Bugatti can now claim to have created the fastest open-top car in the world. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse clocked 254.04mph (408.8kph) on a run at the Volkswagen Group’s Ehra-Lessien proving grounds at the hands of Chinese racing driver Anthony Liu.
"It was amazing speed, a pure adrenaline rush. Incredibly stable and surprisingly comfortable. It's an amazing feat of engineering. I'd do it again anytime, anywhere," said Liu.
The Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, on sale since 2012, has now spawned a special World Record Car (WRC) Edition, which will be limited to eight units. It will be officially unveiled at the Shanghai motor show.
"The Chinese love Bugatti so we invited a Chinese driver to attempt the record; we will build eight as eight is a lucky number for China," said Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, boss of Bugatti.
The WRC is an otherwise standard Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, save for a black and orange paint scheme. Power from its 8.0-litre W16 engine is 1184bhp.
Bugatti originally intended for the Vitesse’s top speed to be 375kph with the roof off, but thought that 401kph would be possible. It achieved 401kph in practice runs before going even faster in the official timed run. The record was was overseen by TUV, the German organization for Technical Inspection and Certification.
The coupé version of this Vitesse, the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, set a top speed of 431kph, a world record for a production car that was ratified by Guinness.
However, it has since been stripped of this record as some examples of the car available for customers to buy had their top speeds limited to 416kph; this is against Guinness’s rules, which state that the record car must be identical to ones customers can buy. Five of the 30 Veyron Super Sports sold were destricted World Record Editions, with the other 25 having the 416kph limiter.
American sports car maker Hennessey is now claiming to make the fastest car in the world after its Venom GT clocked 428kph in production trim. However, this record has not been ratified by Guinness.