Most owners will still never get close to reaching the limiter.
Much like the iPhone 7, the next model out of the Bugatti factory in Molsheim, France will lack a feature that its predecessor once had: the ability to claim that it's the fastest production vehicle in the world. It's not that the Chiron is a slouch though, especially not with its 300 horsepower premium over the Veyron Super Sport. Instead, the decree is enforced through a top speed limiter that's capped at 261 mph, or 6.7 mph less than the Veyron Super Sport's top speed of 267.7 mph.
That slightly disappointing scoop of information was presented to us directly from Bugatti. We reached out to the automaker after hearing rumors that owners could eventually unlock a special top speed mode on their Chirons that would enable the 8.0-liter W16 engine to crank the speedometer all the way to 285 mph. With fingers crossed for confirmation, Bugatti instead denied the claims and said, "The Chiron reaches a maximum speed of 420 km/h (261 mph), limited for road travel. Bugatti does not (nor plans to) unlock this limited speed for their customers." While it's doubtful that any owner will come close to the limit for "road travel," the news still begs the question: where does all the extra power go?
In all likelihood, it will be dumped into the four contact patches upon launch to attain stupidly fast acceleration times. Engineering Explained mentioned that the 2.0-second mark is about as fast as a road vehicle can go based on the laws of physics. As a brand accustomed to flirting with the edge, we'd expect Bugatti's latest car to approach that limit. For those in dismay about the lower top speed, fear not because 261 mph may not be the end of the road for the Chiron. It's worth noting that the Veyron was capped at a lower speed than it was capable of for road use. With claims that Bugatti will try a top speed attempt in 2018, we wouldn't be shocked to see a de-limited Chiron beat the Veyron and renew the brand's lease in the Guinness Book of World Records.