A BUGATTI Veyron is one hell of a car, and one to challenge its owners.
That’s because its claimed top speed is likely to remain a dream.
The average person, even a Bugatti owner, simply doesn’t have enough space — or courage — to see just how far they can push the machine.
However, Radim Passer isn’t your average Veyron owner.
He’s a 55-year-old Czech millionaire, said to be the Czech Republic’s 38th wealthiest man, and he has deep Christian beliefs.
After a lot of planning, a few not quite fast enough attempts, and some recalibration with the car itself, Radim achieved his goal of hitting 250 mph (402km/h) in his Veyron, which is just shy of the car’s tested 254 mph (406km/h) top speed.
The planning involved finding the right road.
That led Radim and his team to Germany’s autobahn.
Derestricted zones allow for clear sailing, in terms of the legality.
There really aren’t many places where one can embark on a top speed blast across a public thoroughfare, with the one exception being Germany.
In order to ensure the roadway is as devoid of traffic as possible, the next step revolved around the proper day to make the run.
There’s a state holiday that lined up with Radim’s efforts. Starting early that morning would allow for as little traffic as possible.
With the road and date settled, Radim and his crew set off to make it happen. Only there was a problem and it happened to be the car itself.
After trying over the course of a few runs, the Veyron would not let Radim unlock its top speed mode.
The attempt was scrapped and Radim headed off to Bugatti HQ with a number of questions.
It was determined the car knew that the ambient temperature was too low for a safe top speed pass.
Another run was planned, this time with careful attention paid to the weather.
Radim and his Veyron ventured out once again, yet the top speed mode again remained locked away.
Another consultation with Bugatti discovered the transmission was due for replacement.
The car wasn’t up to the demands placed upon it for such a run.
The transmission was replaced, the car got new tyres and Bugatti gave it a thumbs up.
Radim set off down a straight 10km stretch of nearly empty Autobahn.
The first run showed a 390km/h per hour run on the speedometer. According to the GPS, however, the Veyron was consistently breaking 400km/h, and on its final run posted a top speed of 402.5km/h. That equates to 250 mph for the non-metrics.
There you go.
All you need is some millions in the bank, a long stretch of empty road, a lot of faith in your maker – and a Bugatti Veyron.