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New Bugatti Veyron crowned world's fastest road car

The new Bugatti Veyron has been crowned the world’s fastest production car after reaching an average top speed of 268mph.

A new version of the vehicle, called the Super Sport, smashed the previous world record of 256mph set by a SSC Ultimate Aero in 2007.

Bugatti test driver Pierre Henri Raphanel piloted the super car over two runs at Volkswagen's test track in Ehra-Leissien, Germany for the land speed record attempt.

But its staggering performance far exceeded the expectations of Bugatti’s engineering team, proving that upgrades to its flagship sports car have had the desired effect.

The original Veyron – which had held the world record until 2007 with a 253mph top speed – still has the same 8.0 litre, 16 cylinder engine.

However, its four turbochargers have been tweaked and larger intercoolers added.

The new combination raises the Veyron's power output from 1,001bhp to 1,200bhp.

Bugatti has also redesigned the car's bodywork, with an all carbon fibre shell, reducing weight.

Bugatti’s chief engineer Dr Wolfgang Schreiber said: “We took it that we would reach an average value of 264mph but the conditions today were perfect and allowed even more.”

The standard Veyron's top speed was famously put to the test on the BBC's Top Gear programme.

After reaching 253mph at Ehra-Leissien, presenter James May – nicknamed Captain Slow – said the experience "made my eyes water".

However, when driven by The Stig on the programme's test track, the Veyron only managed 10th place.

Jeremy Clarkson speculated that the vehicle's relatively heavy weight may have caused it to put in a slower time than cars such as the Caparo T1 and Koenigsegg CCX.

The first five Veyron 16.4 Super Sports to come off the production line will constitute a special series with the same set-up as the land speed record car.

Called the World Record Edition, the cars are in a special black exposed carbon and orange finish and have already been sold.

The Super Sport will begin production this autumn at Molsheim along with the Veyron and the Grand Sport.

The remaining production models will feature enlarged turbochargers and bigger intercoolers for the 16-cylinder engine.

Bugatti has sold 260 Veyrons and 35 Grand Sports.

© Telegraph.co.uk