- Launch of the six-part Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse “Legends” edition series showcased this week’s 2013 Monterey Car Week
- Presented alongside its historical predecessor, the 1937 Bugatti Type 57G Tank race car
- Pays homage to the late factory-racer Jean-Pierre Wimille who won the brand’s first victory at the 1937 24 Hours of Le Mans
- Only three Jean-Pierre Wimille Legend editions created
What could make the already ultra-exclusive $2.5 million (est.) all-wheel drive French supercar even better? The 2013 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport already reaches 0-60mph in 2.5sec (Motor Trend est.), attains a limited top speed of 255mph - based solely on tire strength restrictions - and gulps gas via a quad-turbo 8.0L 64-valve DOHC W-16 engine that releases 1200hp and 1106 lb-ft of torque. The only way to top itself is by releasing an extremely limited special edition, which Bugatti has already done numerous times with the Veyron. Top one percentile, listen up.
Enter the latest special edition Veyron called the Legends “Jean-Pierre Wimille,” which pays homage to the brand-famous driver who won Bugatti’s first race, the 1937 24 Hours of Le Mans, while piloting a Type 57G Tank. Only three will be produced and one is currently posing for SLR camera lenses at the world-renowned 2013 Monterey Car Week in Pebble Beach, CA. At first, glance the largest difference from stock is the addition of light blue livery - a traditional French color of race cars from the ‘30s era. As the first of what will be six special editions within “Legends” series, expect following releases to also take design cues from historical race cars and its drivers.
“With our first Legend ‘Jean-Pierre Wimille’ we are celebrating Bugatti’s racing life, which experienced a meteoric high point with the Le Mans victory of 1937”, explains Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. “The Legends reflect the incredible creativity and unbelievable feats of craftsmanship which distinguish a modern Bugatti.”
“Reinventing history with a modern twist is an extremely exciting challenge,” notes Achim Anscheidt, Bugatti’s chief designer. “For the Wimille Legend, we developed the theme of Le Mans and the exceptional graphic design of the 57G Tank through the paintwork and details of the exterior and interior, in particular.”
To the exterior, the two-tone blue finished body is comprised entirely of carbon fiber. The lighter “Bleu Wimille” sections of paint remain faithful to the original color code of the 57G Tank. The dark “Lake Blue” front wing panels reflect the historic racing car’s “Wimille stripes.”
Underneath the rear wing you’ll find a silver silhouette of the Le Mans race circuit, which can also be found within as a milled and polished aluminum relief embedded below the EB logo on the rear centerbox lid. – a lid made of dark blue exposed carbon. The driver’s signature has been lasered into the fuel tank and oil caps and also stitched into the headrests.
To the interior, a dual-tone color scheme highlights the cockpit. The headline, footwells and seat inserts are upholstered in “Bleu Wimille.” The dash, center console and door interiors than contrast in darker “Lake Blue.” Stitching in the French national colors or blue, white and red is found on the steering wheel and shifter. Finalizing the interior of this SE are exposed carbon panel inserts on the center console to go along with a “Les Legendes de Bugatti” logo and a Wimille portrait on the door sills.
“Our ‘Jean-Pierre Wimille’ Legend Vitesse is the modern interpretation of the 57G Tank. We are delighted to be able to present this meeting of Bugatti’s past and present in such an impressive manner and would like to thank Dr Fred Simeone for his fantastic support,” explained Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.
Bugatti Type 57G Tank History
Manufactured in Molsheim, France from 1936-1937, only three Type 57G Tanks were produced at the Bugatti plant in Alsace. To ensure a low center of gravity, the standard Type 57S chassis with a 2.98m wheelbase and Bugatti 3.3L row eight-cylinder engine was used. The engine produced a claimed 200hp and accelerated quickly, for the time, due to an aerodynamic body. In this car, Wimille won the 1936 Grand Prix de I’A.C.F in Montlhery and the Grand Prix de Marne.