The 300+MPH Bugatti Chiron Still Has Dead Bugs on It
It's laid claim to the title of fastest production car in the world.
When we heard Bugatti was bringing the Chiron that topped 304 mph to Los Angeles, we jumped on the opportunity to get a look at one of the fastest roadgoing machines on earth. The beast of a hypercar is bare carbon fiber with brilliant orange accents, and it's still covered in dust from Volkswagen's Ehra-Lessien test track near Wolfsburg, Germany, where the 300-mph run was made. Its massive front intakes are even still full of bugs sacrificed on the altar of ridiculous velocity.
Bugatti also brought along two of its other fastest models from its recent past. The first, a gorgeous EB110 Super Sport in silver wore a gorgeous carbon-fiber spoiler. It's powered by a quad-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-12 engine capable of 603 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, and features a six-speed manual transmission. This 1990s-era supercar was capable of a 3.2-second zero-to-60-mph sprint and a 221-mph top speed.
Next to it sat the very Bugatti Veyron Super Sport that set a record for fastest street-legal production car in world, attaining a top speed of 267.856 at Ehra-Lessien. It bears a similar orange and bare carbon fiber livery as the Chiron. Its quad-turbocharged W-16 engine produces an incredible 1,200 horsepower and 1106 lb-ft of torque, routed through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It was touted as ripping to 60 mph in just 2.4 seconds. (Koenigsegg later ran to 277.9 mph to set a production-car record. We were there.)
The record car was driven by Andy Wallace—Le Mans winner, Bugatti test driver, and man who set a 1998 top-speed record in a McLaren F1—and was actually a preproduction prototype modified with improved aerodynamic and safety features, including its long-tail, lower-drag body. In addition, it also features a laser-controlled ride-height system to keep drag to a minimum. In person, this Chiron is utterly stunning—it's clearly an object of immense power. In fact, it's markedly more powerful than its Vmax predecessor. Its quad-turbo, 16-cylinder powerplant yields an immense 1,578 horses, although no torque figure was forthcoming. Unfortunately, this car may represent the last of Bugatti's vehicles used to attempt a record of any kind, as Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann stated, "We don't want to reduce the Bugatti Chiron to top speed." In the future, he told the assembled media, comfort, styling, beauty, and handling will instead be emphasized. So enjoy it while you can—and take a good, long look in the gallery below.