The world record for the Fastest Production Car was smashed by Bugatti on August 2nd this year. The run took place at the Ehra-Lessien test track where the Veyron Super Sport made history in 2010 when it set a record 267.856 mph. The Hennessey Venom GT broke that record with a mere 2.57 mph lead. Nine years have passed since, and the Koenigsegg Agera RS has been the record holder since 2017. The prototype Chiron did 304. 773 mph.
That’s 19 mph faster than the Agera. In record speak that’s a mile – a testament to the leaps of automotive technology. Bugatti’s Chiron is very different from the ones that have been on sale. It has the same W16, but it now produces 1,578 hp. Michelin provided reinforced Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres which underwent X-ray inspection. The safety cell has been strengthened and aerodynamics improved. Ten inches have been added with the beautiful long tail.
There aren’t many places in the world – straight stretches of perfect asphalt, long enough for the Bugatti to do its thing. Volkswagen’s test track is quite nice compared with Interstate 50, but even on such a road the driver Andy Wallace was being thrown about in the car. That’s when the Chiron has laser-guided level control which primes the shock absorbers according to the road ahead.
He also said that they could have gone faster. On the final run, Wallace passed the equipment at 285 mph. So when he broke the record, the rest of the team didn’t believe him. They had to check the GPS readout in the car to confirm that the car had indeed gone that fast. To set a record the car has to clock two consecutive runs, and the average of the two speeds is the record. Bugatti didn’t go for a second run, which may or may not have been faster.
The Bugatti is a mere 130 mph slower than the land speed record holder for piston engines. That car, the Speed Demon, is light, perfectly aerodynamic, and has thin metal tires. The Chiron is just a regular car with an engine, four rubber tires, leather, metal, wood, and space for two people and luggage. It’s a GT car built to be sold to people who would park it outside Asser & Turnbull on Saville Row. It’s a car that passes emissions and safety regulations. They have announced the production version now – the Chiron Super Sport 300+.
And now they are done with breaking records. Bugatti will continue to produce very fast cars for those who can afford them! Stephen Winkelmann has said that Bugatti wanted to be the first manufacturer to break 300 mph, and they have. That’s another way of acknowledging that Koenigsegg and Hennessey will soon come up with slightly faster vehicles, but Bugatti isn’t going to spend money to outdo them. We believe Bugatti – see you in another decade.