This version of the Chiron will be the final version, with a capacity of 1578 hp before the electric motor joins the fun.
Money can’t buy more time on earth, but it will buy a Bugatti Chiron Super Sport worth $3,825,000. And while 1578 horsepower won’t last your expiration date, speeding up hard in a Super Sport stuffs a lot of life into a short period of time. You see, super sport’s four new turbochargers compress not only air but also time. Take, for example, the amount of Chiron Super Sport needed to reach 200 mph. Those 14.8 seconds make up the horrifying, fun and funny value of a month.
Your life appears before your eyes the first time you press the throttle for the Chiron and release the gas of the W-16 on the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Boot control takes the engine to about 2500 rpm, allowing the Super Sport to accelerate before takeoff. If 2500 rpm seems low, consider that the 8.0-liter reactor behind your head produces 562 horsepower at that speed and is generating maximum torque of 1180 pounds-feet. Let go of The Chiron’s leash, and your spine is bumped with 1.5 g of leather backrests while a disorienting layer of fuzzy fluff engulfs you. Traction is important for acceleration, but even a four-wheel drive system with large Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires (X-rayed at the factory to ensure they reach speeds near 300 mph) cannot be accommodated. The power of Chiron. All four tires were broken and pasted on the road surface.
Even after it connects, Bugatti doesn’t ignore much. At 60 mph, you’re still accelerating harder than gravity. Between 160 and 170 mph, the car accelerates with a force of about 0.4 g. Hold the throttle to the floor for 9.1 seconds and you’ll see 161 mph, a new C/D test record. The half-mile mark crossed just 5.0 seconds later at 197 mph. At 18.5 seconds, the three-quarters mark rises at 217 mph. With winds in the rear (on average we run in two directions), the Super Sport reaches speeds of 222 mph in less than 0.8 miles. Running out of space on the roughly 1.2-mile straight distance of the ground quickly became a concern, despite the power of the giant carbon-ceramic brakes. What kind of speed can we find with a slightly wider space?
HIGHS: The fastest car we’ve ever tested, it’s easy to probe its highest limits, 16 cylinders (16!).
A pencil line drawn on the sands of Mojave, A Avenue outside Rosamond, California, appears to be auditioning for John Ford Western. Discovered by former editor-in-chief Csaba Csere in the 1980s after the section of the Sierra Highway previously used for testing became too busy, the road remains deserted. Ruler is straight and has virtually no homes, cars and people, the site has been an unofficial test site for years. You can observe kilometers in each direction, so this is the perfect place to learn the speed of a car. Going back seems like an appropriate way to mark the end of the Chiron era, even if we’re not here to run.
Everything has changed a little bit. The six-mile stretch of road previously used to test the line is now located on the edge of a solar farm on the north side of the road. In proper lighting, the farm’s mirrors shimmer like a cohesive dress. Employees regularly rumble on the Ford F-150, making speeding impossible. Back in the ’80s, C/D testers befriended dennis’ family, some of the only residents nearby. Maybe hungry for fun or curious about the passing cars, they will stop by to chat and check the car. In exchange for their other look like a Porsche 911 Turbo or a ripped-up Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, the testers would bring food and drink, then stay for dinner. We’re not too sure how monumental the solar farm would be if a Bugatti crashed in at a qualifying speed of 500 Indy.
Tuned to 273 mph, the Super Sport features the carbon fiber body of the Chiron Super Sport 300+ 300 km/h. The longer rear, the most obvious difference, gives the car a lower, almost brighter look. The cheese-like perforations on the front fender resemble the Bugatti EB110 Super Sport of the 1990s. The engine adjustment and the new turbo are responsible for the improvement of 99 hp over the base Chiron and the red line increases from 6500 to 7100 rpm. The changes may sound small, but W-16 is now more melodic. The 88 decibel sound it emits at a deeper and richer maximum. Of course, the Chiron runs through the first few gears so fast – 100 mph passes in just 4.1 seconds – that you only hear it starting to work beyond 100 mph.
LOW: The letters we’ll get complaining about prices, the era is coming to an end.
A 1578 hp engine would make anything, even a 4,587-pound Super Sport, seem as light as a Mazda Miata. But remarkably, Chiron enjoyed turning his head. The lightweight and fluid steering system, carbon fiber structure is not swayed by everything when going off-road and the grip of the slide is 1.05 g making up a multi-million dollar car like being at home in the canyons as if flossing teeth outside Nobu. Be a little stupid with twisting the throttle in the middle of the corner and the tectonic energy of the engine will cause you to slip. When the rear of the car begins to spin and wants to overtake the front, you will be aware of the volume of the engine and the huge gearbox. The handling is neither agile nor threatening, which may sound strange when you’re cornering with a weight of more than 1.00 g in something as heavy as the Ford Explorer. It’s another way that Bugatti makes lunatics seem healthy.
Although we beg for more time, this version of the Chiron will be the final version, a farewell shot before the electric motor joins in the fun. What comes next will probably be better than the $4,301,450 Chiron when tested by ours, but there’s something seductive about the undrafted 16-cylinder engine with 64 valves and four turbos. There’s no denying the next version will better answer the question of how to go really, really quickly. But doing things the hard way – the old way, the slightly stupid way – is something we’ll remember about both the Chiron Super Sport and the test on A Avenue.