The Chiron’s cornering capabilities were put to the test.
To demonstrate the cornering capabilities of the Chiron, Bugatti recently took a trio of hypercars to the legendary Paul Ricard circuit in Southern France. Situated 25 miles outside Marseille, the circuit was used for Formula One racing 14 times between 1971 and 1990 and returned to the F1 racing calendar in 2018.
Among the trio was the track-focused Chiron Sport, which is lighter and more agile than the regular Chiron, making it better suited to the racetrack. It also comes with a stiffer suspension, modified steering, refined rear-axle differential, and Dynamic Torque Vectoring. Like the standard Chiron, power is provided by an 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 that produces 1,479 horsepower and 1,180 lb-ft of torque.
Driving the Chiron trio around the French racing circuit was professional racing driver Pierre-Henri Raphanel, who also happens to be a Bugatti test driver. Back in 2010, he set a new world speed record for production cars when he drove the Veyron Super Sport at 267.86 mph. However, he wasn’t at the Circuit Paul Ricard to break any speed records, but to demonstrate the Chiron’s cornering capabilities. "Even though we go very fast on the straight bits, accelerating round corners is much more interesting. With the Chiron models it's easy to wave around the curves," he said.
Last year, Lewis Hamilton lapped the new 3.6-mile-long circuit in just one minute and 30.11 seconds. "We’re not quite that fast because a Formula 1 racing car is built much more uncompromisingly than a Bugatti Chiron. But the hyper sports car offers more power and, above all, comfort.”
Bugatti’s test driver concluded the Chiron is "a perfect vehicle for the race track”, as "it achieves a great balancing act, and this inspires me again and again. A balancing act between sportiness, luxury and comfort. You can speed around the race track in the morning and then cruise down country roads into town in the afternoon.” Sadly, Bugatti didn’t release any videos of the Chirons being taken for a spin around the legendary F1 circuit, but it did share some photos from the track day.