But there's a very good reason why.
Compared to most cars, the 218 miles per hour top speed of the 2021 Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport would seem incredibly high. But if you compare it to the original Chiron's 261 mph top speed and the 304 mph record-breaking pace of the Chiron Super Sport 300+, 218 mph almost seems "slow." Speaking with Bugatti head of R&D, Stafan Ellrott, Motor Trend learned that the Chiron Pur Sport sets out to prove that top speed isn't the end all be all for a hypercar.
The Pur Sport, which is priced at $3.55 million and limited to just 60 units, was designed to be the most agile and handling-focused Chiron yet. Despite having a lower top speed than its siblings, Ellrott says the Pur Sport has some pretty bonkers performance figures including a 0-60 mph time of under 2.3 seconds, a 0-124 mph in 5.9 seconds, and a 0-186 mph time in 12.4 seconds (all of which are quicker than the standard Chiron).
Power still comes from an 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine producing 1,500 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque, now going out through a recalibrated seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The revised transmission should help the Pur Sport go quicker around a race track than a standard Chiron but Ellrott was quick to point out that this still is not a dedicated track weapon.
"The Chiron Pur Sport is geared toward handling, but it is not a track car," he said. "Don't get me wrong, we are of course testing it on tracks and its performance shows exceptional optimization in terms of agility." When asked about the Pur Sport's pace compared to a standard Chiron, Ellrott simply said: "we don't communicate lap times for any of our models."
"We modified the chassis setup, changing the wheel camber, the stiffness of the springs, and removing 110 pounds of weight. We completely reworked the transmission, shortening all gears by 18 percent, and adapted the engine to cope with the changed gear ratios, with even more torque to achieve incredible acceleration and elasticity. And then we finally developed a new tire together with our strategic partner Michelin," Ellrott explained.
The change in tires and wheel camber can mostly explain the Pur Sport's massive drop in top speed. "You can't drive both 300 mph and go really fast around corners with the same road car," Ellrott said. "The top speed had to be reduced as we wanted the car to be absolutely geared towards agility, handling, elasticity, acceleration. To achieve this, we willingly sacrificed top speed."