Bugatti describes the new Chiron as the world’s fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car. That’s quite a claim, but no exaggeration. The new Chiron boasts 1500HP from its heavily revised 8.0-litre turbocharged W16 engine and is limited – yes, limited – to a top speed of 260mph, or 420km/h. We expect to read of a new production car world record with a specially de-restricted Chiron in due course.
In design terms, the blend of ‘beauty and beast’ that characterised Veyron has been heavily tweaked in favour of ‘beast’; the Chiron’s all-new carbon fibre monocoque has a more aggressive look without losing the curves that are a distinctive marque signature. Active aerodynamics help keep the Chiron hunkered down to the tarmac at four miles a minute; a bank of eight flat full-LED projector headlamps give the front an air of predatory menace; and the new rear-end treatment gives visual prominence to a vast underbody diffuser.
Dr Ferdinand Piëch’s original brief for the Veyron, Chiron’s predecessor, was for a Bugatti that could top 250mph yet be docile enough to convey driver and partner to the opera. So Chiron had to be both faster and more agile than Veyron without losing the civilised luxury that is part of the Bugatti DNA. Task accomplished: inside the Chiron’s cockpit Bugatti’s curvaceous design ethos is translated into soft, supple leather, beautifully-laid carbon-fibre with just the right degree of gloss and jewel-like instrumentation. A long, elegant and curving illuminated C-bar separates driver and passenger. Meanwhile the high performance sound system renders that visit to the opera redundant – you can enjoy orchestra pit sound quality without leaving the cockpit.
Only 500 examples of the Chiron will be made, at a cost of €2.4million net. Such is the status of this remarkable car that advance orders for a third of the production have already been received.