This is a tale of two Veyrons: the original, 1001-hp Veyron 16.4 and Grand Sport were created by Ferdinand Piëch to reclaim his Le Means Mulsanne-Straight top-speed record from Peugeot. But in addition to breaking the 407 km/h record, the chairman of Volkswagen would do it in a luxurious street car.
Then, there was a SECOND Veyron. The 1200-hp models used a completely new carbon tub, new body panels, and had completely different suspension and steering tuning. The Super Sport and the Grand Sport Vitesse look like the original 1001-hp Veyron EB 16.4, until you start comparing them closely. They're actually different cars.
The 1200-hp cars drive more like Lotuses than Veyrons — with great steering, willing handling, and of course, obscene power.
This video is a gorgeous, moving Wikipedia entry on the Veyron, quickly discussing Ettore Bugatti's OCD, his Molsheim castle, Ferdinand Porsche's grandson Ferdinand Piëch, who wanted the Porsche 917's top-speed record back, and insider information Cammisa gleaned from his time with Bugatti engineers — including a story of how the first 1200-hp test car accelerated so quickly that it exploded its A/C compressor. And of course, Loris Bicocchi, who tuned both Veyrons, but who was allowed to have a little more fun on the 1200-hp cars.
The car photographed in this video is the 2012 Super Sport 300 — the 300th, and final, fixed-top Veyron ever produced. (There were 150 open-top cars.) Total production for the Super Sport was just 30 units — just 8 for the U.S. market.
This very special Veyron is currently offered for sale by ISSIMI — please visit issimi.com for more information on this car.
Bonus footage at the end: Various iPhone videos from Jason Cammisa's personal archive of what the Veyron's quad-turbocharged W-16 sounds like. The four clips were recorded in the convertible Veyrons — the first two in the 1001-hp Veyron Grand Sport, and then two additional ones in a 1200-hp Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse. The acceleration videos were recorded on closed roads and runways.