Bugatti is planning to set a new speed record for production cars with its upcoming Chiron, a £2m supercar with a speedometer which reads all the way to 500km/h (310mph).
The company, which belongs to the VW Group, already holds the record with the Chiron's predecessor, the Veyron Super Sport, which reached 268mph in 2010. And although the Chiron's top speed is electronically limited for now, Bugatti is confident it can break its own record once the limiter is removed.
"We will try to lock in a new world speed record," Bugatti boss Wolfgang Dürheimer told Autocar, adding: "I know the Chiron will be faster [than the Veyron Super Sport], but we don't know how fast. We have the calculations from our simulations, but it is always different to sit in the car and actually do it."
It has been estimated by the motoring press that the Chiron can reach 288mph in its current configuration and without the limiter, which is likely in place due to unknowns surrounding the durability of the tyres at sustained high speed. It is also believed Bugatti will announce a Super Sport version of the Chiron in the coming years, with even more power and a higher top speed.
Not that the regular Chiron is lacking. It is powered by an eight-litre, W16 engine with four turbochargers and produces 1479 horsepower, substantially more than the 897hp Veyron and the 1183hp Veyron Super Sport. Despite being the same size and sharing the same basic configuration, Bugatti says the Chiron's engine is 95% new compared to that of the Veyron, which was first designed over a decade ago.
The speed record attempt, to be observed by Guinness, will likely take place at the VW Group-owned Ehra-Lessien facility in Germany. Here, there is a 20-mile lap with high-speed banked corners at either end of a 5.4 mile-long straight.
At 288mph (463km/h), the Chiron would be travelling almost five miles every minute, or roughly 1.3 football pitches every second. To reach this speed, the driver must first stop, then enter a second key, called the Bugatti Speed Key, which raises the top speed from a 'road-safe' limit of 236mph. On its way to maximum velocity, the Chiron will pass 60mph in less than 2.5 seconds, 125mph in under 6.5 seconds and 200mph in around 15 seconds.
When the dial gets close to its stopper at the 500km/h mark, the Chiron will be sucking in air at 60,000 litres per minute and pumping water around its engine at 800 litres per minute. At this speed, the tyres and fuel supply are only expected to last for a handful of minutes before needing to be replaced and refilled.