The new Bugatti Chiron, making its debut at the Geneva International Motor Show this year, is the fastest, most powerful production car in existence.
It replaces the Bugatti Veyron (and yes, the Veyron was the previous fastest production car) and while it retains the older car’s powertrain, pretty much everything else has been upgraded and improved.
Unlike its closest competitors, it’s not a hybrid, and relies solely on fossil fuels. Bugatti engineers say this decision was taken because introducing an electric engine would have increased the weight to an unacceptable degree.
And the weight is the only thing that’s less about the Chiron – everything else is more. Much more. It can manage 1479bhp and 1180lb ft of torque – dwarfing the Veyron’s 1183bhp and 1106lb ft. And it can do 0-62mph in under 2.5 seconds, 0-124mph in less than 6.5 and 0-186mph in under 13.6! That’s 2.9 seconds faster than the McLaren P1, one of its closest competitors and still a full second faster than the Veyron Super Sport.
And the top speed? Bugatti has limited it to 261mph – a token 3mph faster than the Veyron. The speedo is clocked to 310mph so the company clearly feels there’s room for improvement. In fact, a record-beating test is planned in which the Chiron is expected to top 270mph.
To put that in perspective, a Formula 1 car will typically produce about 800 horsepower with a top speed of around 225 mph. Considering the Chiron is more than three times the weight of an F1 car (around 1,200 pounds), it needs to be twice as powerful to deliver the performance. It can empty its 26-gallon fuel tank in 460 seconds and cover nearly 400 feet per second while it’s doing so – this is a powerful car.
The headline stats are impressive but the engineering required to achieve them is no less so. The engine is an improved version of the Veyron’s 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16. With a new titanium exhaust system to reduce back pressure, it’s packing two huge catalytic converters – each of them around six times the size of what you’ll find in a Ford Mondeo. Of the six exhaust pipes two point downwards to boost downforce – something that’s no longer legal in Formula 1 – and Bugatti claims it has the highest performance clutch ever fitted in a production car.
Good luck finding a road where you can get the most out of it, though there’s a reason that one of the five driving modes available is ‘Autobahn’, the others being ‘Auto’, ‘Lift’ (designed for speedbumps, only available below 50kph), ‘Handling’ (high performance, but really just for the track) and ‘Top Speed’ (salt flats, maybe?).
There will only ever be 500 of them (and 120 of them have already been snapped up). So if you’ve got £1.9m to spare, you’ll need to get your name down quick!
(Image courtesy of Bugatti)