The hypercar has achieved a great deal since 2016.
The Bugatti Chiron is undoubtedly one of the finest engineering endeavors undertaken, but we often tend to take its ability for granted when there are so many other supercars out there that over otherworldly performance. In fact, even electric sedans now offer four-figure horsepower ratings. But headline numbers aren't all that the Chiron is about. Bugatti is now reflecting on the exquisite machine that it has built in Molsheim since 2016, explaining that, as epic as the Veyron was, the Chiron had to be even more astonishing. Thus, Bugatti's engineers and designers were given a simple brief: "Make the best even better in every respect."
"In keeping with the company's long tradition, the Chiron represents the best, most extraordinary vehicle in the world. In every respect, it must excel - not just fast, but beautifully designed, constructed from the finest materials, usable in all conditions and at all times, and comfortable during long journeys. This is what makes the hyper sports car truly unique," explains Christophe Piochon, Chief Operating Officer of Bugatti Rimac and President of Bugatti Automobiles.
As the pinnacle of Bugatti's ambitions to date, the Chiron needed a special name. Inspired by racing driver Louis Chiron, who raced for Bugatti between 1926 and 1933, the name signifies winning at the highest levels.
As with the Veyron, you get an 8.0-liter W16 with four turbos, but everything was completely redesigned to generate 1,479 horsepower. The Chiron improved upon its predecessor's achievements and is able to reach 62 mph in 2.4 seconds. It can triple that speed from a standing start in just 13.1 seconds, and its top speed only arrives at 260 mph. That's fantastic, but Bugatti decided to reengineer the car again to create the Chiron Super Sport, a car developing 1,578 hp. With more power and optimized drive components, this variant took the moniker's top speed to 273 mph. Bugatti claims this makes it the fastest production sports car ever made, although someone named Christian von Koenigsegg may beg to differ.
To achieve this, the car's air cooling had to be improved. The result is the ability to drink in 60,000 liters of air every minute, "while a bespoke coolant system was developed to circulate 800 liters of water per minute through the entire system." As was famously the case with the Veyron, the Chiron has 10 radiators, giving it the most sophisticated and highest performing cooling system installed on a performance car, and even the catalytic converters are brilliant feats of engineering at six times the size of those on a regular car and with a surface area "that would cover more than 30 soccer fields."
Even the chassis is special, requiring 320 square meters (3,444 square feet) of carbon fiber. Bugatti says that if each of the fibers were laid end-to-end, they would stretch to more than 2.2 million miles, roughly the same distance as going to the moon and back four times. The Chiron boasts the industry's first series-produced metal 3D-pressure-functional component: a water-flow high-pressure pump console in the transmission oil reservoir. Then there's the 3D-printed titanium exhaust trim of the Chiron Sport, which is made up of 4,200 layers of metal powder fused together. The Chiron is also the first car ever to be produced with a full hydraulically adjustable chassis - "just like a jet." Even the screws are noteworthy, as there are at least 3,800 of them holding more than 1,800 individual parts together as part of a whole.
After pumping so much money and ingenuity into the platform, it's no surprise that Bugatti decided to add additional moneymakers to the lineup. These include the Pur Sport, which was specifically introduced to give Bugatti owners more fun in the corners. With the brand's numerous world records, undying attention to detail, obsessive pursuit of excellence, and unrivaled innovation, it's no wonder that all 500 planned Chirons have now been sold. It's also no surprise that it takes six months to produce a single example. Now Bugatti looks to the future, and while we have no idea what it plans to build next, we know that it will be in line with founder Ettore Bugatti's words: "If it is comparable, it is no longer a Bugatti." Bring on the future.