Sometimes champions are crowned through disqualification.
Shelby SuperCars set the record for the fastest production car in the world in 2007 with its Ultimate Aero on a public highway in Washington. On that historic run, the car hit an impressive top speed of 256.14 mph. The Ultimate Aero kept the title for 3 years, when a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport achieved a top speed of 267.8 mph.
Just this week, though, a discovery has brought down the mighty Veyron and, by default, gave the record back to SSC.
There’s a third player in the game now, too, which isn’t going to sit idly by and let its attempt at the speed record go unnoticed.
First, here’s what happened with the Veyron:
Bugatti was awarded the title of fastest production car by Guinness World Records in 2010, when a test driver hit 268 mph in a Veyron Super Sport. Production versions of the car were electronically limited to 258 mph. It’s been recently discovered that rules set out by Guinness insist that, for the title to stand, all cars sold should be mechanically identical to the record breaker. Since the speed limiter was switched off during tests, but left on for the production cars, the Veyron’s title was stripped.
On its website, SSC published a press release reclaiming the Ultimate Aero as the world’s fastest production car. Company president Jerod Shelby said,
This wasn’t how we planned to reclaim the record. But it will do until the Tuatara takes a run at several records that exist out there. Although, it was still a nice surprise.
He went on to say,
After we held the record for 3 years, I was happy to hand over the crown to Bugatti back in 2010. I think it’s good for the supercar industry to have competition. It keeps the enthusiast hungry. We’ve also always felt that it would be better to break someone else’s record next time, instead of just re-breaking our own record.
I like that quote. It shows the class of Shelby and his fierce competitive nature. That’ll come in handy, because there’s another competitor that shouldn’t be overlooked.
The Hennessey Venom GT has never been crowned the world’s fastest production car. However, that’s only because its run of 265.7 mph happened earlier this month and hasn’t been confirmed by Guinness. If it is, SSC will have to get back to breaking someone else’s record with its new Tuatara.
But don’t count out Bugatti
Make no mistake, this will be a 3-car race for quite some time. A simple flip of the switch, a new test run or two, and some “special edition” production will be all it takes for Bugatti to take its spot back. At this point, we wait to see what SSC does with its Tuatara.
Expect great things!
The title of World’s Fastest Production Car means a lot to these automakers. Does it mean anything to you?