The emerging sport of One Mile Racing has a new champion – Ray Hofman's 2006 Ford GT runs a twin-turbo motor with a reputed 1900 rear wheel horsepower. A fortnight ago, Hofman piloted his Heffner Performance modified Ford GT over the measured mile with a terminal velocity of 266.9 mph, beating out the other two logical contenders for the title of the world's fastest street car. Just for the record, a Bugatti Veyron exits the standing mile at just over 200 mph. Hofman is now aiming for 280 mph. Is this the world's fastest road car?
An archeological find of some magnitude went under the hammer this week, when a rusted 1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia that has spent the last three quarters of a century at the bottom of a lake in North Italy was auctioned. When found and raised, it validated a legend that had circulated for 70 years. Mercifully, it will not be restored, but will live on in an American museum in its partially reclaimed glory as living proof of the craftsmanship of the era in general, and the Bugatti marque in particular. The Italian legend fetched a staggering EUR 260,500 - US$360,000. They do not make 'em like this any more.
The Bugatti marque has an array of the most exclusive, indeed totally unique brand values ever assembled. Ettore Bugatti came from a family of famous designers, sculptors, painters and architects. Though he chose a different path, it was Ettore who gave the family name its global renown, producing machines that set world speed records for planes, boats, trains and cars, the most successful racing car in history and the most expensive automobile in history. VW purchased the name a few years ago and created the fastest, most powerful, most expensive Veyron
, and in so doing, the exclusive brand name was successfully resurrected. Now Bugatti will produce a Tourbillon wristwatch by Parmigiani which doubles as the clock on the dashboard of its latest car and hence will be worn only by those who purchase the US$1,470,000 16C Galibier, which will be, predictably, the fastest, most exclusive and most powerful four door automobile available.
Imagine a sports car show held not in an exhibition center, but at the safest racetrack in the world, so the cars can be appreciated in their natural surroundings, without speed limits. The first “International GT & Supercar Show”
will be held at Circuit Paul Ricard
in the South of France on September 26 and 27. Exhibitors include Ferrari, Gumpert, Koenigsegg, Ad Tramontana, Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, F&M, Morgan, Audi Wiesmann, Spyker, Mosler, Pagani, Porsche, Saleen, TVR, Yes, Venturi, Alfa Romeo Zagato, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Mercedes, Castagna Milano, Maserati, Lotus, Lightning and Tesla.
The automotive world held its breath when Bugatti's turn came during the Geneva Auto Show press conference merry-go-round last week. Here was the world's most over-the-top brand name addressing the assembled global automobile industry in its centenary year. Highly credible sources such as respected German magazine Auto Motor und Sport
were suggesting during the lead up to the conference that Bugatti was to gazump all the contenders for the world's fastest production car with a 1007 kw (1375 bhp) Veyron derivative with a top speed of 273 mph. The rumors even got the name right - the Centenaire.
A new Bugatti
goes on sale this week, and like every other automobile to ever bear the revered name, it's so over-the-top you can't help but admire the audacious spirit which permeates all aspects of its engineering. The limited edition open-top Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport will be the world's fastest open top car, capable of travelling at 360 km/h with the roof off, and 407 km/h with it closed. Just 150 will be made of the EUR 1.4 million Grand Sport with the first 40 reserved for existing Bugatti customers. The usual cut-no-corners approach has seen the original Veyron virtually reengineered to accommodate the lack of the roof as a structural component.
‘Black Bess’, the famous Bugatti Type 18 Sports two-seater will go under the auctioneers hammer next week. One of just three Type 18s in existence, the car was purchased new by pioneer French aviator Roland Garros
and has been driven competitively on road and track by a string of distinguished owners for almost all of its 96 years. Black Bess, named after highwayman Dick Turpin’s legendary steed
, will be just one of an array of very special automobiles at Bonhams’ auction
in Paris on February 7, 2009. Expect to pay EUR1.3 to 1.5 million if you want a slice of this beauty.
December 24, 2008 The numbers and specifications of the newly announced Danish-built Zenvo ST1 sports car put it in elite company. With 1104 bhp and a weight of 1376 kilograms, the Zenvo has a power to weight ratio only bettered by a handful of cars on the planet – the Caparo T1, SSC Ultimate Aero TT, Koenigsegg CCXR, Caterham Levante and the LeBlanc Mirabeu – plus a few supersport motorcycles. The 7 litre V8 engine uses a novel forced induction set-up featuring both supercharging and turbocharging to give it a staggering maximum torque figure of 1430 nm at 4500 rpm (Bugatti Veyron = 1250 nm), making it one of the fastest accelerating cars in existence – 0 to 100 in 3 seconds fast. Only 15 will be built with what we expect will be a price tag in seven figures, commensurate with its electronically-limited 375 kmh top speed.
With British performance car brands being sold to overseas interests left, right and center, it seems it's up to enthusiasts to create the next truly British supercar. And after an eight year development process, here it is: the Keating SKR and its racetrack-only, all-carbon TKR brother offer continental good looks, lightweight snappy handling and stonking power, from 400hp on the 6-litre V8 base model to a ridiculous projected 1500hp for the twin-turbo top dog. With sensible service intervals and a bespoke approach to supercar-building that will see everything from the dash instruments to the seat coverings and interior tailored to each buyer's specifications, Keating hopes to rekindle the British performance auto industry. Tally ho!