Bugatti has come back from losing its "World's Fastest Production Car" title with a new superlative to add to the Veyron's trophy case: World's Fastest Open-Top Production Car. That's right, if you can't beat 'em, take the roof off and join them.

The record of 408.84 kilometers per hour, or 254.04 miles per hour, was set by a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse driven by Chinese racing driver Anthony Liu at Volkswagen Group's proving grounds in Ehra-Lessian, Germany. The speed was measured and verified by the German Technical Inspection and Certification Association, or TÜV.

That last point is important to note, as the kerfuffle over the closed-roof Veyron's record involved the Guinness World Records organization, which both sanctioned the car's world record run back in 2010 and then stripped Bugatti of the title after it was learned the car used to set the record had its speed-limited removed. Also, whereas Guinness calculates a car's speed based on the average of two runs in opposite directions, Bugatti doesn't say what criteria TÜV used to verify and calculate the convertible's speed.

So what we're really saying is that Bugatti claims to have the world's fastest open-top production car, but that claim remains unsubstantiated by what many consider to be the only authority on world records, Guinness World Records.

As for the particular Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse that hit 254.04 mph, the special black-and-orange model will be on display at the Shanghai Motor Show later this month, and Bugatti plans to sell eight World Record Editions just like it for the princely sum each of 1,990,000 euro, or about $2.61 million dollars
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408.84 km/h: Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse sets world speed record for open-top production sports cars

- Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse officially the fastest roadster in the world
- Chinese racing driver Anthony Liu at the wheel of the record-breaking Bugatti
- The world record vehicle celebrates its world premiere at the Shanghai Motor

Wolfsburg/Molsheim, 11 April 2013 – The world's fastest roadster is a Bugatti. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse has set the world speed record for open-top production sports cars at the Volkswagen Group's proving grounds in Ehra-Lessien where TÜV, the renowned independent German organisation for Technical Inspection and Certification, has officially confirmed that a top speed of 408.84 km/h (254.04 mph) was achieved. The Vitesse was driven by the Chinese racing driver Anthony Liu. The World Record Car will be unveiled to the world for the first time at the Shanghai Motor Show 2013 in April.

It is now official: the world's fastest roadster is a Bugatti. Following the spectacular record-breaking drive of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport in 2010, during which the coupé achieved a top speed of 431.072 km/h, witnessed and officially confirmed by the renowned independent German organisation for Technical Inspection and Certification TÜV, an impressive speed that remains unparalleled to this day, Bugatti has added yet another milestone. The open top version of the 1,200 PS sports car, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, now also officially holds the world record. In the presence of TÜV, the open-top super car reached a maximum speed of 408.84 km/h (254.04 mph) at the Volkswagen Group's proving grounds in Ehra-Lessien, making it the fastest open-top production sports car in the world.

"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", said Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.
The Vitesse was driven by the Chinese entrepreneur and passionate race driver Anthony Liu. After achieving the world record in the Vitesse, the 29-year old described his 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."

The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse has been on the market since the spring of 2012. Its power comes from an 8 litre W16 engine, which pours 1,200 PS and a torque of 1,500 Nm at 3,000 to 5,000 rpm to the road. Its high performance handling can be attributed to a racing chassis which together with extremely fast-acting shock absorbers and reinforced anti-roll bars guarantees exact control of both the four-wheel- drive system and the entire vehicle. Other factors that enable such performance at the upper limits include a standard carbon monocoque with high torsional rigidity and an outer shell made entirely of carbon fibre. Keeping wind noise and air turbulence to a minimum in the vehicle's interior is a particular concern with open-top vehicles. In the Vitesse, a specially developed roof spoiler along with an intricately designed windbreak guarantees calm open-top driving; indeed these were preconditions for reaching the record-breaking speed of 408.84 km/h.

For the record-breaking drive, the Vitesse received a powerful dual-colour scheme in black and orange, perfectly translating its inner qualities into its exterior appearance.

This special Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse will be available in a World Record Car (WRC) Edition, which is limited to eight vehicles. The price per vehicle is 1.99 million euros (plus tax).

The World Record Car will be unveiled to the world for the first time at the Shanghai Motor Show 2013 April 21-29.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Awesome that the record was set on my birthday :)
      PSYCHiATRY is a SCAM
      • 2 Years Ago
      so its not sanctioned by guinness . well thats a deal breaker
      Riley C.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Now we need to see a F-150 (truck) go 250 mph. I'll flip my desk.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yawn throw insane hp in anything including a car that looks like a melted dog turd it'll go fast. Hell you can even get a cinder block to fly if you throw enough hp onto it!
      • 2 Years Ago
      this'll be the record until some one-off tuner decides to challenge it under the pretenses of homologating it if it does well. ahem.
        • 2 Years Ago
          • 2 Years Ago
          i guess there must be an awwwful lot of grey space between "one-off" and "production" manufacturer then, right? i'll be more interested in handing the record to hennessey when they build their own car instead of just doing an engine swap and chassis tune to a lotus.
          • 2 Years Ago
          Need 493 more then.
          • 2 Years Ago
          This "grey area" is why all of the mentioned cars are considered limited production. Larger companies limit production to a couple hundred or less to keep the value high (no depreciation, in fact they become worth more as they age) and so they could cherry pick owners. Small, startup companies have low production simply because they can't make them fast enough with their limited sized factories and workforce. Either way, the low numbers make them unique and rare whether they make 5 or 500. If they are road legal at least in the intended market, and can be sold as a product to customers rather than remaining as a press car and development vehicle, and are their own product of a registered car manufacturer and not a tuning job, it's production. And really, "just" an engine swap and chassis tune? Forget the chassis, the actual structure itself has been refabricated and is of different proportions, you don't "tune" a chassis into being a foot longer, you remake it. The entire back half of the car has been remade to house the heavily breathed upon engine. As for the rest of the chassis, the vast majority are original, non-Lotus components. In a way, this car is like the RUF CTR3. While it's based on the GT3, it's been so completely remade that RUF considers it to be a production car, and it is an entirely different machine to any 911.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can't wait to see the SSC Tuatara beat everyone. Go America!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who cares ! For $2M it better go 254.04mph With " unlimited " budget the sky is the limit. I think it's more impressive that for less than $60K you can get the Mustang Shelby Cobra with 662HP , easily push 200mph and still drive it to work everyday. Now that's an achievement !!!
        • 2 Years Ago
        >easily push 200 mph It doesn't. Not at all.
          • 2 Years Ago
          Where can you do 200+ on american roads? It will only get you dead so who really cares how fast they can go.
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Bugatti doesn't say what criteria TÜV used to verify and calculate the convertible's speed." In the picture of the record certificate it's written "ONE WAY RUN", but I'll admit it's readable only in the high-res version of the shot, which I have on my screen. There goes your criteria.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bugatti, has beaten the crap out of the horse. The Veyron was and is beautiful but the continuing addition of spoilers and "editions", to have a bigger D race, has just become desperate. Bugatti, please, let the Veyron breath and give it it's moment in history.
      • 2 Years Ago
      so tired of people saying this car is beautiful it is not. What it does is amazing dosn't make the car beautiful. and this record is lame open top, open top with t bar is next. just stupid.
      • 2 Years Ago
      no race wins no status
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