When Bugatti introduced the Veyron back in 2005, the automotive world turned upside down as every journalist, reviewer and enthusiast watched and listened in awe. It was the first production car to break the great 1,000 horsepower barrier, but Texas-based tuner Hennessey spoiled its glory just a few years later.
The Venom GT, based on a modified Lotus Elise, produced more than 1200 horsepower, claiming the top spot as the faster car on the planet.
Then Bugatti gave us the Veyron Super Sport, a 1200 horsepower Veyron which regained its title as the fastest car on the planet and entered the Guinness World Records once again, reaching 268 mph. Everyone thought that was the end of that, but Bugatti had other plans.
Fast forward to 2016 and the jaw-dropping Bugatti Chiron. With the likes of Ferrari’s LaFerrari, Porsche’s 918 and McLaren’s P1 gaining massive popularity in recent years, it was reasonably safe to assume that the Veyron replacement would offer some kind of futuristic hybrid powertrain.
Bugatti however, opted to upgrade the existing Veyron and create the ultimate hypercar, the last hoorah for the combustion-engine if you will before stricter emission regulations see us all driving hybrids and electrics. Not so much a car as much as it is a technological exercise, a spec sheet of staggering numbers, the Chiron is the last word in automotive perfection.
Power: 1,500 hp
The 8.0-liter W16 is the same unit as the one found in the Veyron, but Bugatti cranked up the insane level to 11. Thanks to a lot of hardware modifications, as well as some ECU tuning, the Chiron produces 1,500 horsepower. To put that into perspective, consider that an Audi R8 supercar with 600 horsepower is 900 hp down on the Chiron. That’s more than what the Ferrari F12 produces. Let that sink in for a moment.
Torque: 1180 lb-ft
Sporting four massive turbochargers, the Chiron is capable of generating 1180 lb-ft of torque, most of which comes between 2,000 and 6,000 rpm, so it’s linear usable torque.
Top Speed: 261 mph
Don’t worry; it’s not slower than the Veyron. Bugatti had to impose a 261 mph speed limiter because they’re not sure how the tires will cope beyond that. Bugatti is working on developing tires which will be able to withstand forces of 300 miles per hour because it’s very likely that the Chiron will be able to touch the golden 300 mph mark.
The Chiron has five different driving modes, the two most interesting of which are Handling and Top Speed. In Handling, the dampers stiffen up, the steering wheel gets tighter, aerodynamic features deploy and all the emphasis is put on driving dynamics. Top Speed is the opposite. Activated with a special key, in Top Speed the car hunkers down, all the spoilers retract and it becomes as sleek as possible.
This amazing car is like the stuff of dreams which many of want to experience. Only the super rich will be able to afford such an incredible machine, a work of art if you will. There aren’t too many places where you’ll be able to max out the speedometer, and if you do find one, you’ll probably run out of gas in trying to do so.