Bugatti unveils Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse World Record Car (WRC) Edition

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 13, 2013

At 254.04mph, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse has earned the title of the fastest open-top car in the world. The record was set by Chinese racing driver Anthony Liu at the Volkswagen Group’s Ehra-Lessien proving grounds. Available for sale since 2012, the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse has led to a special World Record Car (WRC) Edition, which will be restricted to just eight units.

The official unveiling for this 1.99 million euros (plus tax) model is set to be at the upcoming Shanghai motor show next week. Except for a black and orange paint scheme, the WRC is actually just a standard Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse. It is powered by an 8.0-litre W16 engine with an output of 1184bhp and torque of 1106lb ft.

Initially, Bugatti wanted the Vitesse to have a top speed of 233mph with the roof off. But then, the automaker thought that it could reach 249mph. During practice runs, the vehicle was able to reach 249mph but it went even faster during the official timed run. TUV, the German organization for Technical Inspection and Certification, was there to oversee the establishment of the record.

A top speed of 267.86mph – setting the Guinness world record for a production car – was achieved by the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport (the coupé version of this Vitesse). However, this record was recently stripped as it was later revealed to have violated Guinness rules. The car that set the record has to be identical to what buyers got.

The units available to customers were limited to just 258mph. Five of the 30 Veyron Super Sports sold were destricted World Record Editions while the other 25 got the 258mph limiter. Although Guinness has yet to ratify Hennessey’s claim, the U.S. sports car maker is confident that it will get the title with its Venom GT achieving 265.7mph in production trim.

Press Release

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse WRC

At the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show, Bugatti is presenting the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse fresh from its record-breaking 408.84 km/h drive. Its appearance at China's biggest motor show will be the first time that enthusiasts from all over the world get the chance to see the world record holder for the fastest production roadster. China is one of the most important markets in the French luxury marque's future strategy. The new world record has inspired Bugatti to design a World Record Car (WRC) edition, the production of which will be limited to just eight vehicles.

The time has come to unveil the fastest production roadster the world has ever seen: just a few days after setting a world speed record, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is celebrating its world debut at China's biggest automotive show, Auto Shanghai 2013. After reaching a top speed of 408.84 km/h, which was gauged and confirmed by the renowned independent German organisation for Technical Inspection and Certification TÜV, the car has officially been crowned the world's fastest open-top production sports car. The 1,200 PS Vitesse was unveiled in Shanghai by the President of Bugatti, Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, and Chinese entrepreneur and world record setting driver, Anthony Liu.

"China is one of the most important markets in Bugatti's strategy for the future and we are aiming for a growth here that will be stable and sustainable", explains Dr Schreiber. "We have found that the Chinese are enthused and amazed by the technological innovations and unique power that our cars have to offer, and by Bugatti's ability to keep setting new standards. This is why we decided to invite a Chinese Bugatti enthusiast to set the record-breaking time in the Vitesse and it is also why we decided to bring the vehicle to Shanghai", he continued.

"An open-top production sports car has never reached a documented speed of over 400 km/h before. I was honoured to be one the behind the wheel for this achievement" explained Anthony Liu. "I wish to thank Bugatti and the team for making this possible and also want to congratulate them on this extraordinary car."

The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse has been on the market since spring 2012. None of the technology in the vehicle was modified for its record-breaking trip. Its power comes from an 8-litre W16 engine, which hits the streets with 1,200 PS and a torque of 1,500 Mm at 3,000 to 5,000 rpm. Its high performance handling can be attributed to a racing chassis which, together with extremely fast-acting shock absorbers and reinforced anti-roll bars, guarantees exact control of both the four-wheel-drive system and the entire vehicle. Other factors that help to push the car to the upper limits of performance include a standard carbon monocoque with high torsional rigidity and an outer shell made entirely of carbon fibre.

Keeping wind noise and air turbulence to a minimum in the vehicle's interior is a particular concern with open-top vehicles. The Vitesse is equipped with a specially developed roof spoiler along with an intricately designed windbreak to guarantee calm open-top driving. These features were key in helping the car reach the record-breaking speed of 408.84 km/h.

World record-breaking Vitesse with dynamic styling

For its record-breaking drive, the Vitesse has been made over with a powerful dual-colour scheme in black and a bright Arancia orange, perfectly blending its inner qualities into its exterior appearance.

The entire vehicle exterior, including its air ducts and the fuel and oil cap, are made out of black visible carbon. The Arancia orange paintwork, which glides from the bumper, across the wing to the behind the door, ensures that the car turns heads wherever it goes. Fine details, such as the Arancia paintwork on the bottom of the rear wing and the inside of the striking double diffuser, accentuate the car's eye-catching design. The strong colour scheme is also mirrored in the orange EB logo on the fuel and oil cap and the Vitesse lettering on the engine cover, while the classic Bugatti horseshoe radiator grill is framed in Arancia for this special edition design. The car's distinctive look is rounded off by striking wheel rims also in eye-catching orange, a feature that is only available in the Vitesse World Record edition. A black version of the famous Bugatti emblem, known in French as the Macaron, on the front of the car and a stylish black carbon EB logo framed in aluminium add another touch of elegance to the design.

Interior

The black and orange motif continues into the vehicle's interior where the black inner parts of the leather seats are highlighted with orange leather on their sides. An orange quilting stitch on the black areas of the seats and orange seatbelts add another splash of colour. The colour scheme continues in the contrast and quilting stitch on the centre tunnel, on the selector lever, and in the trim of the door pockets and door handle recesses. The striking Arancia orange also highlights the Vitesse lettering on the headrests and knee bolsters.

An orange stitching trim adds a dash of detail to the black leather steering wheel, which features a ring of visible carbon at the 12 o'clock position. The concept of bringing the vehicle's carbon exterior into its interior design is also visible in the door inserts, the extension of the centre console, the edging of the iPad console and the belt outlet trims on the seats. The EB logo in the leather back panel is also made of visible carbon.

Production of the World Record Car (WRC) Edition of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is limited to just eight vehicles. The price per vehicle is €1.99 million (plus tax).

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