Bugatti Confirms Chiron World Speed Record Attempt
Confident Bugatti believes its a matter of "when" rather than "if" the Chiron topples the Veyron Super Sport’s recordby Kirby, on
Proving that all is fair in love and world speed records, Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer is making it known that the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport’s 268-mph world speed record has been put on notice by its successor, the Bugatti Chiron. Dürheimer made the bold statement in a conversation with Autocar, confidently saying that the Chiron will be faster than the Veyron Super Sport. The only question is by how much.
That’s exactly what Bugatti plans to find out, even though an actual date for the attempt has yet to be determined. Previous reports said that the automaker is putting a priority on ramping up production for the Chiron in order to fulfill the more than 200 deposits it has received for the supercar. Only when those orders have been met will Bugatti embark on breaking the Veyron Super Sport’s record. When it does happen, Bugatti would likely do it at the Ehra-Lessien test facility, the same venue where former F1 driver Pierre-Henri Raphanel set the Veyron’s 268-mph world speed record back in 2010.
It may be a little presumptuous to say that the Chiron’s ascendance to the record books is academic, but the numbers certainly point in its favor. For one, the Chiron’s 8.0-liter, quad-turbo W16 engine is capable of producing 1,479 horsepower and 1,179 pound-feet of torque. That’s a significant improvement from the Veyron Super Sport’s output of 1,183 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet of torque.
It’s also worth noting that Bugatti removed the Veyron Super Sport’s speed limiter when it set the record in 2010. That explains why the supercar was able to hit 268 mph despite having an official top speed of 257 mph. Consider then that the Chiron’s announced top speed of 261 mph is faster than the Veyron Super Sport. Expect Bugatti to once again lift the speed limiter when the Chiron makes its world speed record attempt.
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Why it matters
The world speed record is something that all supercar manufacturers strive to claim. Since 2005, that title has rested on Bugatti’s shoulders, first with the Veyron 16.4’s 253.81-mph run and then with the Veyron Super Sport’s 257.87-mph achievement in 2010.
So yeah, it’s been 11 years since another automaker held the record – it was the McLaren F1’s 230-mph top speed, which it set in 1993 – but in those 11 years, other automakers have claimed to have exceeded the Veyron SS’s top speed. The most notable of these claims comes from the Hennessey Venom GT, which was recorded going 270.49 mph back in 2014. Unfortunately, the Venom GT failed to qualify under the Guinness Book of Records’ criteria, hence the decision to keep the Veyron SS in the record books.
Sure, the Chiron is expected to beat the Veyron Super Sport’s top speed. But there’s no guarantee that it’s going to set the record, especially now when there are other cars that can lay claim to the record themselves. The Koenigsegg One:1 is one of these cars and the Swedish automaker has made it clear that it too plans to beat the Veyron SS’s world speed record.
There’s a possibility that the current world record could tumble down to third in the rankings, maybe even lower. The only question is which car is going to enter the record books. Bugatti makes a compelling case with the Chiron as does Koenigsegg with the One:1.
It’ll likely boil down to these two finely tuned machines and all we have to do is wait until the two cars set their laps. Whatever happens, expect some fireworks. Lots and lots of it.
Read our full review on the Bugatti Chiron here.