THE ROADSTER BY BUGATTI – DRIVING PLEASURE

“Bugatti roadsters are fascinating. In the past, Ettore and Jean Bugatti showed how a certain type of vehicle can enhance emotion, design and craftsmanship. », said Christophe Piochon, President of Bugatti Automobiles. “When we have immersed ourselves in the company’s long tradition, it is always a moment that allows us to be aware of what constitutes our brand DNA. Over the past few decades, Bugatti has built some of the most extraordinary roadsters that ever created.”

Bugatti Type 40A, 1930

Bugatti expanded its Type 40 range from 1930 with the Type 40 A. The model was based on a long chassis and a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine producing 50 PS capable of propelling the car – which then weighing 850 kg – at 130 km/ h. However, it is not the top speed that counts in the Type 40 A, but the experience lived to achieve it: with its dynamic engine, its agile chassis and its open cockpit, a journey at the wheel of a Type 40 A is like nothing. others. Between 40 and 50 cars were produced, most with roadster bodywork.

Bugatti Type 44, 1929

Between 1927 and 1930, Bugatti produced a few rare examples of the Type 44 with a roadster body, a lightweight two-seater model, with no doors – passengers simply climbed inside. The Type 44 has a 3.0 liter 8-cylinder engine and around 80 PS. With a powerful yet smooth torque, this roadster can accelerate up to 145 km/h while ensuring good road manners. Bugatti sold more than 1,000 examples of the Type 44 model, but roadster-bodied models are incredibly rare.

Bugatti Type 49, 1930

The direct successor of the Type 44, the Type 49 came on the market in 1930. Customers greatly appreciated its versatility and agility. An 8-cylinder engine with 3.2 liters and around 90 PS provides the two-seater roadster with great performance and especially a top speed of up to 145 km/h. For this model, Bugatti paid particular attention to design by creating an elegant silhouette with fluid shapes. The Type 49 is still regarded today as one of the most elegant two-seater cars built in Molsheim.

Bugatti Type 41 Roadster Esders, 1932

No other car from the early Bugatti era is as synonymous with quality, beauty, luxury, performance and grandeur as the Type 41 Royale. Only six of these cars were built by hand between 1926 and 1933 – each with custom bodywork. With a wheelbase of 4.3 meters and a length of more than 6 meters, the Royale was the largest, most beautiful and most powerful car produced in Molsheim at the time. Under the long hood is a 12.8-liter 8-cylinder engine with an output of about 300 PS – the prototype still has 14 liters of displacement. Industrial magnate Armand Esders commissioned Jean Bugatti to design an elegant roadster, the Roadster Esders. Armand Esders who wanted to drive his car exclusively during the day, Jean Bugatti removed two headlights from the car, so it became even more elegant with perfect lines. However, two years later the roadster body was replaced by a city coupe. A reconstruction of the original model is now part of the Schlumpf collection at the National Automobile Museum in Mulhouse.

Bugatti Type 55 Roadster, 1932

The technical evolution of this Type 43 incorporates much of Bugatti’s motorsport know-how: the 2.3-liter eight-cylinder engine with compressor comes from the Type 51 racing car. This extremely sporty engine generates up to 160 PS, which at the time gave it unheard of performance compared to its almost century-old competitors. As for the chassis, Bugatti relies on the proven configuration of the Type 54 racing car. Due to its high power and low center of gravity, this lightweight 950 kg roadster offers sporty handling and road holding. exceptional. The Type 55 Roadster can reach up to 180 km/h. In total, only 38 examples of the Type 55 were produced, in coupé and roadster form.

Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Gangloff, 1934

Jean Bugatti developed the Type 57, a fast and sporty luxury car, starting in 1933. From the beginning, his plans included different types of bodywork for his customers. The very first Type 57 model had a 3.3-liter eight-cylinder engine and an output of 135 PS – later models would exceed 200 PS. The young Jean Bugatti also encouraged custom builds by external coachbuilders and the 1934 Roadster Grand Raid Gangloff is an example. These two-seaters are defined by the fluid shapes of the engine cover, the humps behind the seats, a two-piece windshield and wings with organic curves. Between 1934 and 1940, Bugatti produced around 750 examples of the Type 57, including coupés, convertibles, roadsters and racing cars. The Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Gangloff remains a completely unique vehicle.

Bugatti Type 57 SC Corsica Roadster, 1938

Also based on the Type 57 SC model, the Corsica Roadster was built in 1938. Its first owner was Colonel Godfrey Giles, who in 1937 commissioned British coachbuilder Corsica Coachworks to build him a bespoke Type 57 according to his own ideas and his brother’s. design. The result: a roadster of extreme beauty with a unique and flowing shape, as if cast from a single mold. The interior is made of the best materials. With its 3.8 liter eight-cylinder engine, the approximately 4.5 meter long roadster can reach a top speed of more than 200 km/h. At the 1998 Concorso d’Eleganza at Pebble Beach, the jury awarded this Bugatti the “Best of Show” title.

Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, 2008

In 2005, Bugatti presented its first hyper sports car, the Veyron 16.4, then in August 2008, the brand launched the first roadster of its modern era: the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport. Thanks to a special monocoque construction, no compromises have to be made compared to the hardtop. The Grand Sport reaches 360 km/h without its roof, while with the polycarbonate roof element it can reach more than 400 km/h. With the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, Bugatti proved that it is possible to build a super sports car in the roadster version, extremely dynamic, fast, comfortable and safe to drive. In 2013, a more powerful and concentrated variant – the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse – broke the world speed record by reaching 408.84 km/h and thus became the fastest production roadster in the world. In honor of this record, Bugatti is launching a very limited production of eight vehicles of the World Record Car (WRC) limited edition of the Veyron 16.4. Between 2005 and 2015, only 300 Veyron 16.4 coupés and 150 Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport and Grand Sport Vitesse were produced in Molsheim, including very special models and editions.

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