by Sebastian Cenizo
Ask anyone what the name Bugatti means to them, and they'll likely respond with something along the lines of "the fastest car in the world". It's how the brand reintroduced itself to the world, and it's a moniker that the brand has been defined by since the Veyron. However, Stephan Winkelmann, formerly of Lamborghini and Audi Sport, wants more for the brand. Furthermore, consultation with customers led to the realization that Bugatti buyers want a car that is quicker and more agile. Enter the Chiron Pur Sport. The same 1,479 horsepower and 1,180 lb-ft of torque are produced by the regular Chiron's 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16, but top speed is limited to a relatively pedestrian (for Bugatti) 218 mph, while weight has been shed, gearshifts have been quickened, and the suspension and chassis have been reworked for better handling. So is it really a different breed of Bugatti or is the Pur Sport merely a marketing exercise and a way to get $3.6 million out of another 60 buyers?
The list of changes made to the Pur Sport to make it more agile and quicker in the acceleration stakes is rather long, but let's start with the appearance. A new front end with fender vents is complemented by exposed carbon fiber on the bottom third of the whole car, while a fixed rear wing improves downforce. A titanium exhaust system that has been 3D-printed is also new and weighs less than the old system, while 15% shorter gear ratios improve acceleration. The front suspension has been stiffened by 65% while the rear is stiffer by 33%. Specially developed magnesium wheels are wrapped in new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R tires for more lateral grip, while increased camber also aids handling. New carbon anti-roll bars are fitted too, and the entire car weighs 110 pounds less. Inside, black anodized aluminum or titanium is complemented by extensive use of Alcantara, thus giving the car a more aggressive ambiance and reducing weight. Finally, the rev limit has been raised by 200 rpm to 6,900.
|Chiron Pur Sport||
8.0-liter Quad-Turbo W16 Gas
From the front, the Pur Sport looks absolutely menacing. Actually, it looks menacing from any angle, yet still curvaceous and sexy. The horseshoe grille and the intakes on either side are larger, while a new front diffuser splitter makes the car look even wider. Atop the front magnesium wheels are new vents that aid with cooling and airflow. Those wheels come in 20/21-inch front/rear fitment and can be specced with optional aero blades for smoother airflow. Down the side, a humungous piece of carbon fiber leads to the rear of the car where a new diffuser meets a large fixed-wing, creating an X shape. That wing is 74.8 inches wide and saves 22 pounds on its own, while a pair of dual-exit exhaust tips fed from a 3D-printed titanium system looks good from far and become mesmerizing up close, thanks to their intricacy. As with the regular Chiron, LED lighting is employed throughout.
Despite new aero addendums, the Chiron Pur Sport's dimensions largely remain true to those of the normal model, if such a thing exists for 1,479-hp hypercars. Length remains 178.9 inches while width is 80.2 inches and height measures 47.7 inches. The wheelbase is naturally unchanged too, at 106.7 inches. Curb weight is improved, however, thanks to each wheel weighing 8.8 pounds less and that rear wing being fixed in place without any hydraulic actuators. The result is an overall saving of 110 pounds, translating to a total curb weight of 4,290 lbs. That's still a lot, though, and we're interested to see if the difference is noticeable or negligible.
The Chiron's power plant - the famous 8.0-liter W16 quad-turbo behemoth - is still used for the Pur Sport, with the same 1,479 hp and 1,180 lb-ft of torque. A significant change to the powertrain is found in the gearbox. It's still a Riccardo-built seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, but it features gear ratios that are 15% shorter, improving acceleration across the board. While the vanilla Chiron boasts a 0-60 mph time in the region of 2.4 seconds, this new setup allows the Pur Sport to get to the same speed in a claimed time of less than 2.3 seconds. 0-124 mph takes six-tenths of a second less, at 5.9 seconds, while 0-186 mph takes 12.4 seconds, down from 13.6 in the regular Chiron. Top speed, however, is not improved and drops from 261 mph to 218 mph. Why? Surely the same handling improvements could have been made without imposing a limiter? Well, not exactly. Thanks to the increased camber, and a tire compound that is meant to improve lateral grip, there's less margin for error if the car is made any faster.
Speaking of those handling improvements, the Chiron Pur Sport's negative camber has been increased by 2.5 degrees while those new Pilot Sport Cup 2R tires offer 10% more lateral grip. The Chiron already handles better than the Veyron did, so the company is really trying to make its cars more like the racers of the early 20th century that gave it such a prestigious name. Other enhancements include those magnesium wheels that reduce unsprung weight, while the massive rear wing improves downforce, offering 110 pounds more pressure at the Pur Sport's top speed of 218 mph than the regular Chiron. In addition, the spring rates have been stiffened by 65% up front and 33% at the rear, but Bugatti claims this doesn't compromise the ride thanks to a new adaptive damping system. Finally, a new drive mode called Sport+ gives you more leeway on dry surfaces before the traction and stability systems kick in, and Bugatti says that you can even get the car to drift around fast bends. Overall, the Pur Sport is meant to feel lighter, turn more quickly, and be more capable on twisty circuits.
Since production will only start in the second half of 2020, COVID-19 allowing, no official EPA figures are available, but we expect them to remain the same as those of the regular Chiron, if not improve slightly. The base Chiron scores figures of 9/14/11 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles and returns around 240 miles of range from its 22-gallon gas tank with mixed driving, so any improvement would be welcome, if unnoticed by those who can afford such a machine.
The Chiron Pur Sport is not dissimilar to the regular Chiron inside, but almost completely deletes leather in favor of lighter Alcantara for better grip of your body. While this slightly reduces luxury, the two-seater is still molded in the same sort of shape as the Chiron and should be almost as comfortable and accommodating in terms of space. The steering wheel also gets Alcantara in an effort to improve your grip of the wheel, so we expect it to be a nice place to sit. Just don't climb into one with dirty jeans.
No official claims are made about cargo volume in hypercars - they rarely are - but you can likely expect the same two cubic feet of volume for a helmet and some racing overalls.
In the cabin, the layout doesn't differ much from that of the regular Chiron, so you'll have space in the center console for your phone and a small glovebox for any other pocket contents you may wish to take with you.
There isn't much in the way of comfort and convenience tech in the regular Chiron and the lightened Pur Sport is unlikely to buck the trend, but you still get a pair of digital driver info displays either side of a traditional analog speedometer. Other features like parking sensors, a rearview camera, adaptive suspension, ambient lighting in a swooping C shape, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, and navigation should also carry over unchanged. However, there's no doubt that this can be installed if you wish. Driver-adjustable drive modes are also included, as are the usual advanced traction and stability management programs.
There's no official word on the Pur Sport's infotainment system, so we don't know if exactly what the setup is like, but we expect that the same diamond membrane tweeters and advanced midrange speakers should carry over. No central infotainment screen features in modern Bugattis, with the right-side driver info display handling that duty, as well as displaying navigation information. A Wi-Fi hotspot is also included, but if you're buying the Pur Sport for its ability to connect to the internet, we'd suggest rather buying a Chevy.
The Pur Sport has not been put into production yet so no recalls have been issued either, but it may be worth noting that the Chiron suffered two recalls in 2018, each of which shouldn't become an issue again.
No official warranty announcements have been made, but the Pur Sport will likely carry a fully comprehensive warranty with complimentary scheduled maintenance for the first four years of ownership as the Chiron does.
Cars as rare and expensive as the Chiron Pur Sport are not subjected to the same sorts of crash tests as regular commuter cars, but the base Chiron is sturdy enough to have been crashed by Bugatti multiple times with no obvious structural compromises.
Advanced driver aids are not common on cars like this and the Pur Sport makes do with just airbags, anti-lock brakes, a rearview camera, parking sensors, and advanced stability and traction control systems.
The Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport is the brand's idea of a lightened and more responsive hypercar that still boasts incredible performance in a straight line, as well as a highly attractive body and a limited production run to make it all the more coveted. It delivers astonishing acceleration and still boasts a remarkable top speed, and the interior is stunning while still being relatively functional for the purpose it was designed to achieve. Yet, we can't help but feel that this is just another special edition that isn't all that special. Sure, it's not just the same old car with a fresh lick of paint and some new wheels, and extensive engineering has gone into the Pur Sport to make it more agile and quicker, but if Bugatti really wants to build a car that will be viewed as a proper track special, it needs to think smaller, not bigger. A car that measures over 80 inches wide and weighs over 4,000 pounds is never going to be as fun or as responsive as a rear-wheel-drive Pagani or a Koenigsegg with half the weight. It's a cool car, but it seems like little more than a marketing exercise, albeit a highly lucrative one. Even so, we have no doubt that all 60 will sell out, and if you're one of those buyers, the opinion of someone who drives a $12,000 car will likely mean next to nothing.
If you're only trying to allocate funds for a Chiron Pur Sport now, you're probably already too late to get your hands on one. But, if on the odd chance you're on a first name, Sunday-barbeque basis with the local Bugatti showroom principal, the official US asking price of the Pur Sport is $3,599,000. Add on some options like split paintwork and aero blades on the wheels, and that price will surely rise considerably.
Just a single trim variant is on offer for the Chiron Pur Sport, but if you're getting the most extreme track Bugatti on offer, it may well be worth your time to get the ultimate version by opting for any and all available performance enhancements, among which are aero blades for the wheels. Beyond that, we do not know what can be added to the car, but when it comes to personal taste, we think the Bugatti Blue paint finish is iconic for the French brand and would certainly spec ours in this color.
With an asking price of $3.5 million and bodywork resembling that of a Le Mans prototype, the Valkyrie is another manufacturer's idea of a track weapon. However, the Aston is a far more lethal proposition and thanks to the input of AM Red Bull Racing's Christian Horner, the Valkyrie is far more capable. A naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 produces 1,000 hp and 545 lb-ft of torque on its way to a stratospheric 11,100 rpm rev limit, while an electric system adds another 160 horses and 206 lb-ft of torque. While the finer details have yet to be released, you can be sure that the Valkyrie will be the closest thing to a Formula 1 racer for the road, and will undoubtedly weigh far less than the Chiron Pur Sport. If you want the ultimate track hypercar, the Valkyrie will be the one to have. Hopefully, you've already dropped a deposit on it though, since all 150 are sold out.
Arguably Bugatti's most direct rival, Koenigsegg has been dueling with Bugatti for some time now and has revealed its own track weapon in the form of the Jesko. A 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 is capable of producing as much as 1,603 hp and 1,160 lb-ft of torque on E85 fuel, making it the most powerful internal combustion engine ever seen in a road car. In addition to a lightweight body and an innovative new "light speed" transmission, the Jesko will feature rear-wheel steering and active aero aids that will undoubtedly make it blisteringly fast both in a straight line and on track. As usual for Koenigsegg, the Jesko is rear-wheel-drive. This makes it incredibly agile in the bends, and it will surely decimate any current Bugatti on track. For its highly advanced tech and unique styling, as well as that bomb of an engine, we'd have the Egg over the Bug.
Check out some informative Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport video reviews below.