Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Puts the Brand Back in the Record Books
On top of being stupendously rare, stupendously expensive and stupendously powerful, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is the fastest production car ever made. Well, it was until this week. No, something faster hasn’t been built; instead, the folks at Guinness World Records have stripped the most batstuff Bugatti of its title. As the story goes, John Hennessey made the claim that his company’s Venom GT is the true fastest production car following a yet-to-be-Guinness-verified run of 265.7 mph due to the fact that the Veyron Super Sport posted its 267.8 mph mark with an altered speed limiter chip (Super Sports sold to customers were restricted to 258 mph.). The boffins at Guinness World Records apparently agreed, though we have to wonder what took them so long, as the production car’s 258 mph governor was public knowledge when the Super Sport was introduced (Maybe they were too busy shouting “BRILLIANT!” at each other repeatedly?).
So is Bugatti mad about this development? Oh, no doubt. But the company isn’t taking its ball and going home. Instead, it’s doubled down on getting back in the record books. And it has used the Super Sport’s convertible brother to do it.
With observers from TÜV (Germany’s independent inspection and verification agency) on the premises at the Volkswagen Group‘s Ehra-Lessien proving grounds, Chinese racing driver Anthony Liu got an orange and black Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse up to 254.04 mph. This makes it, by TÜV’s reckoning, the fastest open-top production car in history. However, there’s no word on how TÜV calculated the Bug’s top speed, so there’s no way to know if they used the same methodology as the Guinness people, who derive the final figure from the average of two runs in opposite directions performed within a limited time window. Additionally, a good many people refuse to recognize any organization other than Guinness World Records as an arbiter of world records. So yeah, this high water mark isn’t on much firmer ground than the Super Sport’s “record.”
Still, if you want a street legal roadster that’s faster than anything currently racing in Formula 1, IndyCar, NASCAR or any sports car series, you can’t go too far wrong with the 1,184hp Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse. And if you want one that looks like the car Liu used to set the record, you’re in luck: Bugatti is building eight World Record Edition models, priced at about $2.61 million a pop. Don’t have that kind of coin? Well, if you’re going to be in Shanghai the week after next, you’ll be able to see the actual record-setting car at the Shanghai Motor Show. And that’s almost as good, right?