It was different in that its speed was electronically limited to 258 mph by Bugatti on the grounds of safety.
Bugatti has never made a secret of the fact that the car’s speed was limited and had even made this information available to Guinness when the record was set back in 2010.
Doubts of the record’s legality came about when America’s Hennessey Performance took its Venom GT supercar to a top of 265.7 mph and rightly claimed that it was the fastest production car 'actually' available to the public.
Fast forward to today, and Guinness officials have reinstated the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport’s world record on the grounds that a “change to the speed limiter does not alter the fundamental design of the car or its engine.”
Guinness' full statement, first sent to the Sunday Times, is reproduced below:
“Following a thorough review conducted with a number of external experts, Guinness World Records is pleased to announce the confirmation of Bugatti’s record of Fastest production car achieved by the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. The focus of the review was with respect to what may constitute a modification to a car’s standard specification. Having evaluated all the necessary information, Guinness World Records is now satisfied that a change to the speed limiter does not alter the fundamental design of the car or its engine.”
Given how close Hennessey came to beating the record, we wonder how long it will stand now.
Of course, Bugatti remains hungry for ever-higher speeds. The convertible version of its Veyron Super Sport, the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, has just achieved a record top speed for an open-top car of 254 mph, in its World Record Car special edition trim, and there’s talk of an even more powerful ‘super’ Veyron with as much as 1,600 horsepower in the works. The current Veyron Super Sport and Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse develop 1,183 horsepower (1,200 metric horsepower) from their quad-turbocharged, 8.0-liter W-16 engines.