I’ve always been fascinated by the world of marketing, the guys in the background that create subtle and not so subtle ways to make you think that you’ve made a completely unbiased buying decision based on your own views, when in reality, you have most likely been the victim of a brilliantly subtle marketing campaign.
So with that in mind it was interesting to read that the Bugatti Veyron has been stripped of it’s title as the world’s fastest production car. It was only a week ago that questions were being raised as to the record holding Bugatti’s validity as a ‘production vehicle’ following the claim for the seemingly controversial record being made by the Hennessey Venom GT.
The Venom GT, driven by John Hennessey, managed to achieve 265.7mph on a 2-mile stretch of runway compared to the Veyron’s 5-mile stretch needed to get up to speed.
But the controversy doesn’t end there, for the production version of the Veyron engine is limited to 258mph – and the car used to set the record had no electronic limiting in place. So surely that makes the 267.8mph record invalid?
Well Guinness seem to agree, for Jaime Strang, PR Director at Guinness has stated that following a review by Guinness World Records the Veyron record is “no longer valid” and the record will no longer stand.
Bugatti’s response has been predictably defiant, claiming that Guinness knew the limiter was not activated, which begs the question that if this was the case, why did Guinness acknowledge this run as a record attempt in the first place?
The record now officially defaults back to the SSC Ultimate Aero, the V8 engined 1183bhp beast that managed to achieve 255.83mph.
The Hennessey Venom GT only produced its 265.7mph run in one direction though, so does not yet qualify for the record of fastest production car on the planet. Guinness requires that any record attempt be repeated in both directions.
It seems to me that all this confusion could be wrapped up and thrown away with a few simple tweaks and confirmations to the rules, if the Bugatti achieved 267.8mph over a 5-mile stretch and the Venom achieved 265.7mph over a 2-mile stretch, it doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that the Venom GT is very likely to grab the record from the Aero any day now.
So where does this leave our anonymous marketing guys for each of these manufacturers? Pretty comfortable I would imagine, being stripped of the title might sound dramatic, but it means that the Bugatti Veyron is back in the news and people’s minds once again. While the fastest street-legal production car record might be in dispute, the outright winner here is subtle marketing, no disputing that.
Images from thesupercars.org