For all the stick supercars get for being impractical, they still have the undervalued ability to evoke joy and excitement in car fans across the globe. Thankfully, that ability has now been put to good use, bringing a little sunshine to someone whose days are too often sad and dark.
Michael is a seven-year-old battling leukemia, and visiting the hospital on a weekly basis. As he fights, he escapes into the world of racing games, playing with anything and everything involving cars. Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Michael was able to get up close and personal with some of his favorite supercars, including the granddaddy of them all, the Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse.
The Grand Sport Vitesse is the targa-topped version of the record-breaking supercar that sports the superior engine from the Super Sport edition. This iteration of the quad-turboed 8.0-liter W16 engine puts down 1,200 horsepower to all four wheels and can power through to an electronically limited 233 miles per hour. From a stand-still, the Bugatti can leap from 0 to 62 mph in just 2.6 seconds.
After spending time sitting in cars like the McLaren 650S courtesy of host Park Place Dealerships, Michael was given a ride by Bugatti factory driver Butch Leitzinger. Leitzinger has been a race car driver for over 25 years, seeing time behind the wheel for Bentley at the 24 hours of Le Mans, racing in NASCAR, and participating in ALMS races for various teams.
Setting off through town, Michael endured some traffic before finally reaching the highway, where he could feel the supercar open up a little. This was surely just a taste of what the car can do, but for someone who had adores the powerful supercar longingly from a hospital bed, this must have been magical. If our fellow car enthusiasts can sometimes make us cringe by being reckless, when they do stuff like this, it makes us better as a community.
We’re looking forward for seeing Michael kicking leukemia to the curb and growing up to live the dream for real: from the driver’s seat.