Bugatti Commences the Chiron's Record Breaking Spree

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
bugatti commences the chirons record breaking spree

After throwing down the gauntlet earlier this summer, Bugatti has begun making good on its promise to smash every automotive speed record it can with its new Chiron hypercar. In June, Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Durheimer told the press that the successor to the brand’s Veyron Super Sport would embark on a 12-month mission to ensure dominance, but admitted he wasn’t entirely sure how much quicker the Chiron would actually be.

However, helped out by silicon carbide brakes with titanium pistons, it turned out to be fast enough to go from a dead stop to 249 mph — and back to zero again — in a staggeringly short 41.96 seconds. Considering that there aren’t many cars that can even go that fast, the record-winning run does feel like a bit of a cheat. The feat is undoubtedly impressive but, since the Chiron has so few contemporaries, the record almost seems engineered to ensure Bugatti a victory.

We’re waiting on the top speed run that surpasses the Veyron’s 268 mph, as well as the Hennessey Venom GT ‘s unofficial 270 mph run from 2014. Bugatti has that event scheduled for 2018 but, even with the Chiron’s staggering specs, it might be a semi-difficult achievement.

Production versions of the Chiron are limited to 261 mph, but the company will disengage the limiter for all record attempts — just like it did with the Veyron. The problem is that nobody knows exactly how fast it will be until drivers start pushing the envelope. Assumedly, it will be faster than its predecessor. Bugatti upgraded the vehicle’s turbocharged 8.0-liter W16 to 1,500 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque, whereas the Veyron Super Sport only had 1,200 hp and 1,106 foot-pounds. On the downside, the new car is about 330 pounds heavier.

Realistically, we don’t see Bugatti encountering much trouble as it tries for speed records. The automaker is already promising a 0-to-124 mph time of 6.5 seconds and 0-to-186 in under 13.6 seconds — the latter of which is about a second quicker than the old Veyron’s best. But there is a big difference between paper and practice.

For this run, veteran racing driver Juan Pablo Montoya hustled the vehicle up to 400 kph (249 mph) in a scant 32.6 seconds before swapping throttle for brake. Slowing to a halt took another 9.3 seconds, which isn’t bad for about one-third the speed of sound. Montoya also bested his own personal speed, set behind the wheel of an Indy car, with the Chiron and says he’s looking forward to next year’s world speed record attempt.

“I hope Bugatti will invite me to their world record run with the Chiron,” he said. “At any rate, I’m saving the date in my calendar.”

Bugatti will likely spend the next few months practicing at Volkswagen’s test track in Ehra-Lessien, Germany, where all Veyron record attempts were performed. The course includes a five-mile straightaway, making it one of the few places on the globe where Bugatti can push the vehicle’s speed without having to dodge traffic. Bugatti hasn’t announced when the Chiron will make its official record attempt, just that it would be sometime next year.

[Image: Bugatti]

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  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Sep 11, 2017

    So, if men supposedly buy big pickups to compensate for their small whatchucallit, how small must one's whatchucallit be to buy this car? New-born baby size? Oh, but this is different, because reasons. At least pickups are useful for things other than bragging rights (even if some buy them for that alone). Obviously bragging rights would be the *only* reason for this car to exist. Can it haul people and/or cargo practically? Is it economical? Is it able to venture off road, deal with bad weather, tow, or go many thousands of miles with little to no service? "Instead of making a diesel passenger car engine that has acceptable power, torque, durability and mileage figures while being in compliance with emissions laws, we built a 1500 hp car that represents no practical value whatsoever. Das auto." I'm not seriously knocking super cars, or those who buy and/or love them, but what's good for the goose is good for the gander. If you want to hate on people for spending lots their money on something that makes them happy, its rather unfair to not include cars like these. Its really the same thing, only many times greater in this instance since you could buy a fleet of "bro-dozers" for what this costs. My personal feeling is that someone should buy what ever they want (and can afford), and show at least some respect to those who do the same, even if its not something I (or you) would choose. If an Altima 2.5S CVT, or an F-250 with a lift kit, makes you happy, so be it. Its your money, not mine. I may "hate" on the car itself, but I respect a person's choice if they buy that car.

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    • Detroit-Iron Detroit-Iron on Sep 11, 2017

      @Garrett This is the best I could do on short notice

  • Threeer Threeer on Sep 12, 2017

    Impressive engineering feat, to say the least. And yet, I'd rather pilot a well-restored X 1/9 or 911SC...or something. I guess I'll never play in that upper stratosphere of automotive ownership (actually, I can't even play in the restored X 1/9 or 911 SC playground!).

  • Lou_BC Street legal EV side by side quads.
  • John When you are driving to your own house, you are usually on residential roads at 25 mph for the last mile. If you drive at 25 mph, you cover that last mile in 2 minutes and 24 seconds. If you drive at 30 mph, you cover it in 2 minutes even. If you drive it at 45 mph, you cover the distance in 1 minute and 20 seconds. So, you can drive like a bat out of hell to save yourself 64 seconds, or you can drive the speed limit, and preserve the life and safety on the streets where your own children play and ride their bikes.
  • Zipper69 Thank goodness none of our US manufacturers, supplying vehicles powered by internal combustion engines EVER have to issue recalls...
  • MKizzy Looks kinda good from the front and sides but I suspect its because of the darker colors featured in the photos. The rear however, is gruesome with the cliched rear fascia and ill proportioned tailights which appear grafted on from a smaller vehicle. Speaking of the "other site," most of the reader comments were negative towards the Taurus (I don't know when sedans became associated with Boomers, but okay) and many disagreed with the writer's overblown praise for what is merely a slightly attractive sedan.
  • SCE to AUX "Dmitry Medvedev recently took a trip to China and praised the country’s cars as being on par with Mercedes-Benz"Tassos, help us out here!