Record

Could An Electric Car Be The First Production Vehicle Past 300 MPH?

We’re getting to a point where electric vehicle technology is beginning to surpass the internal combustion engine.

It wasn’t all lights, camera, action during the 2016 Geneva Motor Show when Bugatti peeled the wraps off of the jaw-dropping Chiron. By the looks of it, the Chiron had it all. Looks, horsepower, prestige, a seven-figure asking price, even a conspicuous speedometer that seemed to go all the way up to 310 MPH. Hopes were high. The Veyron, after all, changed the game entirely and the only way for Bugatti to drastically raise the bar (not like it had to, any billionaire still wanted the Chiron) was to break another speed record.

You can imagine the dismay that set in when Bugatti announced that it would allow Chiron owners to go no faster than 261 MPH for “safety reasons.” Of course that still leaves the possibility that Bugatti is saving a world record attempt with a de-limited Chiron and a professional driver for later, perhaps when attention on the hypercar begins to slacken.

Optimistic as we may be, Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained isn’t too convinced that the Chiron will be able to breech the 300 MPH limit. Part of the reason why, as he explains, is simple physics. Even with an impressive 1,500 horsepower and the possibility of more if Bugatti follows the Veyron Super Sport with a Chiron Super Sport, the internal combustion engine has quite a few limitations when it comes to flat-out speed. So does the Chiron's safety compliant front end, which induces drag. Electric cars, on the other hand, could be the answer. After working with Formula E, Fenske finds out why the electric car could be the first to breech the 300 MPH mark. Pay attention and you may just learn something.

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