Since 2012, the Grand Sport Vitesse has been the fastest series production roadster on the planet.
The level of engineering in the Bugatti Veyron is still tough to fully grasp, even though it hasn't been manufactured in over half a decade.
The Veyron stormed into the automotive arena, coined the term "hypercar," and became more insane with each iteration by breaking records in its wake. The Chiron merely picked up where the Veyron left off. It wasn't just the coupe, either, but the convertible Grand Sport version that set records in the convertible department that few have dared to challenge.
Released in 2012, the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse never lost any ground to competitors. At the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year, Bugatti brought out all of its record holders as an early celebration of the 10th anniversary of this roadster record.
"Minus the roof, the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse demonstrates just how unparalleled Bugatti's engineering expertise is. Although the weight distribution is completely different when the roof is down, the vehicle remains stable and accelerates just as impressively as it does with the roof closed," explains Christophe Piochon, President of Bugatti Automobiles. "With the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, Bugatti proved it was possible to build an open-top hyper sports car with very high performance and power output that drives extremely dynamically and very comfortably."
If you need a refresher on the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, it was a hyped-up version of the Grand Sport roadster that used the 1,184 horsepower powertrain from the Super Sport.
The consumer demand was there to build the most powerful production roadster and provide an even faster open-top experience.
After a German TUV-verified two-way run, the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse hit 254 mph (408.84 km/h), a top speed record that remains untouched for series production vehicles.
The only asterisk here is the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder, which reached a higher speed in a single direction run only and was produced in highly limited numbers, making it a dubious claim for a series production car.
That's why Bugatti, and many others, believe the record still belongs to the French hypercar manufacturer.
The question now is whether anyone will be able to beat Bugatti's efforts - Hennessey's prior claim notwithstanding.
In July 2021, Bugatti told CarBuzz that it would not build a Chiron sans roof. Production of the Chiron has also now drawn to a close in the middle of this year. This leaves the upcoming Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster - which will be a full production vehicle developed in-house by Hennessey and which the brand says is confident can top the speeds of the old car.
The closed-roof Veyron's top speed records were bested by the Koenigsegg Agera RS - technically a convertible car, but with its runs completed in closed-roof fashion - in 2017, which to this day is the fastest certified production vehicle.
Many may point to the 2019 run in which Bugatti used a modified Chiron to hit 304.77 mph as the day Bugatti reclaimed the record, but as this vehicle was a prototype, one which "visually inspired" the Chiron Super Sport 300+ run of 30 units, we're not so sure we can call it a production car.
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