SEATTLE — Even though production versions of the Bugatti Chiron have a speed limiter set to 261 miles per hour, we’ve wondered what it was fully capable of. Packing a mind-blistering 1,479 horsepower, certainly it could go faster? Sure, but not quite capable of cracking the 300mph mark. To do that, Bugatti pulled out a slightly modified version of its potent W16 engine that pushed the horsepower up to 1,578. Its gearbox and all-wheel-drive system were unchanged.
Comments from the team:
Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti said: “Bugatti has once again shown what it’s capable of. With this new record of the Chiron we enter again uncharted territory. Never before has a series manufacturer reached this high speed. Our goal was to be the first manufacturer ever to reach the magic 300-mile-per-hour mark. We have now achieved this – making ourselves, the entire team and myself, incredibly proud. We have shown several times that we build the fastest cars in the world. In future we will focus on other areas,” said Winkelmann.
It’s all about the tires:
What’s impressive, however, is just how well the rest of the core platform was mostly in place. In addition to the extra power, Bugatti also slapped on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, an enhanced safety shell (for added driver protection) and a longtail body. This “pre-production” model not only set a world speed record but gives a clear demonstration of what the Chiron platform is capable of.
The Michelin high-speed tires already used on the Chiron were reinforced, particularly the belts to handle the 5300 G, while still being street legal. Rotating up to 4,100 times per minute, the tires were subjected to extensive test bench trials at speeds of up to 511 km/h. Each tire was X-rayed to optimize up to the smallest details. The world record car was fitted with the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires directly before the record run.
Head of Development Stefan Ellrott, said:
“After all the calculations and tests, we felt sure the record was within our grasp. We had the technology under control at an early stage. But a world record attempt on an open track can have a few surprises in store. We were lucky today and everything went well.”
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