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Bugatti Chiron and Juan Pablo Montoya set 0-249-0 speed record

Bugatti has a penchant for recalibrating our notion of speed. Quickest, fastest, most powerful, world record — just words. Mere descriptors. To really get a sense of how quick a car like the Chiron is, you need to witness its ferocity in person. Since that’s not possible for most of us, seeing it on video is the next best thing. So here’s a quick video of a Bugatti Chiron, driven by Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, accelerating from 0 to 249 miles per hour (400 kilometers per hour) in just 32.6 seconds.

But Bugatti wasn’t done. Equally as impressive, Montoya stomped the brakes at 249 mph hard enough to bring the Chiron back down to a halt in just 9.3 additional seconds, aided by the rear spoiler’s airbrake functionality. Yep, that’s 0-249-0 in 41.96 seconds. From start to finish, Montoya covered 1.93 miles in the Chiron, and it apparently didn’t take much effort from the driver.

“You didn’t need the complex preparations we have to make in racing for the 0-400-0 drive,” said Montoya. “With the Chiron, it was all quite easy. Just get in and drive off. Incredible.”

Incredible is a good word for it. But Bugatti isn’t finished setting records with the Chiron. The company has stated its goal of proving the Chiron is the fastest production vehicle ever by beating the Veyron’s top-speed record of 267.855 mph. That’s planned for 2018, so there’s plenty more time for records to fall and would-be challengers to arise. Stay tuned.

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First U.S. Bugatti Chiron delivered to customer at Pebble Beach

This would be the first Bugatti Chiron delivered to a U.S. customer and it seems appropriate that the delivery took place this weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Such “first” cars tend to be just the sort that end up on the illustrious fairway every August.

As you can obviously see, this particular owner went for a yellow and black color scheme, which can be seen on classic Bugattis as well. The yellow extends to the wheels, the grille surround and the trademark C-shaped trim along each side. The colors carry into the cabin with yellow leather on the inside of the seats, the center console armrest, doors and the interior’s C-shaped dividing line. Everything else is black leather.

Bugatti says that the Chiron will be limited to 500 units, with more than half already sold and 30 percent of those destined for the United States. The asking price is essentially $3 million. We’ll have to wait and see what it’ll be worth in 60 years or so when U.S. Chiron no. 1 makes its almost-inevitable return to Pebble Beach.

2017 Bugatti Chiron gets EPA fuel economy rating

There’s no doubting that the new Bugatti Chiron is a beautiful marriage of beauty and brawn. But for a cool $2.998 million there are, shall we say, more practicalsupercars (stop laughing) to whisk you to Davos or South Beach.

Put simply, the Chiron’s fuel-economy ratings, released Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency, are absurd.

Sure, the 1,500-horsepower roadster’s quad-turbocharged, 8.0-liter 16-cylinder engine delivers 1,180 foot-pounds of torque, has a top speed of 261 mph and does 0-to-60 in 2.3 seconds (watch it run up to 218 mph, here). Certainly impressive. But there’s a tradeoff: a measly 11 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. That’s 9 mpg in the city and a whopping 14 on the highway.

That equates to an estimated annual fuel cost of $3,800, averaging $6.26 in gasoline — premium gasoline, no less — for every 25 miles driven. With a 9.1-gallon fuel tank, you’d be hard pressed, while zooming down the PCH or Autobahn, to squeeze out 100 miles before you’d need to find a filling station.

Still, it’s a slight upward tick from the Bugatti Veyron, which the EPA rated at 10 mpg combined. Bugatti says the W16 engine represents a 25 percent increase in performance compared to its predecessor, with nearly every single part of the engine examined and newly developed. Included are four turbochargers that are 69 percent larger than on the discontinued Veyron.

Somehow we doubt that the miserly fuel economy ratings will hurt the supercar’s prestige. Back in November, Bugatti design director Achim Anscheidt told Autoblog that the Chiron’s uber-exclusive clientele owns an average of 42 cars in their impossible-to-imagine garages (plus 1.7 jets and 1.4 yachts, to boot).

With that many hot wheels, it’s safe to say the Chiron wouldn’t rack up the miles too quickly.

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Fast doesn’t begin to describe it | 2017 Bugatti Chiron First Drive

Long after the heat of the moment, I pull off the highway in rural Portugal and glance at the Bugatti Chiron’s center console. As the engine cools and the carbon silicon carbide brake rotors start to dissipate heat, the onboard computer’s telemetry reveals some staggering figures: A peak speed of 377 km/h (do the math, and that’s 234 mph), with the quad-turbocharged W16 squeezing a max of 1,466 horsepower at 6,691 rpm.

Did I just drive a car or fly a plane?

The mind-boggling brain shuffle of Bugatti’s latest land rocket cannot be understated, even when placed in context against the now-defunct Veyron. In ultimate Super Sport trim, the Veyron produced a stunning 1,200 (metric) horsepower. The Chiron’s leap to 1,500 ponies required considerable development, testing, and re-engineering. That exhaustive process saw significant challenges, even late in the game. Consider the high-speed testing incident in South Africa: despite extensive test-bench work, real-world driving revealed that the immense exhaust heat was melting the rear bumper and nearly igniting the car. The solution, it turns out, was to add a duct so airflow from the underbody could channel through and diffuse the heat. Hashtag: #1500HorsepowerProblems.

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For the 500 wealthy souls who will take delivery, the $2,998,000 Chiron is most certainly an emotional purchase. But it’s backed by a battery of left-brain thinking aimed at making it a quicker, smoother, more involving car than its famously controversial predecessor. For starters, only five percent of the engine’s parts are retained from the Veyron, the bulk of the new parts getting strengthened, lightened, and re-engineered to better cope with the thermal demands of the heightened output. The four turbochargers are 68 percent larger and now work sequentially so the first set can facilitate a torque plateau between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm. The larger, second set of turbos extend the flat line to 6,600 rpm. The seven-speed gearbox manufactured by Ricardo, which is essentially the only dry-sump dual-clutch on the production car market, has been strengthened and reinforced to withstand the engine’s thumping 1,180 pound-feet of torque. The immense drivetrain is housed by a carbon-fiber chassis by Dallara that requires 1,500 hours to build.

The Chiron also gains an adaptive chassis that uses five drive modes to set ride height, steering effort, damping, and power distribution. New 20- and 21-inch wheels are not only lighter, they run up to 50 percent cooler thanks to reworked brake caliper ventilation. The new hoops promise considerably longer wear than the Veyron’s famously insatiable appetite for front tires (which ran $20,000 a pair unless you were changing them for the fourth time, in which case you’d be set back an additional $34,500 for two replacement wheels).

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From the driver’s seat, the initial impression is entirely digestible: A press of the blue, steering-wheel-mounted Engine button summons all sixteen cylinders and the sound, at least within the cabin, is not as daunting as you might expect. Those on the outside, however, are hit by a deep, hearty bellow from the Chiron’s six exhaust pipes. Compared to the Veyron, this cockpit has been cleaned up and streamlined, trading numerous analog gauges on the instrument cluster for one big speedometer needle that sweeps all the way to 300 mph (or 500 km/h, depending on the country it’s built for). Three configurable TFTs offer additional information, including a tachometer, a trip computer, and vehicle settings.

Low-speed driving reveals that, well, low-speed driving is all but impossible. That’s not because the Chiron isn’t tractable or well behaved – it’s actually remarkably controllable and docile at legal speeds. Rather, when you graze the tip of the turbocharger’s immense boost, you get an irresistible taste of that aircraft-like power. The torque piles on as the first set of turbos spool, tempting you to keep burying the pedal as it tugs your head closer to the headrest. The Chiron’s interior is an elegantly understated place where the only distraction from the flawless leather is the subtle glint of anodized aluminum, but those finely modulated details fly out the window as the speed accumulates, diverting your attention towards the rapidly approaching road ahead.

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The transmission downshifts somewhat jerkily at low speeds (which Bugatti Chief Test Driver Loris Bicocci attributes to my tester’s pre-production status), but above parking-lot speeds the cog swaps are smooth and quite quick, especially considering the heft of the gearbox’s moving parts and the massive amounts of torque they must handle. The Chiron delivers palpably more responsiveness and visceral reward compared to the Veyron, and in Handling mode it tackles corners with a taut, glued-down sense of focus. The trick in the bends is to resist the temptation to get back into the throttle too early, which is exactly the same principle you were taught when learning to drive shifter karts (except this time, you’re playing with thermonuclear levels of power). The ante is further upped because, at least according to Bugatti brass, the Chiron is capable of drifting in Handling mode. Yikes.

Onto straighter sections of road, the Chiron charges forward motivated by what feels like an endlessly escalating supply of power. Even in manual mode, the transmission will automatically upshift at redline. Considering the tachometer is buried relatively out of sight, it’s certainly a good thing to avoid bouncing this very expensive engine off the rev limiter. Perhaps the only things more impressive than the face-flattening acceleration (which can launch the car to 62 mph in under 2.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 261 mph) are the brakes. Just lifting off the gas at high speeds will turn the rear spoiler into an airbrake, flapping it so high in the air that it completely blocks the view out of the rear window. Stabbing the left pedal triggers up to 2 Gs of decelerative force, capable of bringing the Chiron to a full and complete stop from 124 mph in a mere 410 feet.

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And then there’s that speed run, the shockingly brief but immensely intense burst of acceleration that sends my steed hurtling towards the horizon on a seemingly unstoppable tear. Thanks to the automatically lowered ride height and aggressive downforce, the car stays firmly planted on the road. I (predictably) run out of room all too soon and have to punch the brakes, returning to sane(r) speeds. But when I later learn of the 377 km/h speed, the figure becomes seared into my brain. The Chiron was still pulling hard at that speed, suggesting it has far greater reserves than the published top speed of 420 km/h (or 261 mph) – and in fact, it does. As Bugatti President Wolfgang Dürheimer emphasizes, the car is electronically limited to 420 km/h to save room for a faster variant that will leave this landmark in the dust, which will turn yet another groundbreaker into a late, great legend.

Look out for the future; it comes quicker than you think.

Bugatti Chiron

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Watch a Bugatti Chiron speedometer hit 218 mph

Driving reviews of the $2.5 million Bugatti Chiron supercar are starting to pop up, and Richard Meaden, a former race driver, recently drove the Chiron for Evo in the UK, praising its combination of "civility and savagery."

But what fascinated us was the video, large portions of which are simply a view of the speedometer as the Chiron rockets to 351 kph (or 218 mph) in less than 30 seconds. We can only hope that run wasn’t on the idyllic English country road glimpsed in the opening and closing shots. The video is mesmerizing to watch. Enjoy.

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Watch the 1,500-hp Bugatti Chiron engine thrashing in a test rig

Making sure the Bugatti Chiron is “Ring-Proof” takes a lot of testing. This rig, built by Bugatti’s engineering and testing partner AVL-Schrick, demonstrates the hypercar’s heart beating wildly while it’s subjected to the g-forces it would experience on the Nürburgring. The footage was tweeted by James Mills of The Sunday Times.

Oil starvation is one of the key issues a car manufacturer has to tackle when making sure its product can withstand track time. For example, the Group B rally car derived all-aluminum XU9J4 engine in the first edition of the Peugeot 405 Mi16 suffers from oil starvation in prolonged track use in long corners. Due to insufficient oil pan baffling, the engine oil isn’t evenly distributed when g-forces work their magic. By the time the 2.0-liter iron block XU10 version of the engine was rolled out in the facelifted car, the oil pan featured specially designed ports and baffles that restricted the oil’s movement, making the engines less susceptible to crankshaft damage when driven spiritedly on a track.

But in that case we’re talking about a 150-horsepower car, and the quad-turbocharged, W16-engined Chiron has 10 times as much power. When it was new, the engine in the $20,000 Peugeotreportedly cost the manufacturer nearly $5000 to produce, per unit. One imagines the Bugatti engines are far, far more expensive, and damaging one at a race track due to a manufacturer oversight must be a nightmare, hence this specially designed rig to iron out any Chiron bugs.

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Watch the Bugatti Chiron go from raw carbon to finished product

The Bugatti Chiron is a beautiful, hand built 16-cylinder luxury cruise missile that is without equal on the road. That’s why it can command a price of nearly $2.7 million. While the Chiron may only be in reach to the 1 percent of the 1 percent, it’s a price some are more than willing to pay. The first customer cars are now rolling out the doors at Bugatti’s Molsheim, France, facility.

The first three will soon be reaching customer hands in Europe and the Middle East. Each car is hand assembled by a team of about 50 production, quality assurance, and logistics team members in France. The video above shows the first three cars being built, from a bare carbon tub being mated to that massive 1,500 horsepower quad-turbocharged W16 engine to the finished product making its way out the door.

Bugatti expects to build about 70 cars this year alone, meaning each car takes roughly 5 full days to assemble. While the first three cars have been or are being delivered now, a fourth will be on display next week at the Geneva Motor Show. About 200 customers put in orders after the car’s reveal last year, so the Molsheim team will be busy for the next several years. Look for more colors and special editions to trickle out as time goes on.

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Bugatti Chiron gets soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo’s seal of approval

The first few Bugatti Chirons are about to hit the street, but before that happens the French automaker allowed soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to get behind the wheel. As Bugatti puts it, the automaker wanted to give “a real champion” the chance to drive and approve of the 1,500-horsepower luxury cruise missile before it officially hits the road. The short video shows that even in a garage full of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, and a Rolls-Royce, the Chiron stands out.

The video features a brief glimpse at Ronaldo’s impressive collection of cars just before the low rumble of 16-turbocharged cylinders rolls in with test driver Andy Wallace behind the wheel. Wallace won the 24 Hours of Le Mans but is probably most famous for setting the McLaren F1’s top speed record in 1998. Few drivers in the world are more qualified to drive what is believed to be the fastest production car ever built.

After Ronaldo steps inside, the video cuts to some clips of the Portuguese player blasting around the track. We’re not sure if it’s really Ronaldo behind the wheel, but it is fun to see the Chiron in action. In the end Wallace tells Ronaldo he must make a call to Bugatti if he wants to keep it. Ronaldo apologizes to his other cars and picks up his phone.

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