If, like me, you grew up idolizing the McLaren F1 for its incomprehensible top speed, you likely remember the very day you discovered that a French brand called Bugatti smashed every speed record for production vehicles with the Veyron. That car set the scene for a new era of Bugatti hypercars, and while the Veyron was a technological spectacle, Bugatti has not slowed since. The brand's latest creation is something that pushes the goalposts even further, with a car named after Louis Chiron, a Monaco resident and esteemed racing driver of the early 20th century. The Veyron was an excellent machine, but received criticism for being a little poor to drive unless you were traveling in a straight line. Thus, the Chiron retains the basic engine architecture of its predecessor but improves on absolutely every possible parameter. A new version of the famous 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 engine sends a whopping 1,479 horsepower and 1,180 lb-ft of torque through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Output is distributed to all four wheels, helping the massive monster get from 0-60 mph in under 2.5 seconds. While that's all good and well, the likes of Koenigsegg and Hennessey have made it clear that they intend to steal the crown of the king.
The entire car is an all-new creation, with not a single component not undergoing reevaluation and redesign. The turbochargers are 69% larger than those on the Veyron, and they are now staged to reduce turbo lag. A new front badge hewn from silver features too, while revised aerodynamics and larger wheels help the Chiron remain planted on the road. Even the adaptive rear wing is larger than before and the whole design is arguably far more appealing than that of the Veyron.
The Chiron lineup is joined by the Super Sport, the regular version of the Super Sport 300+ record-breaking car that exceeded 300 mph in 2019. As for the "standard" Chiron, it continues unchanged.
A new limited-run, handling-focused model with a reduced weight joins the lineup for 2021, the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport, which we review separately. As for the normal Chiron, Bugatti is leaving it alone for the 2021 model year without any changes. However, another limited-edition model based on the Chiron Sport is introduced, with production limited to 20 units. It's the Les Légendes du Ciel, meant to commemorate the Bugatti racing drivers that also flew in the French Air Force. This model features a bespoke grille, Gris Serpent matte-gray exterior paint, an interior featuring tanned leather and aluminum, and French flags behind the front wheels. Following on from the one-off La Voiture Noire, Bugatti makes the Chiron Noire package available for both the normal Chiron and the Chiron Sport. The package can be had in two flavors, either Noire Sportive - the body in exposed carbon fiber finished in matte black - or Noire Élégance - the body in black exposed carbon fiber. Availability will be limited to 20 units.
The limited-edition 110 Ans Bugatti launches as a 2020 model to celebrate the 110-year anniversary of Bugatti. This model is based on the Chiron Sport but is exclusively finished in Steel Blue in a matte finish, with the French flag featuring on the wing mirrors, the underside of the rear wing, and the fuel-filler cap. There are additional motifs of the flag in the blue Alcantara interior. Only 20 units will be manufactured. Other big news included the announcement of the Chiron Super Sport 300+, of which only 30 will be made. A pre-production version reached 304.773 mph at the Ehra Lessien test track on August 2, 2019. We review the 300+ separately. The standard Chiron continues essentially unchanged for the 2020 model year.
The Chiron Sport is added to the lineup for the 2019 model year as a more track-focused model. Although power output is the same as the standard Chiron, the suspension is stiffer to increase cornering forces and weight is reduced by 40 pounds. A torque-vectoring system that finely controls the power sent to each wheel has been added. The aerodynamics and steering came in for changes to improve track performance. The standard Chiron does not receive any changes.
No notable changes are made to the 2018 MY Bugatti Chiron.
The Bugatti Chiron launches as the successor to the Veyron, comprehensively redesigned, but still with a quad-turbo 8.0-liter W16 engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Power goes up to 1,479 hp, which is 296 hp more than even the most powerful Veyron, and the sprint to 60 mph comes up in a blistering 2.3 seconds. The car will go on to an electronically limited top speed of 261 mph. The carbon-fiber body and interior are totally redesigned. Such was the anticipation for the new car that the first 200 units were sold even before the first car was delivered.
The Chiron is offered in three trims, but all are powered by the same 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 engine that produces an astronomical 1,479 hp and 1,180 lb-ft of torque. This allows the Chiron to accelerate from 0-60 mph in under 2.5 seconds with a limited top speed of 261 mph. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission from Ricardo controls shifts while a permanent all-wheel-drive system helps keep traction strong.
Inside, leather upholstery is complemented by titanium and aluminum components, while the outside shows off a carbon fiber body with an active rear wing and real aerodynamic aids on each end of the car as well as underneath it. As is typical for Bugatti, special editions form a part of the lineup, among which is the Sport 110 Ans model, which celebrates the brand's 110-year-long history. In total, 500 Chirons will be made. The anniversary edition is one of the rarest, with just 20 units being produced.
The Chiron Sport 110 Ans Bugatti celebrates 110 years of Bugatti, a company that started out in France as a racing car manufacturer. Since the French used blue on their racing cars, the color became synonymous with the successful Bugatti brand, with Louis Chiron one of its most successful drivers. Thus, this model pays homage with numerous blue design elements and accents, as well as various tricolor highlights, calling to mind the brand’s French heritage. This is most apparent under the rear wing, which is painted in the colors of the French flag. In addition, some special accents like a fuel filler cap made with silver and gold make the car more than just an appearance package.
The Chiron Sport is very much like the regular Chiron on which it is based, but features various styling differences. In the cabin, you’ll find black anodized trims and accents dotted around the cabin, giving it a meaner appearance. That subtle aggression is carried over to the exterior too, where you’ll find a unique quad-exit exhaust setup, a black anodized taillight bezel, and special lightweight wheels. However, for the privilege of owning this meaner model, you’ll pay an extra quarter of a million dollars.
The Bugatti Chiron is the Veyron’s successor and exists for the brand to retain its top speed record. As one of the most advanced automobiles ever produced, it carries a base asking price of just under three million dollars. For that money, you get one of the quickest and fastest cars ever made, but the car is more than just a straight-line missile and features suspension and aero enhancements over its predecessor, improving handling ability. Despite such incredible abilities, the Chiron is approachable and easy to drive, whether in traffic or on a top-speed run.
The Bugatti Chiron is a car built to break the brand's own records, but it manages to allow form to be a close second to function in its design. At the front, a pair of quad LED headlight projectors look like angry eyes with the famous horseshoe grille in the center. Lines sweep back over the large hood towards a glasshouse that features stunning C-shaped cowls on either side of the car, with these feeding intake ducts at the back of the car. That rear end features a set of LED taillights that span across the car with an adaptive spoiler integrating neatly above. Vents lie behind the lights, while a massive diffuser features a split of two dual-exit exhaust tips (although two additional exhaust tips are hidden and direct gases towards the floor). Sport models feature four individual exhaust tips at the back of the car, and a pair of glass roof panels is available. Wheels are 20 inches in diameter at the front, while the rears are narrower than on the Veyron but go up a size to 21 inches. The front wheels are a little wider than on the Veyron too, improving handling.
Making space for a massive engine and all its ancillary components requires a large body, and the Chiron is as wide as some SUVs, with a width of 80.2 inches. Length measures 178.9 inches with the wheelbase measured at 106.7 inches, the same as it was on the Veyron. Height is typically low at just 47.7 inches. Curb weight, however, is not low and increases from 4,162 pounds on the Veyron to 4,400 lbs with the Chiron. Sport models lose 39.6 pounds, thanks in part to lightweight wheels.
When it comes to cars that cost more than beachfront mansions, there is no limit on what color you can have. The body is made from carbon fiber, and you can have this carbon in any shade of red, blue, yellow, green, orange, or anything else you can think of. Sport models are specifically painted in a two-tone finish, but again, you can change this if you feel like having a truly unique vehicle. In fact, Bugatti claims that custom color options are "the rule rather than the exception", indicating that everyone who orders a Chiron has a taste for the bespoke. The Chiron Sport 110 Ans Edition calls to mind Bugatti's racing heritage with tricolor accents mimicking the French flag, along with Steel Blue matte carbon. This model also features French Racing Blue calipers and various matte black accents.
As much as the rarity of the Chiron, its styling, and its astronomical price all contribute to its allure, its reputation is based on its performance ability. While Bugatti could well have just made the car faster in a straight line - and that's no mean feat - the company was tasked by Ferdinand Piech (the man who commissioned the engineering feat that was the Veyron) to make the Chiron simply better in every way. Thus, the Chiron is faster, more comfortable, and even easier to drive than its predecessor. It's also more engaging to drive and features the brand's first adaptive suspension setup, making it more compliant when cruising and more stable during vigorous driving. The engine powering the behemoth is Bugatti's trademark 8.0-liter W16 with four turbochargers, and it produces an astonishing 1,479 hp and 1,180 lb-ft of torque. This allows the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 2.4 seconds, with top speed limited (LIMITED!) to 261 mph. This requires the engagement of a special Speed key that can only be inserted next to the driver when the car is stationary. Without it, the car will only do 236 mph. So why limit the Chiron, especially when the likes of Koenigsegg are breathing down your neck? Well, Bugatti says that the tires are not capable of sustaining higher speeds, but the truth is closer to marketing. Why break your own record when you can do it twice? Hence, limiting the Chiron allows for an even faster and more special variant to come along, and it's what buyers expect after the Veyron SuperSport was revealed.
The Chiron is powered by an 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine with a total of 1,479 hp and 1,180 lb-ft of torque. The sound it makes is an oddly muffled growl that is less menacing than even some Bentleys - blame the turbos for that. Nevertheless, the engine is built to do a job and it does it well. Throttle response is remarkably good and is a vast improvement over that of the Veyron. The engineers achieved this despite considerably larger turbos by introducing a variable system that only employs the boost of two of the turbochargers at low revs. At 3,800 rpm, a flap on each bank's exhaust manifold opens up to allow the remaining turbos to spool up. The result is a seemingly limitless wave of power that is still manageable at low speeds. Don't expect the Chiron to lurch forward and accidentally eat the rear end of the Prius in front of you when you're crawling through traffic - the Chiron is civilized and usable. Plant your right foot on the right road and you will be sucked into your seat, but the experience is not visceral. The Chiron is remarkably calm and reassuring, even at over 200 mph.
The gearbox is excellent too and is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic unit built by Ricardo. Aluminum paddles handle the shifts from behind the steering wheel when you want to be in full control of gear changes and pulling one or the other results in a near-instant upshift or downshift, but you can happily leave the box in auto mode and let it do its thing - probably the better-advised choice since you'll want both hands firmly on the steering wheel when handling a beast of such capability. In traffic, the transmission manages to be remarkably smooth and silent, making it easy to live with on a day-to-day basis - although the number of people who drive Chirons daily is not especially high.
The Chiron's engine is encased in a carbon fiber monocoque that offers torsional rigidity similar to that of a Le Mans LMP1 prototype, while the carbon-ceramic brakes employ technology derived from the world of Formula 1. The pistons on these brakes (eight-piston up front and six-piston on the rear) are made of titanium and have special ducts to minimize heat. The suspension features an all-new adaptive shock setup, and is height-adjustable too with Lift mode allowing for easier surmounting of driveways and trailer ramps, while the lowest mode works in tandem with the flat underbody, front diffusers, various vanes and strakes, and the enormous rear diffuser to maximize stability at speed. What does this all mean? Well, the Chiron is as placid inside at speed as a Volkswagen Golf is at rest. The Chiron is unbelievably stable and secure. Five drive modes, including the above mentioned Lift mode, allow you to fully exploit the capabilities of the Chiron, with Handling mode stiffening the suspension to reduce body roll and tilting the rear wing for better downforce. EB mode is the default setting and maximizes comfort, while Autobahn mode - which is automatically activated at speeds above 112 mph - lowers the front of the car and changes the angle of the rear wing for better high-speed stability. Finally, Top Speed mode brings the Chiron as close to the ground as possible and reduces the angle of the rear wing to help the car cut through the air as effortlessly as possible. The bottom line is that the Chiron is easier to drive in traffic than its predecessor, is more engaging and agile in bends, and is unbelievably calm and steady at high speed.
The Chiron Sport subtly but noticeably dials up these qualities and focuses the Chiron's attentions to track duty with firmer damping, tighter body control, and sharpened steering, without losing its everyday usability. A new torque-vectoring system makes most of the available power by carefully metering it to each individual wheel, making the Chiron even more of a weapon when blasting out of slow-speed corners.
Unsurprisingly, the Bugatti Chiron drinks fuel like an Audi depreciates - fast. Official EPA figures for the Chiron estimate that the car will achieve 9/14/11 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles. With a 22-gallon gas tank filled with the recommended 98 octane fuel, you can expect little more than 240 miles of mixed driving range. A more interesting little bit of information is that at full tilt (261 mph), the Chiron would completely drain its fuel tank in just nine minutes - three minutes sooner than the Veyron that came before.
Leather, titanium, aluminum, and carbon fiber are the materials of choice for the world's fastest production car. Thanks to the Chiron's incredible width, there's plenty of space for you and your sole passenger, but as you'd expect, the cockpit is centered around the driver. You get a pair of digital driver info displays either side of a traditional analog speedometer (so that passers-by can take a peek at it even when the car is off - something they wouldn't be able to do if a fully digital instrument cluster were fitted). So it's spacious and there are plenty of opulent materials and intricate details, but you may be disappointed to find that the infotainment system does not have a dedicated screen and there isn't much in the way of comfort features. It's comfortable, but it doesn't offer much more than air conditioning and heated seats. If that's a dealbreaker for you, you're not the target market.
One thing that the Chiron does share with other hyper-expensive exotica is that it only seats two individuals. Thanks to the impressive girth of the Bugatti Chiron, each occupant has plenty of space, but if you spec the available "Sky View" roof, which features a pair of individual sunroof panes above each seat, you get about an inch more headroom, but even six-footers seated in a Chiron without these panes will have plenty of space, and legroom is plenty accommodating too. For the driver, everything is angled towards the hot seat, with all controls in easy reach and the steering wheel well placed. Visibility out the front is decent, but it will certainly take some getting used to placing the front wings on narrow city streets, and rearward visibility is practically nonexistent.
As with the paint, Bugatti will tailor-make the interior to your specific tastes in any color you like. Leather is the dominant material, but you get diamonds in the tweeter membranes and titanium, carbon fiber, and aluminum elsewhere. Should you opt for a Chiron Sport or Chiron Sport 110 Ans Edition, you get plenty of black anodized design elements. The latter of these two Sport models also features Deep Blue leather and a steering wheel featuring matte carbon fiber and leather.
While the rest of the car is all about big numbers, the cargo area is not. With just two cubic feet of volume, you're unlikely to be able to bring more than one of the smallest carry-on suitcases along with you.
In the cabin, you get a reasonable glovebox, an area in the center console for your phone, door compartments, and a small spot for keys, but not much else. Not that it matters - if you can drive a car like this to your private jet, you'll probably have your butler following you with any essentials in a Bentley Bentayga or something similar.
Conventional features are scarce in the Chiron, but you do at least get power-adjustable heated seats and a power-adjustable steering wheel. The wing mirrors are power-adjustable too and are heated, and you get a rearview camera and parking sensors. Adaptive and height-adjustable suspension is standard too, along with an active rear wing, while the cabin features LED ambient lighting in a C shape. A cooled glovebox is also included. Optionally available are a pair of miniature sunroof panels, but things like blind-spot monitoring or advanced driver aids are not available.
The sound system in the Chiron is provided by Accuton, a brand that specializes in high-end sound systems. In the Chiron, the tweeters each include a one-carat diamond membrane, while the mid-range speakers are the world's first to feature separate membrane zones. The idea is that you have a concert hall in the Chiron, completely immersing you in your music. Unlike most modern cars, there is no central screen. Rather, infotainment details are displayed on one of the driver info displays in the instrument cluster, which is where navigation info is viewed too. The Chiron's infotainment system also includes Wi-Fi capability.
The Bugatti Chiron has had three recalls in 2018 for side airbags that may not properly deploy, an ESC malfunction, and seat recliner brackets that were improperly welded. The latter issue also affected 2017 models and the ESC issue also affected 2017, 2019, and 2020 models. Finally, 2020 models were also affected by a left-rear driveshaft that may fail.
In terms of coverage, you get a limited and powertrain warranty for the first four years with no mileage limits, as well as complimentary scheduled maintenance for the same period.
The Chiron is far too expensive to be subjected to independent crash tests, but Bugatti claims that the body is so stiff that they were able to crash the same vehicle multiple times.
The Chiron is not equipped with advanced driver aids like blind-spot monitoring or adaptive cruise control, but you do get a rearview camera, parking sensors, and highly advanced traction and stability control systems. Anti-lock brakes are standard fare too, and frontal, side-impact, and curtain airbags are included on all models.
The Bugatti Chiron exists chiefly to break records and to show the world how capable the brand is when it comes to pulling off magnificent feats of engineering. It also exists as a marketing tool and as a monument to Bugatti's achievements in breaking records. However, it could have achieved all these things and been less of a car than the one it is today. It didn't need to be absolutely beautiful. It didn't need to have a luxurious interior. It didn't need to be quiet and comfortable to potter around in, and it didn't need to be available in any color you can think of. Yet, it is all of these things and more. At a starting price of around $3,000,000, it's certainly not cheap and it's thirstier on fuel than most SUVs and trucks. It's also woefully short on storage space and it's not the easiest thing in the world to park either. But even with all these foibles, the Chiron is worth every penny of its asking price. It's a testament to what man can do given enough time, money, and expertise, and for that and its other exceptional qualities, it's worth owning if you can afford it.
The "entry-level" Chiron starts at a base price of $2,998,000 and does not require the payment of a destination charge or a gas guzzler tax. Bargain, then. The Chiron Sport is a little pricier, relatively speaking, at $3,260,000. The range-topping Chiron Sport 110 Ans Bugatti is the most expensive offering, and carries an asking price of $4,500,000. Factor in some bespoke color options or material choices, and it's not inconceivable to think that you could creep towards the five-million-dollar mark.
Bugatti is very scant on details when it comes to what can be added to the Chiron, but one feature that is publicly available is called Sky View. This refers to a pair of laminated clear panes above each passenger. While this can be equipped to any Chiron, the 110 Ans variant gets this feature as standard.
Whichever model you opt for, you will break necks anywhere you go and you'll be capable of breaking the law with ease should you bury your right foot. However, at this level, factors like rarity and bragging rights are the name of the game. Hence, we'd opt for the Chiron Sport 110 Ans Bugatti model. Not only is this variant limited to just 20 units, it also looks incredible thanks to various tricolor accents, brightly colored brake calipers, a unique interior, and a special fuel filler cap that features both silver and gold. We also like the standard Sky View roof, but ultimately, personal taste will play a role in the decision to buy a car like this. Fortunately, you can't really make a bad choice when buying a car like this.
When you have the title of 'fastest car in the world', all and sundry are gunning for you. This is evidenced by the latest concept to come from Elon Musk - the Tesla Roadster. While this model has not yet been produced or tested in any way, Musk claims that it will be quicker than the Chiron from 0-60 mph (estimating a time of just 1.9 seconds). 100 mph is expected to come in just 4.2 seconds while the quarter-mile should be done and dusted before the stopwatch clicks 8.9 seconds. At the same time, the all-electric roadster promises a top speed "over 250 mph" and a range of more than 600 miles. Pricing is also expected to best that of the Chiron, with base pricing starting at just $200,000. However fast it may be, the Chiron will be more exclusive, more interesting to talk about, and more opulent. For that reason, no one with the means will be likely to choose the Tesla over the Bugatti. Perhaps it'll make a good daily driver for those who consider cars that cost less than a million bucks cheap.
While smaller companies like Hennessey have given the people at Bugatti a lot to think about, the closest any brand has come to being a constant threat to the Chiron's record-breaking ability is Koenigsegg. The Swedish company's Agera RS is not far off the Chiron in many ways. It costs about half a million dollars less and comes with a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that can produce up to 1,360 hp and 1,000 lb-ft of torque. While the Chiron makes more, it's also very heavy. Meanwhile, the rear-wheel-drive Agera RS battles for traction at lower speeds, with 60 mph achieved almost half a second later than the Chiron. However, the Agera RS was able to reach a whopping 277.9 mph in one direction in the middle of the Nevada desert. In order to set a new record, the run would have to be almost replicated in the opposite direction, and although this was not done, it's clear that Koenigsegg has what it takes to obliterate the Chiron's record. So which is better? Well, neither is bad, but it's worth noting that the Agera RS is even more exclusive than the Chiron, with just 25 units being produced.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Bugatti Chiron: