The Rich

New Times Takes a $2.5 Million Bugatti Veyron Vitesse for a Spin (and a Burrito)

"Have you ever wrecked one of these?" I ask as our burnt-orange Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse bursts onto the Julia Tuttle Causeway. Butch Leitzinger shakes his head. The mild-mannered man is Bugatti's official driver, but a better title would be "pilot." With a top speed of 260 mph, the Veyron is more turbojet than Toyota.

"I had one crazy Canadian who tried to," Leitzinger yells over the roar of the 1,200-horsepower engine just behind our heads. "We came up on a 180-degree turn against the mountain, and he steps on the brake and the car goes 'pop' " -- Leitzinger turns his hand sideways to show how the car skidded on the ice -- "And I think, OK, we're dead."

Instead, the supersmart car righted itself just in time. I squeeze out a nervous grin.

Leitzinger and I are on a high-octane, two-hour test drive of the Vitesse -- at $2.5 million, the most expensive car in the world. As he steers us south onto I-95, my stomach puckers: after a quick demo, I'll be the one behind the wheel.

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.