Bugatti will be bringing the world’s fastest production car to this year’s Qatar Motor Show (6–10 February): the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. The 1,200 PS bolide set the world speed record for production cars in 2010, which still stands today, with an average maximum speed of 431.072 km/h, officially confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records. Bugatti will be displaying the vehicle in its original configuration as a World Record Edition for the first time at a car show in the Middle East. The Veyron 16.4 Super Sport was introduced in 2010 and has been sold out for quite some time.
The Super Sport’s record-setting run took place on 26 June 2010 at the Volkswagen proving grounds in Ehra-Lessien in Germany. Bugatti’s Pilote Officiel Pierre-Henri Raphanel was at the wheel. In accordance with the Guinness rules, Raphanel had to drive the Super Sport down the long straight twice, once in each direction. Guinness then calculated the average from the maximum speed attained on each run: 431.072 km/h.
“Setting this world record was an extremely intense and completely new experience for me”, said Raphanel, who, as a former Formula One and Le Mans race driver, is used to high speeds. “At a speed greater than 400 km/h, you are covering 120 metres per second. Even the slightest action in the cockpit can have enormous effects. You therefore must have a perfect vehicle that you can trust completely. The Veyron Super Sport was absolutely perfect.”
The Super Sport’s technical data are impressive: its 8-litre W16 engine can put 1,200 PS and a maximum torque of an astounding 1,500 Nm on the road. The super car sprints from nought to one hundred km/h in only 2.5 seconds. The Super Sport was the further development of the 1,001 PS Bugatti Veron 16.4 with which Bugatti’s success story began in 2005. With their special expertise from nearly ten years of development at the limits and borrowings from motor sports and aeronautics, the Bugatti engineers again pushed the Super Sport into new dimensions.
The increase in the power of the 16-cylinder engine was made possible by four enlarged turbochargers and intercoolers. The suspension of the high-performance sports car was reengineered to safely master the unique power output. The main spring rate was increased slightly and the anti-roll bars were reinforced. Together with newly developed dampers adapted from motor sport, these changes improved the precision of control over the wheels and the vehicle appreciably. Together with lateral grip of up to 1.4 g, the improved interaction between the tyres and the intelligent all-wheel drive system ensures perfect handling. The enormous torque enables extreme acceleration when exiting a curve.
The aerodynamically modified body improves the efficiency and provides still better balance in all driving situations. The full-carbon monocoque guarantees extremely high torsional rigidity with maximum passive safety. The outer shell is also completely carbon-fibre.
The appearance of the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport was likewise trimmed for maximum dynamics and sportiness. The vehicle has a long, low silhouette. Instead of the usual air scoops over the engine as in other Veyron derivatives, a pair of NACA ducts set in the roof provides air to the 16-cylinder power plant. The front is characterised by larger air inlets. A double diffuser was added to the rear, and the wide, centrally located exhaust system adds to the car’s sporty character. The World Record Edition of the Super Sport can be identified by its two-tone finish of visible black carbon and orange. All cars were sold out shortly after the presentation.