Supercar

Bugatti Claims Chiron Can Hit 280 MPH – But When Will It Prove It?

Chasing top speed records isn’t a priority for Bugatti right now.

With its top speed electronically limited to 261 mph, the Bugatti Chiron has yet to unleash its full potential. Speaking to CarAdvice, Bugatti's CEO Stefan Winkelmann claims the 1479-hp hypercar is capable of a much higher speed, but chasing top speed records simply isn’t a priority for Bugatti right now.

"I think it could easily go 440km/h or 450km/h (273-280 mph), but we've not made the test,” Winkelmann said. “If you do it then it's not something that needs to be done only once, but all the cars need to be built in a certain way." Essentially, Winkelmann is downplaying the 277.9-mph production car top speed record set by Koenigsseg in an Agera RS here since it hasn't been repeated.

While Bugatti has made a bold claim about the Chiron's capabilities, it still needs to prove it. The automaker was expected to attempt a new top speed record in the Chiron next year, but Winkelmann’s comments make this less likely to happen. Hennessey, on the other hand, is out to prove the Venom F5 can hit at least 300 mph. It will be joined by the SSC Tuatara in the race to hit 300 mph in a production car.

Meanwhile, Bugatti is currently focusing on a new performance benchmark with the recently unveiled Divo. Technically, the Divo has a slower top speed than the Chiron since it’s limited to 236 mph but it can set faster lap times thanks to its sharper handling.

"Top speed is one slice of the performance cake, but being so far at the edge in terms of performance brings penalties," Winkelmann added. "If you want to look more into lateral acceleration you have to compromise on longitudinal acceleration. With the Divo we had to make that decision and I think it was the right one. Absolute top speed is not on the agenda at the time being. "

We may still see a faster version of the Chiron in the future, however, as recent rumors suggest a hardcore Chiron SS could be in the works along with a targa top Aperta and ultra-light Superleggera.

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