Bugatti Chiron Super Sport, the world’s fastest car on test
In its recent history, Bugatti’s fame was built on a succession of speed records. Even today, it is a car from the Alsatian brand that is the fastest in the world, reaching 490.484 km / h in the summer of 2019 at the Ehra-Lessien track, in Germany. Since then, SSC has tested its Tuatara, announcing that it exceeded 500 km/h, but the operation turned out to be rigged. While waiting for the American manufacturer to try again, or for Hennessey or Koenigsegg to overtake it, Bugatti therefore remains on top.
Bugatti didn’t break its record with just any Chiron; a specific version was developed for the needs of the cause. The aerodynamics, in particular, have been reworked, with an extended rear section of 23 cm to reduce drag. Aesthetically, it balances the silhouette of this hypercar, while also giving a nod to the fastest cars that competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which used the same device to achieve top speed. on the Mulsanne Straight. The diffuser is also enlarged, while the scoops on the front fenders allow air to escape that could accumulate in the wheel arches, at the risk of disrupting the trajectory.
A Bugatti is limited to 440 km / h
After the first Super Sport 300+ edition, limited to thirty examples and featuring the black and orange livery of the record car, this innovative version was then available in Super Sport “only briefly”. Officially, no production figure has been fixed, but the Chiron from which it comes is limited to 500 copies, it should be made in less than fifty. The only difference with the car going over 490 km/h is a electronic restrictor that limits the speed to 440 km/h, to guarantee the safety of customers, regardless of professional pilots. It’s not luxury, according to Andy Wallace, Bugatti’s official performance driver. “The caster angle of the front axle was chosen to ensure stability at high speeds. But beyond 460 km/h, the gyroscopic effect of the wheels is so great that the trajectory must be constantly corrected.”
During our visit to Molsheim, in Alsace, where it was made, the British driver, who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1988, started driving the Chiron Super Sport and his favorite game. He reset the power meters to zero, then smashed the throttle hard. Barely a fraction of a second, just long enough to reach a speed of 3,000 rpm. The time of all the same to immediately projected forward. “Look at the counter: the W16 develops 800 hp. What other engine can deliver so much power at such low revs? That’s where you see the difference with the 1,500 hp Chiron. The new 1,600 hp version is easier and more resilient” . Then it accelerates longer. This time, it sounds like Chewbacca (as opposed to the roar of the W16) accidentally engaged the Millennium Falcon’s hyperdrive throttle. The thrust was herculean, terrible: this Bugatti can go from 0 to 200 km/h in 5.5 seconds and reach 300 km/h in 12.1 seconds. Most importantly, it never stops. “Seventh gear is longer on this Chiron Super Sport, compared to the Chiron Sport. The engine is capable of delivering a lot of power.”
I’m at the wheel… 100 bhp more than a Chiron is both a little and a lot. Andy Wallace might say it, you really have to get used to the W16 and travel the roads with different Bugatti models to see the difference. My more modest experience does not allow me to distinguish between its two versions engine, the world’s most powerful in a production car and the strength is beyond the understanding of ordinary mortals. All things considered, the additional horsepower corresponds well with a city car that will increase from 90 hp to 96 hp. As this thought crossed my mind, the conversation with Andy Wallace drifted, inevitably, to medium-powered vehicles. He told me at that time to be curious about all things that roll, to love whipping around little cars with little engines. Here we are, on board a 1,600 hp car for more than three million euros, provoking moments of madness in underpowered city cars or even in cars without a license. He tells me how, during an election of the sportswoman of the year for the most estimated magazine EVOhe was impressed by the Renault Clio 2 RS Trophy, which the Porsche 911 GT2 couldn’t keep up with on the road.
A 1,600 hp car to drive quietly
Is this conversation damaging? Is it the refinement of the Chiron Super Sport’s cabin, upholstered in luscious brown leather? Or is it the awareness that I really can’t get the most out of this Bugatti on the roads surrounding Molsheim? However, after hitting the accelerator hard three times and the brakes as many times as one ride, I didn’t feel the ultimate need to roll at breakneck speed. This is not to insult the brand engineers, on the contrary! While a Lamborghini Huracan can’t be driven other than flat out, this Bugatti is a queen of subtlety. Note that Ferdinand Piëch, in the details given to his engineers, requested that he go to the opera in a Veyron. Twenty years later, Bugattis still need to be as efficient as they are docile. I have proof in the fast lane, coming up behind a truck in the right lane, I have to sneak between an SUV and a van to catch up with it. A slight pressure on the right pedal allowed me to slide with precision between the two vehicles. Without breaking a sweat, without hitting the transmission hesitantly. For a 1,600 bhp car, that’s a more impressive performance than going over 400 km/h without throwing the driver into the background.
Through chain trials with Bugatti customers, Andy Wallace knows the roads of Alsace better than Derbyshire where he lived. He guides me to a winding stretch, badly surfaced, that doesn’t seem like the perfect playground for such a missile. A few roundabouts and village crossings dotted with speed bumps allowed me to see, once again, how acceptable the suspension is. It is certainly stable (the rear springs are harder than the Chiron, to ensure stability at high speeds), but the damping does its job with amazing stiffness: the fastest car in the world turns out to be more comfortable than a “beast” Porsche 911, which one would think is more suitable for everyday travel.
Crazy how easy it is to drive
The twists are coming, therefore. The steering, which is locked around the midpoint (more so than a Chiron Pur Sport), stands out as always with the Bugatti by its unique feel. Specific electronic components (so expensive that they are inaccessible to most brands, including Porsche) allow precision in assist mapping that is prohibited in most sports cars. As you turn the steering wheel, the effort naturally increases: you can feel exactly what is happening on the front axle, from steering angle to tire sidewall deformation. That gives you the confidence to pick up the pace. The Chiron Super Sport shifts with agility. And always, there is the perfect calibration of the accelerator, which allows the dose of engine power with finesse. Unbelievable but true: as soon as the car leans into a bend, the precision is such that we can make a very small drift of the rear axle on the accelerator, without waking up the electronic safeguards. This shows an unusual focus. We drive this 1,954 kg and 1,600 hp car as we would a simple Volkswagen Golf R. At the end of our test, consumption was around 25 l/100 km. We expected worse…
A frequent criticism of Bugattis is that they are refined. We certainly don’t have the vocalizations and the brutality of a Lamborghini’s transmission, the support changes with lightning enthusiasm of a McLaren or the sometimes fearful reactions of an Aston Martin. The Chiron Super Sport gives the feeling of always being in control, and this control may be perceived by some as a wretched sensation. However, happiness is there. A small road shows the impressive agility of the Chiron and how seamlessly it interacts with its rider. A large straight line sends the brain under the cranial box at the slightest pressure of the right foot, to the point that we lose the notion of what surrounds us. And short daily trips become unique, because each model is custom-configured by its owner, and there will only be a few dozen in the world.
Simply put, the Chiron Super Sport is an all-around athlete, blazing fast and exciting to drive. He also has the good taste to prove that a sports car doesn’t have to be uncomfortable to be effective. Unfortunately, even after paying the 3.2 million euros claimed for a Bugatti Chiron Super Sport (excluding taxes and options), it is impossible to buy one: all copies have been sold. All that remains for future owners who have reserved one of the last Chiron chassis is to choose between this Super Sport or the Pur Sport, optimized for circuit use. At least in Europe where the approval is no longer valid for the Chiron and Chiron Sport, it is still available in the United States or the Middle East.
- Incredible performance
- Incredible steering
- Impeccable finish
- Unquestionable exclusivity
- Funny Breasts
- All sold
- Top speed is limited
- Wrong choice of rims
- Behavior on the road4/5
- Practical aspects4/5
- Quality of presentation4/5