It's 40 years since The Blue Flame became the first car to achieve 1000km/h, setting a World Land Speed record that lasted 27 years. It could have gone even quicker - but it very nearly didn't make it at all.
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The all-new Super Sport has been unleashed at the Ehra-Lessien test track and has smashed the previous speed record for a production car.
At the Volkswagen Group's Ehra-Lessien proving ground, near Wolfsburg, in front of the German Technical Inspection Agency (TÜV) and a representative of the Guinness Book of Records, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport achieved an average top speed of 431 km/h or 267.81 mph. The previous record of 256 mph has been held by the SSC Ultimate Aero since 2009.
The new Veyron has received comprehensive changes under the skin; from the carbon fibre monocoque to the intelligent all-wheel drive system. Each of the four turbochargers have been enlarged, boosting power output from 1001 bhp to 1200 bhp. Top speed of the production car will be limited to 257mph, to protect the tyres at such high speeds, but is identical to the record car in every other way.
Manufacture will begin this autumn along side the standard Veyron and Grand Sport edition. The first five Super Sports, known as the 'World Record Edition' all have the special paint scheme and exposed carbon fibre finish of the record car, and have already been sold. The Veyron Super Sport will make its first public appearance at Pebble Beach in August, followed by the Quail and Monterey historic races at Laguna Seca.
Speaking about the record run, Bugatti’s chief engineer Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber explains: 'We took it that we would reach an average value of 425 km/h, but the conditions today were perfect and allowed even more.'