrandt Bugatti’s famous dancing elephant—cast in bronze!—nestled between the seats. And of course, “La Finale” is stitched into the headrests. In the flesh, we can attest that this thing is stunning, quite possibly the best-looking Veyron of them all.
What’s next for this La Finale once the Geneva Motor Show has wrapped up? It’s already been sold to a lucky customer in the Middle East in exchange for an undisclosed amount of money. What’s next for Bugatti? Well, the company is already working on the sequel, with Dürheimer confirming that development of its next model well underway.
“With the next Bugatti model, we are aiming to consolidate and expand the market-leading position we have established with the Veyron...our challenge is to make the best even better.” That said, rumors have swirled that Bugatti is considering building a few Veyron speedsters if only to keep its craftsman at the factory in Molsheim, France, busy in the meantime. If and when those appear, we will be all over the story. Like a bug to the light.