One of the biggest bragging rights one could have in the automotive world is the title of "world's fastest car." Sure, there are plenty of one-off Bonneville racers powered by jet engines and all other matter of purpose-built record-setters. But the title "world's fastest production car" seems to be one of the most coveted, and one that Bugatti thought they had comfortably in the books.
Of course, what constitutes a "production" vehicle was a subject up for debate. It seems the definition hinged on the number of units sold and produced. Adding fuel to the fire of the debate, the Veyron SS's top speed limiter was reportedly disabled for the top speed run, whereas Veyron models delivered to customers have a speed limiter set to "just" 258 mph. Also, one of the other contenders for the title, the 1244 hp Hennessey Venom GT, was tested at a different venue than the Bugatti, which was tested on VW's private high-speed track in Germany.
In an official statement released yesterday, the Guiness Records organization stated:
“Following a thorough review conducted with a number of external experts, Guinness World Records is pleased to announce the confirmation of Bugatti’s record of Fastest production car achieved by the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. The focus of the review was with respect to what may constitute a modification to a car’s standard specification. Having evaluated all the necessary information, Guinness World Records is now satisfied that a change to the speed limiter does not alter the fundamental design of the car or its engine.”
Below is a video from Bugatti documenting the July 2010 speed record attempt.