The £1.9m Bugatti Chiron is on sale now and will be limited to just 500 models. The 1,479bhp hypercar replaces the Veyron as Bugatti's sole model and will make an attempt at smashing the current top speed record for a production car which stands at 268mph.
The Chiron’s is powered by a new quad-turbo 8.0-litre W16 engine – developing 1,479bhp and 16,600Nm of torque. The engine may share the same format as the Veyron, but Bugatti's boss Wolfgang Dürheimer claims 95 per cent of the engine’s components are completely new.
London-based luxury car dealer H.R Owen has been confirmed as the only dealership in the UK where you can order a Chiron. Of the 500 models Bugatti will produce over 200 have already been sold, with 15 of those coming from UK based customers. Dürheimer also confirmed to Auto Express that one customer has ordered six Chiron's.
On average, customers spend an additional £250,000 on options when speccing their Chiron.
The Veyron Super Sport holds the current top speed record – clocked at 268mph with its electronic speed limiter deactivated.
According to Dürheimer, the Bugatti engineering team ‘knows the Chiron is faster, but not by how much’. However, there will have been plenty of computer simulations to give the company confidence about a significant improvement on the record. Sources suggest 288mph is definitely possible, but whether Bugatti discovers a way to find another 12mph and be first to that tantalising 300mph target remains to be seen.
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The new Chiron makes almost 300bhp more than its Veyron Super Sport predecessor. The top speed is limited to 261mph for “road use”, but the firm states this is “by no means the end of the road” for the Chiron. The speedo runs up to 500kmh (310mph).
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Bugatti has made this monumental speed possible by enlarging each of the four turbos and introducing an innovative new two-stage spooling system. A titanium exhaust also features, as do six enormous catalytic converters. The manufacturer also claims the Chiron uses the highest-performance clutch ever fitted to a passenger car. Carbon silicon carbide brakes with eight pistons rein all that power in, as does the air-brake that protrudes from the rear haunches.
But this isn’t just a straight-line weapon, according to Bugatti. The carbon body is based around a new carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, which should mean it’s considerably lighter. It gets an adaptive suspension system and specially developed tyres, and is claimed to be “an agile, modern Bugatti with handling that ensures maximum driving pleasure”.
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Although the car has been testing for some time now, the bold mix of curves and straight lines for the exterior is still striking. At the front it gets a sculpted bonnet and low headlights, while round the back, a unique 1.6m long LED light strip features. It’s taller and wider than the Veyron, with increased space in the cabin. Inside you’ll also find luxury features like a high-end sound system, WiFi and 31 leather trim colour options.
Only 500 examples of the Chiron will be built, and over 200 of those have already been snapped up by customers.
Speaking at the Chiron's 2016 Geneva Motor Show reveal, Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Durheimer told Auto Express: “Yes, we have nearly 170 cars allocated for serious purchasers. They have all laid down either 250,000 US dollars or 200,000 Euros.”
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Incredibly, one potential super-wealthy buyer has paid deposits for no less than six Chirons, and Durheimer added that he was aware of some customers buying used Veyrons to give themselves a better chance of being allocated a Chiron, as the brand will look more favourably on current owners.
And given parent company Volkswagen’s current financial predicament, with massive fines and compensation bills looming in the wake of Dieselgate, Durheimer said the Group had nothing to fear from the Chiron, which is of course a hugely expensive car to develop. “This is a profitable project,” he stressed. “It produces more money that it will cost."
Is the Bugatti Chiron a worthy successor to the legendary Veyron? Let us know in the comments section below...