Up until 2005 when Bugatti introduced their Veyron hypercar the world seemed to be content with a few really fast Porsche’s and Lamborghini’s. The Veyron however did something that no other automobile in history was able to do, it made speed chic again. The creation of big gun top speed cars used to be relegated to a few engineers that worked in the back rooms of the manufacturing plants. They would design, tweak and play with existing models to try and push the boundaries of what was capable from their existing platforms and then when getting it right, they would announce it to the world expecting big praise and hoopla.
Then Bugatti came along with a car that was designed for one reason and one reason only. Be the fastest production road car ever produced, and God damn if they didn’t blow the doors off the competition with a top speed of 253 mph. The car looked great, was an engineering marvel and with over 1000 hp, it was truly the first road car of its kind. Then in 2006 a little known American company called Shelby Super Cars (SSC) came out with a car that was poised to take that speed record away from Bugatti. Their entrant was known as the Ultimate Aero and in 2007 they took back the record with a 256.18 mph top speed besting the Veyron, and setting a record that would stand for 3 years.
Jump now to July 4, 2010 when the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport achieved a new top speed of 267.81 mph, a speed that no one thought would be bested, no one except the guys from SSC. It’s now early September 2010 and Shelby Super Cars has just unveiled the SSC Ultimate Aero II to a few select groups of individuals. Running prototypes will not be unleashed until the middle of next year, but when they do hit the road expect a top speed of around 275 mph from its 1,350hp twin-turbo 6.8 liter V8. I have no doubt that SSC will be able to achieve these numbers, however now that SSC has made these claims, one has to wonder what Bugatti has going on behind closed doors.