The hypercar visited the La Turbie hill climb, the setting for its spiritual predecessor's victory 100 years ago.
When Ettore Bugatti set out to create the Type 10, his goal was simple: it had to be powerful and light but, most importantly, it had to be better than the competition. Motorsport was a big part of the legend's life and, when the later Type 13 claimed a victory at the treacherous La Turbie hill climb, the company's namesake was overjoyed.
100 years later, Bugatti has retraced the proverbial tire marks of the Type 13, taking to the 3.9-mile French route in a truly special Chiron Pur Sport, painted in a gorgeous silver and green combination. Pur Sport models are more extreme than the regular Chiron, aiming to provide an even purer driving experience.
"With its victory in the famous La Turbie hill climb 100 years ago, Bugatti demonstrated that its vehicles offered incomparable performance with their high quality, high-grade materials, and workmanship. We have maintained this tradition to this day and are also taking it into the future, said Christophe Piochon, President of Bugatti Automobiles.
With the inaugural La Turbie hill climb taking place as far back as 1897, this is a racing event steeped in history. Not only was it the first-ever recorded hill climb for motorcars, but it also became the first race in the European hill climbing season. Put on hold between 1904 and 1908 - and again during World War I - the eighth edition only took place in 1922.
It is here that the Type 13 made an appearance, although it wasn't its first brush with motorsport. Prior to the Great War, Bugatti's sports car saw a second-place finish at the French Grand Prix. However, it returned in 1919 with myriad improvements, including a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine with four-valve technology, among other things.
But Ettore Bugatti was insatiable and, for him, only the best would do. As such, the 1920 Type 13 received a larger 1.5-liter engine. Together with a featherweight mass of around 1,080 pounds, it could reach a top speed of 93 mph.
Fast-forward a century and, while the spirit of Ettore Bugatti remains in the company's offerings, things couldn't be more different. The Chiron Pur Sport boasts 1,479 horsepower and 1,180 lb-ft of torque, courtesy of its 8.0-liter, quad-turbocharged W16 engine. With that much power, it's safe to assume it shattered the Type 13's record.
Bugatti's rich history still serves as a rich vat of excellence for the automaker to draw from. It may be long-in-the-tooth, but the Chiron is still a deeply impressive hypercar. The company said in 2019 that a replacement for the hypercar is in the cards for 2025, but there's a very real possibility that a new Bugatti may reach us sooner.
The newly founded Rimac Bugatti joint venture is promising hugely exciting things and, when the brand announced a new design and engineering hub, it quietly teased two future models. With Rimac's expertise in electric powertrains, could it be possible that the Chiron will gain an electrified baby brother before it dies? Only time will tell.