Bugatti Loses Top Speed Crown, but Guinness Names No Replacement

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is no longer the world’s fastest production car. From

This week saw Bugatti lose Guinness World Records’ distinction of the world’s fastest production car, after Hennessey Performance noted that the standing record speed was not achievable for buyers of the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. Although the Super Sport hit 267.8mph during a verified run in 2010, it did so with a speed restrictor deactivated, which is present in all Super Sports sold to customers; with the restrictor in place, the Bugatti is limited to 258mph. Bugatti says the limiter is in place for safety reasons likely related to tire ability. After a review of its policies related to how it classifies production cars, Guinness announced that in order to qualify for its record system, the car tested must be mechanically identical to the one available to the public, which invalidates the Veyron Super Sport as a whole. The only problem is finding who the actual world record holder is.

SSC Ultimate Aero

SSC Ultimate Aero,from the Shelby SuperCars Facebook Page.

Typically, when a record is challenged and the title is revoked, the record goes to the previous holder. In this case, the record would go to the Ultimate Aero made by Shelby Super Cars (not related to Carroll Shelby or Shelby American), which beat the original Veyron’s top speed of 253 in 2007 when it reached a velocity of 256mph. SSC took no time in taking a few shots at Buagtti when it sent out a press release yesterday saying, “This wasn’t how we planned to reclaim the record. But it will do until the [upcoming] Tuatara takes a run at several records that exist out there. Although, it was still a nice surprise.” SSC also laments the lack of challengers to the top speed throne: “We’ve also always felt that it would be better to break someone else’s record next time, instead of just re-breaking our own record.” Cue the world’s smallest violin…

Hennessey Venom

Hennessey Venom GT, from

Hennessey itself has taken umbrage with the Super Sport’s title and claims its Venom GT hypercar is the rightful heir, with a top speed of 265.7mph. Hennessey even filmed the high speed run:

While the video proof is there, Guinness maintains guidelines by which any attempts at challenging an existing record must be met, so it will have to verify the Venom GT’s speed themselves during supervised runs, which include setting average times during two attempts. The Venom GT has only been sold to six people so far, making it far from production, although a human being can theoretically purchase it for money. If Hennessey has the capability to meet production standards, setting up a meeting with Guinness would be a cakewalk.

Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse World Record 1

Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse World Record Edition, from Bugatti’s Facebook page

Bugatti claims its new Grand Sport Vitesse World Record Edition (whew) is the world’s fastest roofless vehicle, although the Hennessey Venom GT has a targa roof. Guinness’s definition of production vehicle will likely claim the Bugatti the victor in the roofless debate, but it may prove to be short-lived against its Texan competition if Hennessey pumps more cars out of its workshop.


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About Cameron Rogers

Cameron Rogers is the founder and lead writer at Downshift Autos, the only automotive blog on the Internet*. Born in the back of an AMC Gremlin, Cameron vowed to never let this extraordinarily embarrassing detail define him, so help him God. He drives a GTI but absolutely will not shut up about it if somebody asks. He will not hesitate to let people know that no, they shouldn't get a Porsche 911 when a Morgan 3 Wheeler is so obviously the superior choice. He is obsessed with the seats of a Carrera GT and the steering wheel of a Fisker Karma. He once sat in the driver's seat of a Tesla Model S, his greatest accomplishment to date. He is just now realizing that writing an autobiography, however miniscule, in the third person is odd and unnerving. *As of this writing, Cameron has been informed that there are, in fact, many websites and blogs centered around cars and car culture. He regrets his grievous error.

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