In a world going green – while trying, anyway – speed still seems to matter, as well. But who’s the fastest? Bugatti and Bentley are both laying claims.
Anyone who has seen the record books from the Bonneville Salt Flats knows that the record book can be carved up in nearly as many ways as baseball and football have parsed their stats. But the two European makers lay claims to top speed numbers that nonetheless deserve mention.
When it comes to unadulterated, flat out, foot-to-the-floor performance, it seems that the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport has set the new benchmark, achieving a new land speed world record for a production vehicle. The folks from Guinness World Records have certified the number at 431 kmh, or 268 mph, along with representatives of the German Technical Inspection Agency, otherwise known as TUV.
The record was set on June 26th, Bugatti reveals, at the Volkswagen Group’s proving ground in Ehra-Lessien, not far from VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg. Bugatti pilot Pierre Henry Raphanel made the run in a striking red-and block stock version of the Veyron Super Sport. Its 16-cylinder engine produces 1,200 horsepower (up from 1,001 for the original Veyron) and 885 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a twin-clutch 7-speed gearbox and power is channeled to an intelligent all-wheel-drive system.