Chinese racing driver Anthony Liu, has driven a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse at Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessien proving ground, clocking 408.84 km/h – or 254.04 mph.
The eagle-eyed might notice this is less than the 431.072 km/h (267.85 mph) set by a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport coupé in 2010, however that record was stripped by Guinness after discovering that customer cars had their top speeds limited to 258mph. Just five Super Sports were de-restricted (as per the record setting car), while the remaining cars were pegged at 258mph (approx. 415 km/h).
Bugatti choose to ignore Guinness’s ruling, citing TÜV – the renowned independent German organisation for Technical Inspection and Certification – as the arbiter of the coupé’s speed record and of this latest one, set by the fastest Veyron ‘roadster’.
The record was set with the roof open – Bugatti has developed a special roof spoiler along with an intricately designed windbreak, which keeps wind noise and air turbulence down on the Vitesse and guarantees calm open-top driving.
29-year old Chinese entrepreneur Anthony Liu, who set the record last Saturday (6th April), described the experience: “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.”
Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, President of Bugatti, spoke after the run, “When we introduced the Vitesse, we established the top speed for open-top driving to be 375 km/h. Still, we could not let go of the idea of reaching the 400 km/h mark with this car as well. The fact that we have succeeded in reaching 408.84 km/h is a thrill for me, and it reaffirms once again that Bugatti is the leader when it comes to technology in the international automotive industry”.
The Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is powered by Bugatti’s 8-litre W16 engine, producing 1,183bhp and 1,500 Nm (1,106lb-ft) of torque between 3,000 and 5,000 rpm.
It’s been on sale since Spring 2012, but to mark the World Record and its Chinese launch at this month’s Shanghai Motor Show, Bugatti will produce eight limited edition versions, priced at €1.99 million (plus tax) and painted in the WRC car’s dual-colour black and orange finish.