Bugatti Reinvents the T-Top Roof, Makes the Glass Permanent, Calls it Sky View
And probably wants to charge a fortune for it…by Robert Moore, on
The T-Top roof design has roots that go back to the late-1940s, but Bugatti has taken the idea, christened it new (since the glass is fixed, of course,) and will offer it as “Sky View” on the Bugatti Chiron. In fairness, it’s not exactly a T-Top since the glass isn’t removable, but that almost seems like a missed opportunity, though, doesn’t it?
According to Bugatti, each glass panel measures 25.5-inches wide and 17.3-inches long. It’s apparently a laminated structure that consists of thin glass and “four intermediate layers.” They are said to reduce noise at speed, reflect infrared radiation, and filer UVA and UVB ultraviolet radiation. Bugatti also says that the design of the glass panels improves the stiffness of the roof and has no ill effect on crash safety. The glass panels are also tinted for privacy and actually add in just over an inch of extra headroom in comparison to the standard roof.
Of course, this is nothing new. The T-Top roof design has been around since 1948 when TASCO debuted the styling on a prototype that went nowhere. GM reintroduced it again with the 1968 Chevy Corvette. It’s since been found on a number of cars, with the most prominent example being the Pontiac Trans-Am. The big difference, however, is that all of those cars were fitted with removable glass panels – allowing you to have the luxury of an open roof without the weight or packing of a convertible top. It almost feels as if Bugatti missed the mark here as a T-Top Chiron would be pretty damn cool if Bugatti could manage to keep structural strength intact.
In that case, maybe Bugatti is offering the best it can, as it might be hard to maintain structural stability without a full roof – it’s the same reason third-gen, unibody Camaro’s need subframe connectors to handle any engine with real torque. All that’s left now is pricing, and Bugatti has yet to reveal that tidbit of information. The first Sky View-equipped Chiron will be on display in August at Pebble Beach, so stay tuned for updates and pictures from the scene.
Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron.
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