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Bugatti Veyron claims world’s fastest roadster crown

People of Shanghai, behold: coming to your city next week will be the orange and black monster you see above. It is the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse ‘World Record Car’ Edition, and as of today, it is the fastest roadster… in the world.

Clearly putting aside the business of the Veyron/Venom top speed tussle and the technicality of a speed restrictor, Bugatti has gone back to what it does best: breaking records. At the Ehra-Lessien proving ground in Germany - a place that made our very own Captain Slow a momentary record-breaker - racing driver Anthony Liu strapped himself into a GSV and stamped very hard on the big fat pedal on the right. With the roof off.

In front of some Very Serious Germans from the TÜV - the organization for Technical Inspection and Certification - Mr Liu managed to hold his nerve, and his calf muscles, long enough to hit a top speed of 408.84km/h, which is 254.04mph in proper money. Consider that the Vitesse originally came with a 233mph electronically limited top speed (with the roof off), and you’ll appreciate this is some achievement. Faster is Good.

You’ll be interested in the salient details of this special ‘World Record Car’ version, and they are as such: it’s got a new ‘powerful’… dual colour paintjob. Nothing else has been touched. Nada. So underneath, it’s still an 8.0-litre, 16-cylinder quad-turbocharged engine, pushing out 1184bhp and 1106lb ft of torque - available between 3,000 and 5,000rpm - delivered to all four wheels. All Bugatti has done is remove the limiter and hold its breath…

Says Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Bugatti President: “We could not let go of the idea of reaching the 400km/h mark with the Vitesse. The fact that we have succeeded in reaching 408.84km/h is a thrill for me.”

Quite. Bit of a hot ride for Mr Liu, too, we imagine, though you’d never guess. “Even at such high speeds, the car is 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.” That’ll be the Vitesse’s special roof spoiler and windbreak, Anthony.

Just eight examples of this WRC edition Veyron will be available for sale, each with a cost of 1.99 million Euros plus tax, which puts it at just over £2m. And there’s no surprise as to its target market: Chinese driver, Shanghai Motor Show world premiere…

Fancy one? Remember, we’ve driven a GSV, and it’s ruddy amazing. Read our verdict here, and then regale us with your opinions underneath.

Vijay Pattni

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