2018 Bugatti Chiron is a car.
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The 21st century has brought us many fantastic supercars, but when it comes to performance, there’s one to rule them all. I’m talking about the Bugatti Veyron. It was discontinued in 2015 after 450 units were built over 10 years, during which time, it reigned as the fastest street-legal production car in the world. The Veyron Super Sport achieved 257.87 mph in 2010, a Guinness World Record that has survived to this day. This will change soon, however, as Bugatti has just unveiled a brand-new hypecar to replace the Veyron.
Meet the Chiron, the vehicle Bugatti claims as "the world’s most powerful, fastest, most luxurious, and most exclusive super sports car."
Improving an already incredible supercar that has a 1,184-horsepower W-16 engine and can hit close to 260 mph without a speed limiter is a daunting mission, but Bugatti somehow managed to best the Veyron. Not surprisingly, the car has been named after Louis Chiron, Bugatti’s factory driver in the European Championship in the early 1930s. He was one of the fastest drivers in the pre-Formula One racing era and previously inspired Bugatti to name the 1999 18/3 Chiron Concept after him. It’s been 17 years since that concept, but Chiron’s name now adorns what will become one of the greatest supercars in history.
The Bugatti Chiron made its debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show and the Molsheim-based brand claims it will shatter several record. “It is part of human nature to cross boundaries and set new records – to run 100 m faster than ever before, to fly even further into space and to enter new realms. This striving is also our driving force at Bugatti,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, President of Bugatti Automobiles. “The Chiron is the result of our efforts to make the best even better.”
Keep reading to find out what makes the Bugatti Chiron special and sets it apart from its already spectacular predecessor.
As expected, based on the camouflaged prototypes and renderings that previewed the production model, the Chiron is an evolution of the Veyron’s design. Some may call it a bit too conservative, but it’s quite obvious that Bugatti is aiming to keep its existing customer base rather that attract new buyers. I’ve always considered the Veyron to be the ugly duckling of the supercar industry, but I can’t blame Bugatti for designing the Chiron around the Veyron’s already famous looks. Not to mention that the new hypercar is also heavily based on the wild-looking Gran Turismo Concept.
While the redesign might not appear to be significant at first glance, Bugatti's designers made several changes to turn the Veyron into the Chiron
While the redesign might not appear to be significant at first glance, Bugatti’s designers made several changes to turn the Veyron into the Chiron. Unmistakably a Bugatti due to its legendary horseshoe grille, the Chiron received slimmer, four-piece LED headlamps that double as intakes, sending air toward the front brakes. The front hood no longer extends into the bumper and features a more angular V shape that gives the nose a more aggressive appearance. The lower intakes are also slimmer than the Veyron’s, while the apron has been optimized aerodynamically. All the features of the front end has been designed to make the Chiron look as wide as possible. I must say, the new supercar is a lot more menacing.
When viewed from the side, the Chiron is indeed a significant departure from the Veyron. The first thing that catches the eye is the sweeping, C-shaped curve that defines the profile. Reminiscent of classic Bugatti models such as the Type 57, the "Bugatti Line" also acts as an aerodynamic device, optimizing airflow into the side intakes, which channel it into the massive 16-cylinder engine.
Around back, the Chiron is actually a toned down version of the Gran Turismo Concept. Specifically designed to reduce drag and create a suction effect that draws the hot air off the engine, the rear fascia is actually a three-piece intake with a big diffuser with a 1.6-meter (5.2 feet) wide taillights strip consisting of 82 LEDs. The Veyron’s massive, center-mounted outlet has been replaced by a twin-pipe exhaust, while the diffuser seems taken off a full-fledged race car. The engine hood was also reshaped and Bugatti ditched the Veyron’s humps in favor of a more aerodynamic, flying buttress design. The Chiron also received a central fin in a nod to the iconic Type 57SC Atlantic.
Here depicted in the classic two-tone blue that made Bugatti famous, the Chiron will most likely become available in a wide array of colors and finishes, including a bare carbon-fiber option. The Veyron was one of the most customizable supercars on the market and the Chiron is expected to at least match that.
All told, Bugatti’s new supercar feels more modern compared to the Veyron, but much like its predecessor, its design is also of the "love it or hate it" variety.
Like most Bugatti interiors, the cabin of the Chiron is a masterpiece. Much like it did with the Veyron, the French managed to find the perfect balance between sportiness and luxury, setting the Chiron apart from any other hypercar in this segment. There’s not even an inch of plastic inside, with every surface being either carbon-fiber, aluminum, or covered in fine leather. The overall design is rather simple, but the organic lines give it a modern feel. While the exterior is still based on the Veyron’s, the interior tells a different story. Bugatti redesigned every single panel and button. The wide center stack of the Veyron has been replaced by a narrower unit with four horizontally oriented buttons with tiny displays in them. This makes the interior feel roomier and it is loosely based on the Gran Turismo Concept’s.
The instrument cluster is also new, with the two smaller gauges being replaced by TFT screens. The one of the right display the navigation map. The main gauge is simple and classy, featuring while dials with a blue background light. The speedometer runs all the way up to 500 km/h (310 mph). The two-tone steering wheel has a flat bottom, aluminum spokes, and blue buttons – the latter being a feature not even offered on the Veyron. Naturally, the seats are said to be more comfortable than any other supercar, but also provide the utmost support for spirited driving.
Like any luxury car, the Chiron comes with a premium, state-of-the-art sound system, featuring a one-carat diamond membrane on each of the four tweeters. Talk about crystal-clear sound quality, huh? The tweeters are the only features to contain precious materials; the "Bugatti" emblem is made from enamel and solid silver. A cooled glove box rounds out the Chiron’s fancy interior.
While this Bugatti may put many expensive limousines to shame in terms of convenience and luxury features, it won’t be able to match a full-size sedan for roominess. However, Bugatti engineers made a few improvements, managing to obtain an extra 12 mm (0.47 inches) of headroom. It might not sound like much, but this will allow taller drivers to fit inside and enable customers to drive the car with a helmet.