See it at the show – The Bugatti Chiron pre show review.
Back in the day, the One Million Pound car was the thing of legend, only attained by rare cars and after a suitably long period of time after production ceased. Often these cars struggled to sell production runs when new, think Jaguar XJ220. But once sold, rarity and a certain mystique helped them achieve the magic 7 figures.
That was until Bugatti came along. At some point in a board meeting, someone must have asked, why do we let canny investors take all this profit? For there was plenty of profit to be taken. “Let’s cut out the middle man and just go straight to asking one million. And it worked. The Veyron was not just a legendary price tag, but a legendary car.
At some point later, when that self same board were sitting back congratulating themselves, someone must have muttered… “if they are prepared to pay one million for the car, then surely they will pay two”
But what makes a car, and after all, it is just a car at the end of the day, worth two million pounds?
Most Chirons will be bought as investments, to rarely see the light of day. That is, unless, you are a legendary Essex based collector of exotic cars, who parked his in a foot of water when a supercar show was a little washed out, stating ”it’s just a car and I’d expect it to handle a bit of rain”.
Thanks to that self same collector, we have that very Chiron at the Leasing.com London Motor & Tech Show show this year, polished and dried and, well, amazing.
So, what do you need to know about the Chiron ahead of seeing it in the flesh at the Show?
Let’s look at the numbers first of all…
Top Speed 261MPH
0-62mph 2.5 Seconds
Power 1479 BHP (yes, you read that correctly)
Engine W8 8 Litre 16 cylinder Quad turbo
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Although Bugatti say the car will top 261mph, it is electronically limited and slower than the old Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, but pure top speed is not just what this car is about.
Much the same as the Veyron before it, the Chiron is based around a carbon fibre tub, It has an 8.0-litre, 16-cylinder engine in a W configuration. There are four turbos, two of which are constantly spooled to counteract any semblance of turbo lag. When you add in the other two turbos, this helps the car deliver a near-flat torque curve of 1180lb ft from 2000 to 6000 rpm. In normal circumstance power goes mostly to the rear, but with a Haldex coupling bringing the front into play when the rears can’t cope.
The engine is largely the same one carried over from the Veyron, though it is heavily modified. The Chiron has a peak power output of 1,479 hp at 6,700 rpm. The engine in the Veyron Super Sport generated 295 bhp less.
The Chiron can accelerate from 0–62 mph in 2.5 seconds, 0–124 mph in 6.5 seconds and 0-186 mph in 13.6 seconds. However, this still only makes it the 8thfastest ever car to do the 0-62mph sprint. Although, in 2017 Bugatti announced that the Chiron had broken the record of fastest 0–249–0 mph (400kph) time, completing it in 41.9 seconds over 2 miles, driven by ex F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya.
The Chiron’s top speed is electronically limited to 261 mph for safety reasons. Unlike many, which state aerodynamic lift, in the Chirons case, it is the tyres that necessitate this limit. The manufacturer has concluded that no current tyre could handle the potential 289mph top speed the Chiron is capable of achieving.
Despite the car being limited to 261mph, strangely enough its actually limited further to just 236mph, but for £2 million plus I guess two limiters is the least you can expect. To reach the second limit, a key in the cabin needs to be engaged, the top limit is however, beyond the reach of the owner at present.
The brake discs are 420mm carbon fibre discs, at 16”,that’s the same size as the wheels on a Mini! For lightness and strength, the steering wheel is made from a single piece of aluminium, milled and drilled. And for attention to detail, the suspension bushes contain three different types of rubber to help with a variable response rate.
But if the engineering and price tag haven’t already convinced you about this car, the interior styling must. The roof lights and the ultra slim central console design almost separate driver from passenger, creating a feeling of each occupant being cocooned in their own cockpit. Despite this, the cabin feels wide and airy.
Comfort wise, the Chiron has, as would be expected, a variety of suspension modes allowing the driver to adjust the adaptive dampers from automatic, to low and stiff. In standard mode, the Chiron copes comfortably with the worst the UK’s roads have to offer, being less likely to ground out, which makes it a little more useable everyday, if this car could ever be described as an everyday car.
Is the Chiron worth over £2 million? For those with that kind of money to spend, undoubtedly. Certainly there are quicker cars, there may be more comfortable cars, possibly rarer cars. But none that combine such features, in such an elegant way. Not quite understated, but not as brash as some. The Chiron says look at me, but only because you know that its something special. ‘None car people’ will recognise that this is no ordinary car, but not in the way that a Lamborghini shouts at them.
The legend that was the Veyron was going to be hard to replace, but Bugatti have done it, and with a car that moves the game on just enough.
Come and see both the Chiron and Veyron in the flesh at the London Motor & Tech Show at London Excel this May for yourself, one of the few places you will ever see both these cars together in the same place.