2011 bugatti veyron 16.4 super sportThe Bugatti Veyron is (still) the world’s fastest production car, having just wrested the crown from itself in a successful world-record attempt. On Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessien test track just outside of Wolfsburg, Bugatti’s official test driver got the new Veyron 16.4 Super Sport to hit a two-way average speed of 268 mph. That terminal velocity eclipses the original Veyron 16.4 coupe’s by 15 mph. It’s faster, all right, and conditions on Saturday allowed a top speed higher than the Bugatti team was even expecting—they forecasted a conservative, and utterly tame by comparison, 264 mph.
Production versions of the Super Sport will have their top speed electronically limited to 258 mph, in order to protect the tires from certain, expedient death. To achieve that higher velocity, the car has undergone a pretty significant aerodynamic rework, with the most obvious change being the removal of the steamship-esque silver air intakes. They’ve been replaced by a pair of roof-mounted NACA ducts, and the roof itself has been extended rearward to mostly obscure the W-16 engine, which itself has been tweaked. The four turbos are larger, as are the intercoolers that feed them. Output is now 1200 hp (up from the cooler-sounding 1001) and 1106 lb-ft of torque (an increase of 184 lb-ft). Better breathing is facilitated by a new front fascia with larger openings, and there’s a double diffuser in the rear that incorporates twin center-mounted exhaust tips in place of the “regular” Veyron’s single, squared-off outlet.
The suspension also has been modified, with longer spring travel, stiffer anti-roll bars, and new dampers. Bugatti claims to be using a new structure for the carbon-fiber monocoque that increases torsional rigidity while reducing weight. And speaking of carbon fiber, Bugatti says it will offer the Super Sport with all of its body panels clear-coated to showcase the weave. The record-setting car, seen here, makes extended use of the cleared carbon, underlining it with orange accents; the first five Super Sports (which are already spoken for) are outfitted to match, called the World Record Edition.
About that name: Super Sport is a suffix that has traditionally been associated with Chevy’s SS cars, and recently we’ve seen variations of it applied to Bentleys (the Continental Supersports) and Jaguars (XJ Supersports). Based on this newfound popularity, we’re declaring “Super Sport” to be the new “Sport.” Expect the Koreans to co-opt it next.
The Super Sport will make its public debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August. Production begins in the fall at Bugatti’s Molsheim Veyron hand-crafting facility. We’re waiting for the inevitable roadster version, which will have to be called Super Grand Sport. Pricing hasn’t been divulged, but if you have to ask, you’re not Super Rich enough, Sport.