Prepare yourselves for another Bugatti bombshell

Just like the Bugatti Veyron that came before it, the list of special edition and one-off Bugatti Chirons continues to grow. Rumor has it that the newest addition to the Chiron family will bow at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show wearing the “R” badge.

The Bugatti Chiron R, as folks are calling it, has been spotted in the wild, completely covered to preserve its identity. Bugatti is expected to show off the Chiron R, which was developed and tuned for handling purposes more than outright speed as evidenced by the large fixed rear spoiler sitting at the back of the hypercar. All the important details involving the Chiron R are expected to be revealed in Geneva, including all the important performance figures that will determine what kind of hypercar this bad boy is.

No surprise here

2018 Bugatti Chiron High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Bugatti Chiron 2.3 Seconds

If you had followed Bugatti’s blueprint in selling all 500 units of the Veyron supercar, you know that the automaker couldn’t have done it by simply offering one version of the Veyron.

Customers demanded exclusivity, and Bugatti was quick to agree to those demands by rolling out a slew of special-edition and one-off Veyrons to satisfy the demand.

Now that the Chiron is here, should we be surprised that Bugatti’s following the same blueprint? The answer, of course, is no.

Ever since the Chiron arrived in 2016, Bugatti has already rolled out a mouth-watering lineup of exclusive models. The Divo came first, giving us a hint of what’s to come from Bugatti. From there, Bugatti unveiled the Centodieci as a tribute to the EB110, rolled out the record-breaking Super Sport 300+, and offered up the ridiculously expensive, one-off La Voiture Noire.

Now, we’re getting the Bugatti Chiron R, and from what’s been reported, it’s unlike any of the previous special edition and one-off Chirons that Bugatti has already launched.

Is that the Bugatti Chiron R?

This is what we know so far. Last month, Bugatti dropped a teaser image of an upcoming model on its Instagram page. Obviously, that upcoming model is a version of the Chiron, though, at that point, we didn’t know what it would be.

As days passed, reports started trickling in that the teased model is called the Chiron R. Just last week, a batch of photos were taken of a handful of covered-up Chirons at the O.R. Tambo International Airport in South Africa. One of those models, in particular, appeared to have a large fixed-wing at the back.

That wouldn’t normally be cause for speculation, but the fact that this particular model came with a large rear spoiler — the “standard” Chiron has an adjustable spoiler — raised alarm bells throughout the industry.
2019 Bugatti Divo Exterior
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Sure, the Divo and the Centodieci both came with rear wings, but why would they be covered up at this point?

People’s attention immediately went to this “new” Bugatti Chiron that the French automaker would be unveiling at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. Could the Bugatti hiding underneath that black car cover with the rear wing sticking out at the back be the Chiron R? All signs seem to point in that direction.

No official details have been revealed, but what can we expect from the Bugatti Chiron R?

2020 Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ Exterior
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So, what do we know about the Bugatti Chiron R? Not much, if we’re being honest. What we do know is that it’s the newest Chiron derivative that Bugatti is preparing to launch. We also know that the model will be unveiled at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show in March. Beyond that is a string of speculations and rumors that Bugatti has yet to confirm.

One such rumor is that the Chiron R will slot between the Chiron Sport and the record-breaking Super Sport 300+.

If that’s the case, the Chiron R might be more than your typical special edition Chiron. It will probably be dedicated to a specific performance attribute similar to the Chiron Super Sport 300+, which was developed for the sake of outright speed. The Chiron R, on the other hand, reportedly comes with a significant aerodynamic package that includes the aforementioned large rear wing that’s in place specifically to improve downforce on the rear axle. A revised suspension setup is also reportedly included in the spec sheet of the Chiron R.

2018 Bugatti Chiron High Resolution Exterior
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Piece these upgrades together and you’ll notice how the overall setup leans more into sharpening the hypercar’s handling as opposed to squeezing out every ounce of power to improve its top speed and acceleration. The Chiron R will still be powered by the same 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W-16 engine that can produce as much as 1,500 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque.

Bugatti Chiron specifications
Engine 8.0-liter W-16
Horsepower 1,479 Horsepower
Torque 1180 lb-ft
Transmission Seven-Speed DCT
0-62 MPH 2.5 Seconds
0-124 MPH 6.4 Seconds
0-186 mph 13.6 Seconds
Top Speed 261 MPH
Weight 4,400 pounds

Will the Bugatti Chiron R be as fast as the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+?

The Bugatti Chiron Has Officially Broken 300 MPH, But It's Not a Production Model Exterior
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For the record, the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ that factory driver Andy Wallace drove at Volkswagen Group's Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany hit a top speed of 304.77 mph.

There’s no way that the Bugatti Chiron R will approach that top speed. That record-breaking car was built specifically to go beyond 300 mph. Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann even admitted that the customer-spec versions of the Super Sport 300+ would be offered closer to standard production, including a capped top speed of 273 mph.

The Bugatti Chiron R, on the other hand, appears to have been developed with handling as its primary focus. It’s still going to be fast as a rocket, but it’s unlikely to beat any of its Chiron contemporaries in a top speed run. Put it on a race track, though, with all those corners and bends, and that’s where the Chiron R will ultimately shine.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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