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The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse can go from 0 to 60 in 2.6 seconds and has a top speed of 254 mph.

Hurt III inspects the car’s control panel, which is made predominantly of carbon fiber.

Test-driving one of only 450 Veyrons in the world.

Hurt III gets a lesson from veteran Le Mans racer Butch Leitzinger

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$2.5 million can buy you a place in the Hamptons—or it can get you the 1,200-horsepower Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse. Curious as to whether this souped-up sports car was worth its hefty price tag, we sent Harry Hurt III to take it for a spin.

You don’t know shock, you don’t know awe, you don’t know anything at all about go-fast until you stomp on the accelerator of a 2013 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse.

In 2.6 seconds—just a third of the time it took you to read that first sentence—it’s already zoomed from 0 to 60 mph. And by the time you’re on “go-fast,” it’s hit 95 mph, and the side windows you lowered when you first got into the Bugatti convertible’s ergonomic hand-stitched-leather cockpit are automatically raising to ensure maximum aerodynamics.

If you’re speeding along Highway 27, you’d better be ready to roll those windows back down to talk your way out of the ticket the local cops will want to give you—assuming they can catch you. Suggestion: Offer the officer who stops you a chance to enjoy the Bugatti’s “wow factor” by taking the wheel himself, nonchalantly noting that it’s the world’s fastest open-top production sports car, with an officially recorded top speed of 254 mph.

You might add that your 2013 Grand Sport Vitesse will be one of just 450 Bugatti Veyrons in the entire world. The Vitesse boasts a stunning 1,200 horsepower, a step up from the 2010 Grand Sport and the Veyron coupe, which have only 1,001 horsepower. (Both the coupes and the convertibles are manufactured at a plant in Molsheim, France, by the Volkswagen Group, which also owns Porsche and Lamborghini.)

The stylish “EB” badging on the exterior and interior of the car pays tribute to legendary Italian-born auto engineer Ettore Bugatti, who founded the company back in 1909 and turned out just 7,900 cars prior to his death in 1947. The 1924 Bugatti Type 35 is still acclaimed as the most successful racing car of all time, with more than 2,000 wins; but the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is a road-ready supercar almost anyone can handle. As veteran Le Mans racer Butch Leitzinger, who supervised my recent test drive, notes, “The Vitesse has the performance of a race car, but it also has the docile manners of a luxury touring car. If you’re going 120 mph and try to put it in first gear, for example, it will refuse the command. It’s not going to bite you—it’s going to take care of you.”

That said, the car still emits a resounding bark that’s bound to attract the attention of everybody else on the road, cop or no. Next to flooring the accelerator, the most fun I had was letting up on the pedal and hearing the turbo wastegates in the rear release the pressure inside the cylinders with a thundering double-barreled shotgun blast.

“It has to dump all that boost, or it’ll just keep going fast,” Leitzinger explains. The shock and awe of that is equaled only by the $2.5 million price tag, about the average cost of a waterfront house in the Hamptons.

Of course, you can’t drive the house.