A decade after the Bugatti Veyron arrived with 1,000 horsepower and a top speed of 254mph, its successor has finally arrived. Revealed on the eve of the Geneva motor show, the Bugatti Chiron puts out 1,500 horsepower and has a top speed which is limited to 261mph (420km/h).
The car is powered by an eight litre, W16 engine, just like its predecessor. Also reminiscent of the Veyron is the Chiron's use of four turbochargers, although now updated with Bugatti's new "two-stage" turbocharging.
The Chiron produces 1,479hp at 6,700rpm and peak torque is rated at 1,600 newton meters (1,180lb ft) between 2,000 and 6,000rpm. This is all fed through a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox to a four-wheel-drive system. Design changes include sharps lines all round and a massive rear wing and air brake which is almost as wide as the car itself.
'The superstar of speed'
Inside, the car's analogue speedometer shows 250km/h at 12 o'clock and goes all the way around to 500km/h. Describing itself as "the superstar of speed", Bugatti says it opted for an analogue dial rather than a digital display so that passersby can see the numbers go all the way to 500, and not just a blank computer panel when the car is switched off.
Three computer displays show off the rest of the car's vital statistics, and this user interface becomes simpler the faster you drive, making it easier to read at a glance. The Chiron's stereo is so good, Bugatti claims the car is "the world's fastest concert hall". each of the Chiron's four tweeters contain a one-carat diamond membrane. If that sounds familiar, this type of laboratory-made diamond is also used in the tweeters of the new BMW 7-Series.
Bugatti says it will produce no more than 500 examples of the Chiron, with each priced at €2.4m (£1.9m). More than 150 orders have already been placed and deliveries will begin in October; one customer is understood to have ordered six, each requiring a €200,000 deposit.
Other versions of the Chiron are also in the pipeline, Bugatti says, with replacements for the convertible Veyron Grand Sport and faster Veyron SuperSport both expected.
The Chiron can hit 62mph (100km/h) in "less than" 2.5 seconds and can accelerate to 124mph (200km/h) in less than 6.5 seconds and to 186mph (300km/h) below 13.6 seconds. The car is limited by default to 236mph; to reach the higher speed of 261mph a special 'Speed Key' must be inserted. At full tilt, the Chiron's engines consumes 60,000 liters of air per minute, and is cooled by water pumped through the radiator system at a rate of 800 liters per minute.
These are all mightily impressive figures, but the top speed falls short of the rumoured 288mph V-max which was doing the rounds ahead of the big reveal. It is also just 2mph shy of the world's fastest production car, the US-made, 270mph Hennessey Venom GT.
Although disappointing for Top trumps players the world over, this of course leaves Bugatti some headroom to produce a faster, more powerful and more expensive Chiron Supersport, just as it did with the Veyron, in a few years' time. To that end, Bugatti says 261mph is "by no means the end of the road" for the potential of this car.
Speaking of the Veyron Supersport, that car had 1,200hp and with its limiter removed managed a top speed of 268mph. The Chiron borrows several design cues from both the Veyron and the Vision Gran Turismo, revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2015. The car's future was put in doubt when the emissions scandal forced parent company Volkswagen to cut funding to all 'non-essential' projects.
IBTimes UK will be attending the first press day at Geneva on 1 March, so keep your eyes peeled for much more coverage from the show, including more on the Bugatti Chiron, over the coming days.