The Bugatti Chiron is here to take its rightful place as the heir to the world’s fastest production car! The Automotive world is ready to embrace its new king!
The story begins in 2005 when the Volkswagen group audaciously unveiled what would become one of the greatest automotive icons of the 21st Century aka the Bugatti Veyron. The Veyron was built to break records, surpass every known boundary in the automotive world and to decimate all other cars in its wake. In 2010 Bugatti released the updated Veyron Super Sport that went on to become the world’s fastest road legal production car with an astonishing top speed of 431 kmph. But the Veyron’s reign has finally come to an end. Welcome everyone to the 2016 Bugatti Chiron, the true and righteous successor to the Veyron, an heir to a kingdom and a truly spectacular piece of engineering perfection!
The Bugatti Chiron is not VW’s answer to the latest breed of hybrid supercars, but a reincarnation of its previous birth. The Chiron is not a hybrid of any sorts. It is a blue blooded fossil fuel burning demon! This new Bugatti will be powered by a completely re-developed derivation of the 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 engine that powered its immaculate ancestor. This new engine now produces a diabolical 1479 bhp and a mind altering 1600 Nm of torque!
One of the keys to its improved power output are the larger turbo-chargers that work to improve the engines performance across 70 per cent of its operating range. The turbos work in a two stage system engaging only the first two up-to 3800 rpm and employing all four beyond that. The Chiron features a brand new titanium exhaust that features six exit pipes of which two face downwards to create a blown diffuser. The blown diffuser is a downforce enhancing technology used and tested in Formula One but was soon banned in the sport.
The amount of power generated by the Chiron demands proper temperature management. It therefore features a total of 10 radiators strategically placed across the car to make sure the engine is functioning at its optimum efficiency given any load condition. The new improved cooling system surges over 60,000 litres of air per minute through the engine along with 800 litres of coolant pumped through the radiator in the same amount of time. The Chiron makes use of a strengthened and re-engineered version of the Veyron’s seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox and like the Veyron employs all four wheels to unleash its mighty wrath onto the tarmac.
What all this adds up to, are some truly mind boggling numbers. The Bugatti Chiron will do the 0-100 kmph sprint in under 2.5 secs, 0-200kmph in under 6.5 secs and this is where it gets really serious, a 0-300 kmph sprint in under 13.6 secs! Jaw dropped, foot in mouth! Now the acceleration figures may be spectacular, but the Chiron’s true purpose is the top speed run. Bugatti has “limited” the top speed of the Chiron to 420 kmph although the new wider Michelins can take much more according to Bugatti. The Chiron will very soon make a record-setting run on the same Michelins which should see its top-speed surpass the 435 kmph barrier to officially coronate it as the fastest road legal production car. At its top speed the Chiron is capable of completely decimating a 100 litre tank of gasoline in under 9 minutes, 3 minutes faster than the Veyron!
Travelling at such speeds is one thing, but bringing this 1995 kg car to a halt is a totally different picture. To cope with this, the Chiron is equipped with bigger brakes that are 20mm larger and 2mm thicker compared to the Veyron’s and made from carbon silicon carbide which is lighter and more resistant to fade as compared to carbon ceramic discs. Tyres on the Chiron are 14 per cent wider at the front and 12 per cent wider at the rear and are placed on larger rims – 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear. These tyres are designed to withstand obscene amounts of centrifugal force that is generated at such high speeds. The Chiron is based on a brand new carbon-fibre monocoque that features a carbon-fibre rear subframe to save weight and improve rigidity. The entire setup is wrapped with a carbon-fibre skin. Bugatti is claiming the new chassis displays torsional stiffness that could be compared to an LMP1 prototype machine. That is definitely a new level of engineering on a road car! The Chiron’s suspension and steering system is directly bolted onto the monocoque which means that the new Bugatti would be lightning fast to steering inputs and suspension characteristics.
The Bugatti Chiron will feature a driving mode system that would let the driver choose the car’s behaviour based on road and environment conditions. The five modes featured are ‘Lift’, ‘Auto’, ‘Autobahn’, ‘Handling’, and ‘Top Speed’. Each mode manipulates various parameters such as ride height, dampers, steering weight, and torque distribution across all four wheels, active aero adjustment and ESP to give the perfect driving experience in every condition. ‘Auto’ is a default setting designed to let the Chiron make intuitive decisions based on parameters it calculates. ‘Lift’ is designed to handle rough roads, speed bumps and while loading unloading on a trailer and can only be used up to 50 kmph. The ‘Autobahn’ mode is designed for the lazy relaxed long distance Gran touring orientated cruise. ‘Handling’ shifts all parameters to its most aggressive settings and provides maximum downforce, designed specifically for track use. If you have an abandoned runway or a salt flat at your disposal then the ‘Top speed’ mode is for you. It hunkers the Chiron down and sets the rear spoiler in a medium setting allowing you to hit the limited 420 kmph top speed.
In terms of styling, the Chiron is very purposeful. Every styling element has been influenced by the aspect of technology and it’s pretty clear that outright technological advancement has precedence over styling on this Bugatti. The quad LED headlamp setup which we first saw on the Chiron GT concept, also act as intakes that funnel the air onto the front brakes. The Chiron’s profile is defined by a single sweeping curve known as the “Bugatti Line” that also acts as an intake that feeds air to the massive W16 motor. The rear of the car is accentuated with the help of 82 LEDs that form a straight line acting as a single piece tail lamp unit. The rear section has been shaped specifically to reduce drag and also to create a suction effect to draw hot air away from the engine. The Chiron is astonishing to look at, the sheer technology it employs however, overpowers its styling elements. The interior is an all Bugatti affair that features bespoke touches that simply bestow the Chiron with even more depth in character. It includes a minimalistic interface to reduce driver distraction, an analog speedo that runs all the way up to 500 kmph and TFT monitors that offer various entertainment and driving applications. Information on the display reduces as the speed increases to make sure the driver has complete focus on the road.
The Chiron had been under research and development for years at the Bugatti centre in France and was almost certainly going to be a casualty to the horrendous VW diesel scandal. However Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Durheimer made sure that work at the Bugatti factory remained uninterrupted during those trying times. The result is simply staggering!
Boys and girls, days like these come but once in a while. The automotive world has just experienced a major re-alignment. Think of it like the birth of a new star in the heavenly galaxies, ready to surge us into the future! The Bugatti Chiron is the crown jewel for the VW portfolio. It is the epitome of automotive excellence! An engineering triumph of the greatest order and a symbol of hope for all automotive enthusiasts the world over!