Bugatti reveals new special Veyron
1183bhp 'Black Bess' hyper-convertible has 24-carat gold trim and doffs cap to 1918 Type 18
This is the ‘Black Bess' Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, the latest run-out special in the manufacturer's ‘Legend Edition' series.
Bugatti tells us that it's inspired by its rickety 1912 Type 18 - nicknamed Black Bess because it was, um, black - which means the GSV's wearing the same monochromatic paint. But with a few details picked out in gold. Not gold paint, but 24 carats of the proper stuff, plating the front grille, wheel caps and filler flap.
Inside is more of the same. The door cards and rear cabin feature several doodles of the Type 18, and some scribbles of a bloke called Roland Garros' aeroplane - a Morane-Saulnier Type H, if you're interested. Unfortunately, they won't buff out - Bugatti's developed a special application process so the they won't be damaged by wear and tear.
As well as new leather finishes, you'll also find more gold accents in the cabin - there's a gilded EB badge and elephant logo, though mercifully, the dial bezels haven't been dipped. The steering wheel's also been fiddled with to tribute the T18 - it's got a red rim inspired by the 1912 model.
At this point, you may be wondering a) why you've never heard of a Type 18, and b) what the hell it's got to do with a 407kph, 1183bhp Veyron. Well, there are only three T18s left, and Bugatti reckons it was the world's first super sports car, packed as it did a 100bhp 5.0-litre four-cylinder engine that could shunt it to 161kph. Which isn't bad considering the Type 18 is older than some religions.
And the plane? This is where it gets a bit tenuous. Bugatti's founder, the eponymous Ettore, hillclimbed a Type 18, winning the 1912 Mont Ventoux event. On the back of his victory, seven examples were sold, and one went to French aviator, Roland Garros, who owned the Morane-Saulnier Type H pictured. Simple, no?
Want Black Bess in your life? She's heading to next week's Beijing motor show. There's no word on price, but just three will be built, so don't expect a bargain.