It may have taken some time but Bugatti has finally performed a top speed run with the Chiron, and the results are nothing short of amazing. At the Ehra-Lessien test track, the company’s test driver Andy Wallace managed to bring the hypercar to a new world record top speed (vmax) of 490.484 km/h (304.773 mph), becoming the first carmaker to break through the mythical 482.803 km/h (300 mph) barrier.
The record-breaking run was verified by Germany’s Technical Inspection Association (TÜV), placing the Chiron above other really fast cars like the SSC Ultimate Aero (412.282 km/h or 256.18 mph two-way average), Hennessey Venom GT (435.111 km/h or 270.49 mph vmax) and Koenigsegg Agera RS (457.939 km/h or 284.55 mph vmax, 477.188 km/h or 277.87 mph two-way average).
At first glance, the Chiron used in the record attempt may look a little odd, and your eyes aren’t deceiving you. The car is anything but standard, as Bugatti worked with Dallara and Michelin over six months to create a modified version that is up to the task.
Firstly, the car is 25 cm longer than a standard Chiron Sport to create a streamlined body to optimise aerodynamics and reduce drag. The long tail resulting from the revision also sees the removal of the rear wing and air brake, with a static unit recessed into the tail in place instead.
A laser-controlled ride height system was also added to ensure the adjustable suspension is geared towards keeping the amount of drag as low as possible. You’ll also spot a stacked exhaust setup from the Centodieci, which pushes out the exhaust gases as far from the rear as possible to minimise their effect on drag and aero.
For power, Bugatti used a tweaked version of the 8.0 litre quad-turbo W16 engine (nicknamed Thor), which puts out 1,578 hp (1,600 PS), while retaining the standard seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and all-wheel-drive system.
After dealing with aerodynamic efficiency and power, Bugatti then proceeded to strip the high-speed Chiron of its passenger seat and perform other weight-saving measures. Items that were added include a safety seat and full roll cage, along with a number of computer systems.
Bugatti says the Chiron used is a “near production prototype derivative of the hyper sports car,” so it isn’t far-fetched to assume that a Super Sport version is on its way. With the gauntlet thrown down, let’s see what the Jesko, Tuatara and Venom F5 can do.
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