Bugatti’s history dates all the way back to 1909. A company with a rough past, coming close to bankruptcy and being wiped from existence in the 1950s. To which they carried on manufacturing aeroplane parts and multiple revival attempts within the industry that never took off. Until 1996 when Bugatti launched the brilliant EB110, launched at the time of the depressive Wall Street crash.
This didn’t hinder the manufacture’s comeback, and then in 2005 after being bought by Volkswagen came the Bugatti Veyron 16.4. A technical and engineering masterpiece that stunned the world, being the very first hypercar to break the 250mph barrier. A truly spectacular masterpiece, which was further revisited with the Bugatti Veyron Super Sports. Breaking the world’ fastest road car speed of 267mph, which was beaten by the mighty Koenigsegg Agera RS in 2017 clocking in at over 278mph.
Though the legend is back and reborn, with the all-new successor, the Bugatti Chiron. Sharp, brutal and aggressive that defines Bugatti’s heritage of motorsport. The Chiron, a 2.5 million pound hypercar that is set to dominate all the land speed records for production cars. Equipped with an 8.0 litre W16 Quad-Turbo engine, churning out 1479bhp and 1,180 lb-ft of torque. Which is enough to jump-start a dead planet if you ask me. Where the 0-62mph time is the same as in the Veyron SS, 2.5 seconds. However, the top speed is where it differs, at the moment the Chiron is limited to 261mph. Reason being is that the Chiron is still undergoing rigorous testing, as Bugatti themselves say that the Chiron can and will break the 300mph speed barrier.
How the Chiron Stacks Up Against the Veyron?
With the Bugatti Veyron, having set the bar high it is going to take quite a lot for the Chiron to take over its reign, though the Bugatti Chiron is off to a flying start. Producing 1479bhp compared to the Veyron’s mere 1183bhp, where the Chiron is a carbon fibre-tubbed two-seater hypercar. Armed with an 8.0 litre, 16-cylinder engine in a W configuration. Which means four banks of four around a common crankshaft. The Turbos on the other hand, which are about 50 per cent bigger than those on the Veyron, two of which are blowing all the time and fed by eight exhausts apiece. To minimise turbo lag which would otherwise be unimaginable and horrendous. The other two turbos are controlled by valves, which activate depending on throttle position and rev range. Though when all four turbos are active they are powered by four exhausts, meaning that there is power all the time and the torque figures produce a near-flat torque curve of 1,180 lb-ft from 2000rpm to 6000rpm.
To which the power travels to all four wheels via a revised version of the Veyron’s Ricardo dual-clutch automatic transmission, which incorporates heavier duty clutches and lighter gears. Where the power is mostly sent to the rear, but with the added support of Haldex coupling pushing the power towards the front wheels when the rear can’t cope. Which judging from the amount of power and torque the engine produces would happen quite often.
The rim sizes are up by an inch than found on the Veyron, where 20 inches are on the front wheels and 21 inches at the rear. Where the tyres are wider at the front (285mm) and narrower at the rear (355mm) than on a Veyron Super Sport for a better handling balance, which shows that the Chiron is designed to break track lap records and weighing in at less than two tonnes (1996kg) gives it the added pedigree to be a track day monster.
To put into perspective as to how technologically impressive the Bugatti Chiron really is, it is equipped with 10 radiators. One main radiator to pump about 200 gallons of water and two auxiliary radiators. There’s also a 12-litre low-temperature cooling loop for the intercooler. Add the three engine oil coolers, the transmission oil cooler, the hydraulic oil cooler and the rear diff cooler.
A new speed war is dawning upon us, and another David Vs. Goliath battle is underway. This time it’s for the 300mph barrier, I recently wrote about the Devel Sixteen a behemoth of a monstrous machine. A 5,000bhp beast that is estimated to top at least 340mph, though this is just an estimate and Devel is still testing the engine and the car.
Though Hennessey makes another up roaring return with the new Venom F5, a 1.2-million-pound beast that is also estimated to break the 300mph speed barrier and will go sale sometime around 2019. Therefore, as impressive as the figures may be on the Bugatti Chiron it is essentially in a three-way heat competing for the title belt of being the undisputed fastest car in the world.
Though that being said, how fast is too fast? With technology and automotive engineering at a constant evolution cars have become faster and more powerful, soon the supercars and hypercars of the world will be so fast and powerful that the driver would essentially need to be equipped with a G-suit to cope with the G-forces, though as I mentioned in another article. The more pressing issue that arises with breaking the 300mph barrier are the tyres, that’s why the Bugatti Chiron is limited to 261mph. This is due to the tyres under extreme heat and high speeds would heat up and could run the risk of rupturing as a result of friction. Though Bugatti, Hennessey and Devel are all working with undisclosed tyre manufactures to develop durable enough tyres to cope with the high stress achieved at those speeds. A Battle Royale article will soon follow pinning the three contenders against one another to see who one will walk away King of the Hill.