Bugatti’s 254mph Veyron Vitesse officially world’s fastest drop-top

Published: 11 April 2013

The Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse has been officially confirmed as the world’s fastest open-top production car, having been clocked at 254.04mph. The milestone will be celebrated (naturally) with a limited run of special ‘World Record Edition’ Grand Sport Vitesses (which has been on sale since January 2012), with the commemorative cars sporting orange flashes to the carbonfibre bodywork, and orange wheels.

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse: a 250mph wind in your hair

Bugatti admits that the initial open-top speed target for the Bugatti Grand Sport was a piffling 233mph. However, when testing revealed that 400kph (248mph) would be possible, the engineers set about upping their targets, with 254.04mph being the final result. It comes thanks to the familiar uprated engine from the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport: 8.0-litres, 16 cylinders, four turbochargers and an output of 1183bhp.

Chinese record run driver Anthony Lui said of the car: “This was a very exciting moment. In our training sessions we exceeded 400 km/h but the fact that I could surpass this unbelievable speed once again and even higher has made me very proud. The car is even at such high speeds incredibly comfortable and stable. With an open top, you can really experience the sound of the engine and yet even at higher speeds I did not get compromised by the wind at all.”

Eight examples of the World Record edition Grand Sport Vitesse will be made, costing €1.99m plus taxes. The car will be unveiled at the Shanghai motor show in April 2013.

So Bugatti now has the fastest coupe and convertible in the world?

Fastest convertible yex, but not the hardtop any more. Guinness World Records has stripped the 267mph Bugatti Veyron Super Sport of its speed record title, after complaints from US-based supercar builders Hennessey that the majority of Super Sports produced had a tyre-preserving 258mph limiter fitted. Hennessey’s 1200bhp Venom GT contender hit 265.7mph from rest on a one-mile course in early April 2013, though the run wasn’t ratified by an official body. That means the supercar top speed record now reverts to its previous holder: the 256mph SSC Ultimate Aero TT.

With a new 1500bhp ‘super-Veyron’ slated for a reveal at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2013, plus new 1200bhp+ models on the way from Hennessey, SSC and Koenigsegg, it’s fair to say the hard-top production car record will be changing hands again soon…

By Ollie Kew

Former road tester and staff writer of this parish