Would you believe the Bugatti Veyron is now 11 years old? When evo Magazine started in late 1998 the McLaren F1 was still a spry eight years of age, yet here we are, over a decade down the line since the first Veyron stunned all with its thousand-horsepower output and 253mph top speed.
Those figures rose to 1184bhp and 267.7mph in time, with the Veyron Super Sport. Bisecting the two is the Grand Sport Vitesse, an example of which is now up for sale with H.R. Owen in London. The price? Pocket change, at £1,795,000.
Subscribe to evo magazine
It’s also one of the open-topped models that occupies a spot in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s fastest open top car. The record run clocked in at 254.04mph, which explains the car’s World Record Edition suffix.
The car is one of only eight World Record Editions made, from the Veyron’s 450-strong run. It’s covered 1130 miles since being registered in October 2013, at the hands of one owner.
The colour scheme will be recognisable – the car is identically-hued to the Grand Sport Vitesse we drove in issue 185 against the then-new Pagani Huayra – black carbonfibre, with orange carbonfibre elements and a smattering of orange details against the black cabin trim.
On repeated acquaintance with the Veyron we’ve discovered there’s far more to the car than just its power, but few lines better illustrate the driving experience of the Grand Sport Vitesse than that of Henry Catchpole’s assessment of its acceleration in that issue 185 test.
‘Floor the throttle below 3000rpm in second gear and the Veyron punches forward hard, but you know there’s more – the firework is merely fizzling.
‘Keep your foot buried, watch the needle swing past 3500rpm, feel the dormant turbos waking, then 3750rpm arrives, the hurricane draws a big breath and BAM! The world blurs and your head swims as everything seems to arrive in one massive 1106lb ft hit that you feel most disconcertingly in your chest just behind your sternum.
‘It’s a sustained rush too, one that keeps you pinned to the seat, draining the blood from your extremities all the way to the next upchange.’
Until the Chiron arrives, it’s the kind of rush that few other cars on the planet are able to offer. And next to the Chiron, H.R. Owen’s asking price of £1.8 million might even look good value...