The Bug lost the title for a few weeks, when the Hennessy Venom GT put up a speed nearly as fast as the Bugatti’s old record, then pointed out that the exact Veyron that set the record was never on sale to the public, and thus not a production car. The Guinness Book of World Records agreed – the record-setting Veyron had a limiter removed that Bugatti won’t remove for customers – and stripped the award. But they wouldn’t give it to Hennessy, either, since the rules require that 50 street-legal examples of a car have been sold before it can be considered a production car, and Hennessy has only built seven Venoms. So the record reverted to the old holder – the SSC Ultimate Aero.
Bugatti wanted the title back. But they couldn’t win it with a high-speed run….at least not without selling 50 Veyrons with the limiter removed. So they appealed to Guinness, and Guinness altered the rule book. The organization now states that “a change to the speed limiter does not alter the fundamental design of the car or its engine.”
That puts the record back at 267.8 – 2.1 mph faster than the Venom has run.
Will that settle it? Hopefully not. Hennessy engineers believe their car has a 275 mph run in it, if they can find a test track long enough to let it hit top speed – on their last run, the driver claimed he never hit full speed before he ran out of runway. And, with Guinness’ rules, they’ll have to build, and sell, a bunch more cars to make the list.