• 10 Super details on the Super Bugatti Chiron

    The latest edition of Bugatti’s apparent quest to break the sound barrier in a production car recently made its Canadian debut in Vancouver, in that city’s Lamborghini dealership.
    • Bugatti Chiron
    Dan Heyman
    By

    The latest edition of Bugatti’s apparent quest to break the sound barrier in a production car recently made its Canadian debut in Vancouver, in that city’s Lamborghini dealership. The dealer will be one of a very small handful of places you’ll be able to go if you’ve got billions and need to find out what it feels like to drive at 250 mph. Or if you just want a rolling piece of art to sit and gaze at, which we suspect people that own cars like this tend to do most of the time.

    It is something to consider, however. Have a read below to see just what we mean.

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    Tire tech

    While the tires are technically from the Michelin Pilot Sport line – they’re worn by everything from the Ford Focus RS, to the BMW M4 and beyond – they’re wider than the items formally worn by the Veyron, and have been developed especially for the Chiron.
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    Beautifully balanced

    While the Bugatti folks at the launch event wouldn’t say exactly what the weight balance is, they would say it may as well be 50:50 front:rear. No expense has been spared in the name of dynamics; the upside-down u-shaped gas tank, for instance, is calibrated so that equal amounts of fuel rest in each arm of the “u”, no matter how much fuel has been used. The quest for a perfect weight balance could also be seen as a factor in the decision not to opt for a hybrid system.
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    Interior screams “grand tourer”

    The aluminum switchgear, diamond-print leather (on this car, anyway; there’s plenty of finishes to choose from) and almost all-digital gauge cluster (the speedo remains an analogue device) make for a luxurious interior that puts what’s featured on the LaFerrari and McLaren P1 to shame. Indeed, Bugatti brass at the event went out of their way to specify that the Chiron is not a race car for the road like those are, but a grand touring automobile of the highest order.
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    Classic cues

    The egg-shaped door openings are made to recall similar items on the classic 57S grand tourer from the ‘50s; the theme is reflected inside, with a divider between the two seats shaped to match the shape of the doors. While similar in size and footprint to the Veyron, the Chiron maintains a squatter, more cab-rearward stance that makes it a better looking car overall.
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    Clever cooling

    The Chiron’s roofline is actually a little lower than that of the Veyron, thanks to there no longer being a roof-mounted air intake. Instead, those have been move to the sides of the car, making for a cleaner profile over all. They still manage to stuff thousands of gallons of air to cool the oil tank and engine.
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    Multiples of four

    The Chiron gets an updated version of the Veyron’s W16 motor. 90% of it is made up of new parts, crafted out of magnesium, titanium and when you consider the $2,988,000 US list price, there’s probably some plutonium and perhaps even some kryptonite in there too. Either way, it’s good for 1,500 hp (but who’s counting, right?) and 1,180 lb-ft of torque. The quad sequential turbochargers should help in this regard, too, combining with the engine for a sub-2.5 second 0-100 km/h time and a top speed of 500 km/h, if you go by the speedometer. Bugatti plans on setting the speed record for a production car in the next little while, meaning they’re gunning for 270+ mph.
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    Carbon, carbon everywhere but not as much as you think

    Sure, there’s lots of the stuff and it sits exposed for all to see – even when painted, there’s no missing that weave – but there’s more to it than that. Engineers could have gone the all carbon route for the subframes, but they went with aluminum to keep the weight down, but to also better protect drivers in the event of a 150+ mph collision. There’s also aluminum monobloc elements to the front and rear fascias, and the wheels are crafted from it, as well.
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    Pulls like a freight train, stops on a dime

    Look…at…the…size…of…those…brakes. 8-pot calipers at the front and 6-pot items at the rear grab 420 mm and 400 mm discs – each bigger than the Veyron’s -- respectively. And because simple slotting, venting and cross-drilling is all so pedestrian, Bugatti has developed a special brake cooling system that makes use of fins surrounding each disc to make sure they don’t overheat and warp. After all, when you’re trying to haul 8 litres of engine, an AWD system and everything else down from stratospheric speeds, things are bound to get a little toasty.
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    Active aero

    The self-deploying rear wing can act as both drag inducer and drag reducer, depending on what the driver’s doing. Trying your best to reach V-max early in the morning on the Autobahn between Munich at Lake Tegernsee? It flattens itself out, creating stability for higher speeds. Need help stopping? It flaps up, providing an air brake. There’s a good helping of passive aero, too: you may only see four exhaust openings on the rear of the car, but there are actually six, as two face down underneath the car, both expelling exhaust gasses and acting as an underbody diffuser. It’s such clever tech that similar examples were banned from Formula 1 racing.
  • Not your average drive modes

    “Sport” “eco” and “Normal” as is often seen is much too low-brow for a car like this (wouldn’t an “eco” mode in a W16-powered hypercar make for some delicious irony, though?). Instead, the Chiron gets stuff like “Race” and – wait for it – “Autobahn”. Still; the rules are pretty much the same: the different modes adjust suspension, aero, transmission and AWD settings depending on the environment.