The Bugatti Chiron: At 1,500 Horsepower This Is the Most Powerful Production Car Ever
For beauty and sheer brute horsepower Bugatti’s 1,000 hp Veyron has ruled the roost of production super sports cars for a decade but like all things, that reign had to end. Welcome the new monster supercar, the Bugatti Chiron, a 1,500 hp rocket that stole the stage at Europe’s most prestigious auto show in Geneva.
Low, exotic, with incredibly awesome design lines that aren’t actually design lines at all (more to follow) the Chiron follows the Bugatti brief to make the best even better. This is not just an updated Veyron, the Chiron is an entirely new vehicle built from the ground up using the principal of form following performance.
At the heart of this beast is Bugatti’s vaunted 8.0L quad-turbo W16 that — thanks to newly designed turbochargers that can cram an impossible amount of air and fuel into the cylinders — can now generate 1,500 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque. Think about that for a moment.
That kind of power and torque results in:
- 0 to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds
- 0 to 124 mph in 6.5 seconds
- And if you are really feeling frisky you can go 0 to 185 mph in 13.5 seconds
The secret to this kind of performance is that 1,180 pound-feet of torque peaks at a paltry 2,000 rpm and keeps pouring out through 6,700 rpm when the W16 hits max performance.
Top speed for the Chiron is 236 mph in 4 of the 5 preset drive modes. If you want top speed, by inserting a special key you can access the 5th mode and blast off to 261 mph.
The Chiron is set up in an all-wheel drive configuration and uses an electronically controlled multi-plate center differential with torque vectoring to deliver power to whichever end of the car can make the best use of it. The torque is managed via a double-clutch seven speed transmission that has alloy paddle-shifters on the steering wheel for manual use.
Oh, and the rear axle also has torque vectoring making the car easy to drift. That’s right, you can go popping down the road at 180 mph and put this multimillion dollar car into a drift. We’re having fun now!
Designed to Keep Its Cool – Literally
The Chiron is not just eye candy it is eye awesome. From the side the Chiron actually looks like two cars melded together. The aggressive rear haunches with high tech air intakes reminiscent of a jet fighter on either side yields to a super sleek passenger cabin and sloped hood. It really doesn’t matter which view you have of this car it gives you the impression of pent up energy and if you touched it, it would roar.
Definitely exotic, definitely aerodynamic, definitely futuristic and as it turns out every eye catching detail on this vehicle looks and acts the way it does to support the performance of the car. In other words, the design is not just a work of automotive art. We mentioned earlier that the lines of this car were not design lines in the traditional sense but rather an exercise in form following performance.
Here are a few examples:
- The distinctive air intakes on the side are there for a reason. The improved turbos need a ton of air to feed in the engine and the intakes provide that air, under pressure to accomplish the job. The rear design creates a vacuum effect that sucks air up from the road to assist in cooling the engine. In the front, the distinctive horseshoe grill and even the futuristic four point headlights all suck in air and direct it to the front brakes to assist in cooling.
- The spoiler on the rear is automatic. If you need extra braking power an air brake pops up creating drag while simultaneously apply downward pressure on the rear end. Airplanes have stabilizers; the Chiron has a spine that runs from the middle of the cabin down the centerline of the rear end to assist with lateral stability.
- The interior is ergonomically designed which is an absolute must when driving at high speed. It is of course designed to appeal to the Bugatti customer’s sense of luxury as well with all authentic materials including carbon fiber and brushed aluminum. Of course it goes without saying that the driver is ensconced in an environment of premium leather.
Form following performance.
Not Coming to a Dealer Near You
Just as it would be improbable to find a used Veyron in your local CarMax lot, don’t expect to see a Chiron anywhere soon…if ever. Bugatti is building this car for Bugatti customers and at $2.6 million a copy that customer base is a bit limited and spread out all over the globe.
Bugatti is limiting production to 500 units and has presold over 150 already. The first production units are schedule to roll off the line in autumn of 2016.
Now if you live near, or hang out with world champion boxer Floyd Mayweather you might at least get a look at this new Bugatti. Mayweather reportedly ordered a tricked out (how do you trick out a supercar) Chiron and is dropping $3.5 million for it!