The technology in automobiles has evolved at a quite staggering rate over the past century and in particular over the past decade or two. Vehicles now have the capabilities to travel at speeds we would not have thought possible maybe fifty years or so ago. Consequently one of the most – probably the most in many people’s eyes – coveted titles which can be awarded to an automobile today is that of the fastest car in the world. All leading supercar manufacturers across the world strive to produce a car faster than their competitors, but when it comes to the fastest street legal production car in the world there’s one model which has truly been untouchable in recent years: the Bugatti Veyron.
The Veyron has been recorded travelling at a whopping 431km/h (just shy of 268mph) which really puts it into a league of its own. It was originally introduced in 2005, with a Grand Sport version unveiled in 2009 and the Super Sport version making its debut in 2010. It is actually the Super Sport version which currently holds the world record and achieved the 431km/h top speed. To put it into perspective just how staggeringly fast the Veyron is, a Maserati Gransport has a top speed of 180mph (289km/h) while the Lamborghini Murcielago, the company’s flagship model for nearly a decade, can manage 212mph (341km/h) when flat out.
With these figures in mind it is far from surprising that for the pleasure of owning a brand new Bugatti Veyron you’ll have to part with over a million sterling. Yes that’s right, more than £1 million. Even a second hand Bugatti Veyron would be likely to cost you well in excess of £600,000, regardless of how many miles it has covered or which model year it is.
There was a period of uncertainty and controversy surrounding the world record attributed to the Super Sport which started at the beginning of April 2013, following claims from rival manufacturer Hennessey that its Venom GT was the new world’s fastest street legal production car. Hennessey claimed that the Venom GT was capable of 427.6km/h (265.7mph) which was actually 3.4km/h (2.1mph) slower than the Veyron; however Hennessey dismissed the Bugatti’s record on the basis that the Super Sport was actually limited to 415km/h in production form. To record its record top speed of 431km/h the vehicle was driven in an enhanced state of tune which was unavailable to customers.
Following these claims the Guinness World Records stripped the Super Sport of its record and contacted external consultants in order to review the guidelines and ensure there was clarification of what was required to hold the title of the world’s fastest street legal production car.
Eventually the Veyron’s record was reinstated, with the conclusion that an alteration to a car’s speed limiter does not alter the design of the car or its engine.
To reiterate just how expensive it is to drive the engineering phenomenon which truly is the world’s fastest, it would take the majority of us more than twenty years to earn enough to buy a used Bugatti Veyron – and that’s presuming we pay no tax and don’t spend a penny!