Bugatti claims open top world speed record at 254 mph

Lose your Guinness World Record?

No prob, just set another one.

Bugatti, whose Veyron Super Sport stripped of its Guinness-certified World’s Fastest Production Car speed record last week due to an apparent rules violation that was recently brought to light, has now claimed the title of World’s Fastest Open Top Car.

Bugatti says the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse World Record Car was driven to a top speed of 254.04 mph with its top removed on the company’s test track in Ehra-Lessien, Germany, on April 6th, by Chinese racing driver Anthony Liu.

The world record car is slated to make its public debut at the Shanghai Auto Show next week, and eight replica vehicles will be sold for $2.6 million each.

The 1,184 hp Grand Sport Vitesse went on sale last year and has three driving modes: Standard, Handling and Top Speed, with speed limits of 112 mph, 233 mph and 255 mph, respectively. However, top speed mode can only be accessed when the roof panel is in place, or without it when the car is taking part in a drive event at the Ehra-Lessien track.

A similar speed restriction system is what slipped up the Super Sport’s Guinness record of 267.8 mph, set in 2010, as customer cars are limited to 258 mph in top speed mode unless it is at one of the Bugatti track events.

Bugatti maintains that Guinness knew that car would be delivered to customers with such a limiter for safety purposes, but the organization now says the modification is against its rules and has invalidated the record and put the category under review.

This time around, it appears Guinness has no say in the matter, as the Vitesse’s speed was verified by a German timing organization without the British organization’s involvement and Bugatti is simply calling it a “world record,” not a “Guinness World Record.”

But how long will it stand?

John Hennessey started this whole top speed record kerfuffle when he claimed the production car top speed title for his Venom GT at 265.7 mph after a run on an airport runway earlier this year, arguing that since his car didn’t have a restrictor, it was the fastest production car you could actually buy. Guinness wasn’t involved, but Hennessy’s statement is what led it to pull the Veyron’s record.

But as it turns out, the Venom GT used for the run also has a removable roof panel, and Hennessey tells that he’s already tested the car up to 230 mph with it off and it was “rock solid” at that speed.

Can it go any faster?

The way things are going lately, it won’t be long before we find out.