SSC Says The Chiron's Record Was Invalid, But Broke It Anyway

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And it seems that the American company might have some valid factual evidence.

We all know that Bugatti has a way with top speed records. First, the Veyron broke the record formerly held by the SSC Ultimate Aero. Koenigsegg's Agera RS dethroned the Veyron before the Super Sport version of the Chiron broke the new record. Then came the Chiron Super Sport 300+. Bugatti achieved a new top speed record with it and cemented its name in the minds of car aficionados everywhere. Yet Shelby Super Cars - the company that built the 331-mph SSC Tuatara to reclaim its top speed record - says that Bugatti's record was invalid. More than that, in an interview with Road & Track, SSC's CEO says that the Chiron is actually incapable of achieving Bugatti's claims.

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Now, we know that Bugatti achieved the record with a modified version of the Chiron and that the Super Sport 300+ model released to commemorate the run was different from the car that supposedly set a new record. As such, it technically never had a shot at the production record. Despite this supposedly minor technicality, Bugatti claimed that its hypercar could go even faster. Yet Jerod Shelby, SSC's founder and CEO, says that besides the fact that Bugatti didn't validate its run with another go in the opposite direction, the Chiron's drag, gear ratios, and horsepower were all inadequate to achieve the record. This comes despite Bugatti verifying its run with a VBOX system that provides hyper-accurate speed and acceleration readings.

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According to Shelby - who is not related to the late, great Carroll Shelby - says that "you and I or a lot of engineers can calculate what that theoretical speed is. The Chiron [Super Sport 300+], in a theoretical world, can do 286 mph. And that's in production trim." Interestingly, Shelby doesn't have beef with Koenigsegg and says that the Agera RS got close to its theoretical limit when it achieved an average of 277.9 mph. Unsurprisingly, he is not prepared to disclose what the Tuatara's theoretical top speed is, but the question on our minds is this: Will Bugatti acknowledge Shelby's claims and provide more evidence that its record was legitimate? With Bugatti apparently no longer focused on records, we may never get closure on this story.

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2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS Side View
Source Credits: Road & Track

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