How do you go about creating a sequel to a world-beater? When it came time to replace the superlative Veyron, Bugatti knew they had a monumental task on their hands. By this time, the entire world knew the Veyron as the world’s fastest production car, with a top speed of just over 267 mph. But the French auto maker had a trick up its sleeve, to the delight of the automotive press who first reviewed the new model in 2016: the Chiron didn’t just carry on in the tradition of the Veyron as a luxury-clad, high-speed tourer. No, the Chiron, it turned out, also proved a highly competent handler to boot. Just watch Chris Harris’ Top Gear review of the Chiron and you will start calculating just how many of your possessions and/or body parts you would have to sell before you could afford one (hint: it’s probably going to have to be a lot of things, as the Chiron sells for over £2,000,000).
Even though the engine, a quadruple-turbocharged 8-litre W16, is carried over from the Veyron, Bugatti engineers gave it a thorough overhaul for duty in the Chiron. Peak power now sits at 1500 bhp. You read that right. Torque is, of course, also impressively staggering; 1180 ft-lbs available at just 2000 rpm. Combine that unheard-of power with a Haldex all-wheel-drive system, and the acceleration figures are predictably quick: the Chiron reaches 100 km/h in just 2.4 seconds, 200 in 6.5, and 300 in a mere 13.6 seconds. All of those figures blow away the performance of the Veyron, but the news isn’t all good. Disappointingly, the top speed of the Chiron had to be limited to 261 mph because Bugatti did not feel that any tire available today was capable of safe operation above that speed. Remove that limitation, however, and it has been projected that the car can reach an astounding 288 mph.
As we mentioned above, the highly-revised engine, transmission, and suspension combined to produce an incredibly balanced vehicle. Compared to the brutish Veyron, the Chiron is a figure skater on the backroads, even at double the speed limit. Bugatti also spent plenty of time improving the interior treatment of the Chiron, resulting in a much quieter and pleasant cockpit, compared to its predecessor. Despite all of its triumphs over the Veyron, the Chiron’s greatest achievement might just that it turns a profit for the company, justifying the existence of such ridiculously fantastic vehicles for future generations.
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