The best supercar - First drive: Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

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Robert Coucher drives the 1200PS Veyron Super Sport - it's an engineering masterpiece.

Bugatti has just improved its ultimate supercar with the launch of its latest Veyron, the Bugatti Veyron W16 Super Sport. The SS is priced at £2 million and just 30 will be constructed. Already 24 have been sold.

The changes over the ‘regular’ Veyron include an uprated V16, 8-liter quad-turbocharged engine producing 1184bhp, up by some 200bhp thanks to bigger turbos, bigger intercoolers and better breathing. Torque has also risen to a staggering 1105lb ft, all delivered between an easy 3000 and 5000rpm.

To handle this 20% increase in grunt the SS’s drivetrain has been extensively re-engineered with a tougher gear set in the seven-speed DSG gearbox, as well as uprated brakes, suspension and steering. Crucially the aero package has been adapted to suit this cars astonishing 268mph top speed.

The Veyron Super Sport is once again the ultimate road car and it now comprehensively trumps the SSC Aero, which previously usurped the Veyron with its 256mph top speed in 2007.

Unlike most other supercars the Veyron is designed to be a very useable road car. So is it? Most certainly. Driving is as easy as with any Audi. You climb into the well made but understated interior – no electric seats or other heavy luxury accoutrements as Bugatti has fought hard to shave 50kgs off the Veyron’s 1900kg weight – slot in the key, fire it up, select Drive on the auto ‘box and trundle off.

The steering is light, the ride is comfortable, the engine sounds powerful but muted, the brakes work as you’d expect and visibility is perfect out the front and acceptable to the rear.

But find a clear and open road, dab a downchange on the paddle shifter mounted on the steering wheel which put the Bug into manual mode, depress the accelerator and as soon as 3000rpm spools up onto the rev counter, which is does very quickly, then oooff! You vision instantly slurs into computer game speed as you stomach experiences the crush of g-force. The road starts to reel towards you at unfathomable speed as you flick through the gears and arrive at the horizon’s edge.

Hit the huge carbon ceramic disc brakes and the speed evaporates almost as quickly as it builds and you marvel at this Bugatti’s incredible ability. It is totally refined, the engine when working hard sounds deep and massive but never loud or obvious, the seven gears select almost imperceptibly, the pin-sharp steering guide the projectile with total accuracy, the suspension never gets shaken or stirred and the brakes are immense.

The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is the best supercar ever constructed.


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