Titanic Power Wrapped in Opulence
Bigger, faster and more opulent than the Bugatti Veyron it replaces, the 2017 Bugatti Chiron aims to be better in every way than its record-breaking “little” brother and objectively succeeds in every respect. The limited-run Chiron boasts a new computer limited top speed of 261 mph, attainable by the 1,479hp 16-cylinder quad-turbocharged world destroying engine underneath the hood. Almost every piece of the Chiron is crafted in carbon-fiber, and despite being larger than the Veyron, the Chiron still manages to maintain the same curb weight as that vehicle. Bugatti knows the Chiron can actually go much faster, but has limited the top-speed due to safety concerns and won’t perform a proper top-speed run until 2018.
While the Chiron may be heavier than some of its competitors offerings, the inside showcases why this isn’t always a bad thing. Attention to detail can be found in all its posh trimmings, from the Corinthian leather clad seats to the actual diamonds in the speakers, Bugatti has spared no expense on ensuring the interior cabin of the Chiron earns every penny of its $2.6 million price tag. Everything in the dash is clad in either aluminum or carbon-fiber, and Bugatti even offers different tuning options for the stereo to acoustically match upholstery choices.
The Inner Workings of a Monster
The Chiron’s 1,500hp engine is coupled with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, putting the power to an all-wheel drive powertrain that helps the 1,180 lbs-ft of torque engine rocket to 60 in under 2.5 seconds. Similar to what was seen with the Veyron, the Chiron has an obscene amount of cooling to provide its massive engine, and it does so with 13 gallons of coolant pumped through two different cooling loops. This massive heat-exchange is just for the four turbochargers intercoolers and doesn’t include the heating exchanges for the engine, differential or the interior cabin.
A monstrous titanium exhaust sits at the other end of this powerhouse unit, weighing in at 44lbs even though it’s made of titanium. Two immense catalytic converters help keep emissions down for the titanic gas-powered beast under the hood, a testament to the amount of energy produced by the engine. All of this energy is fed to the new tires, which Bugatti claims are easier to maintain and install than the Veyron’s $42,000 set. That’s a good thing, as Chiron owners are sure to burn through them letting this vehicle loose on the track.
The Chiron features five driving modes each smartly configured to help the driver in different driving conditions. A standard automatic driving mode, intended to be used for everyday driving, is the default setting and the mode most drivers will find themselves in. A “Lift” mode has been added for extra clearance over speed bumps or uneven roads, lifting the chassis up and giving the Chiron significantly more ground clearance than would be expected from a hypercar. Autobahn and Handling modes round out the other options available to the driver on the steering wheel, with Autobahn automatically kicking in past the 112 mph mark, and Handling mode lowering the vehicle, extending the rear-wing and stiffening the dampers. Top Speed mode, which can only be activated with a special “Speed Key”, just like in the Veyron, turns everything on and lets the Chiron reach its maximum potential.
The Pinnacle of Performance
Bugatti has once again raised the bar on what’s possible in a production vehicle. The Chiron is everything the Veyron was and more, and aims to crush that vehicle’s top speed record without breaking a sweat. With a $2.6 million asking price, only the richest car enthusiasts will be able to afford one, but at least for now there’s no faster production model vehicle on four wheels. For speed-fanatic buyers waiting on the best time to buy a car, their prayers will soon be answered when the Chiron goes on sale towards the end of this year.