The track-focused Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport gets put through its paces at the demanding Bilster Berg circuit.
Unveiled back in March, the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport is the most track-focused version of the mighty Chiron yet. Whereas the standard Bugatti Chiron focuses on straight-line speed and comfort, the Chiron Pur Sport is lighter and more agile. It's still powered by the same 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 producing 1,479 horsepower and 1,180 lb-ft of torque, but the suspension and chassis have been reworked to improve the handling, making the Chiron Pur Sport more fun to tame on a track than the standard car.
After weeks of lockdown, the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport recently returned to the race track last month to resume testing. Now, we finally get to see it in action on video at the Bilster Berg track in Teutoburg Forest, Germany, a tight, technical circuit that's the perfect proving ground for the Chiron Pur Sport.
Behind the wheel is Bugatti chassis setup engineer Sven Bohnhorst, who can be seen pushing the Chiron Pur Sport to its limits to test the chassis, steering and dampers. "The track at Bilster Berg with its very own topographic relief is challenging and demands a high level of concentration. It's a technical circuit with varying radii, fast and slow sectors and severe elevation changes. A genuine challenge for us chassis developers."
The track's elevation changes enable Bugatti engineers to finetune the car's running gear and safety systems. It's also an ideal location to test Chiron Pur Sport's new ESC Sport+ driving mode that makes it easier to control drifts at high speed. With this mode activated, the driver can stay on the throttle longer to control the rear end before the ESC kicks in.
"The combination of an uncompromisingly sporty and harder chassis setup, new tires with a softer rubber compound geared towards lateral dynamics, and the shorter transmission ratio make it possible to maneuver the Chiron Pur Sport out of any corner safely and at lightning speed. An incredible feeling at the wheel that makes the adrenalin flow," said Bohnhorst. "It's a car for drivers, for all those who have petrol in their blood. I never want to get out again."
To give the chassis a thorough workout, the Chiron Pur Sport is thrashed around the track for four laps in each session, starting with an initial warm-up lap followed by two fast laps and a cool-down lap. During fast laps, Bohnhorst assesses the overall handling, as well as how the steering, dampers, and other chassis systems such as traction control and all-wheel drive react to the conditions.
Other chassis components such as spring rates, anti-roll bars, and tires are also evaluated, as well as how accurately the car's steering response provides feedback to the driver.
"The beautiful thing about the Chiron Pur Sport is that it continuously provides sensitive feedback," Bohnhorst explained. "It remains extremely controllable, also thanks to the interaction of a mechanically finely-tuned basic setup, and is enhanced by coordination with electronic control systems to prevent any unexpected events." Limited to 60 units, the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport will start production in the second half of 2020. Each example will cost $3.5 million, but unlike the standard Chiron, the Pur Sport will have a top speed limited to just 218 mph.