2017 Bugatti Chiron Hypercar: What's in a Name?
Little is known about Bugatti’s newest world-beating supercar, which is set to take the reigns from the now-discontinued Veyron. It’s claimed to wield 1,500 horsepower, boast an evolved quad-turbocharged W16 engine, blast well past 270 mph, and cost an alleged $2.5 million. Yikes. However until Bugatti spills the beans…all that will remain unconfirmed. Thankfully Bugatti has begun to open up and it recently divulged a few sweet details. First, the car will be unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in March. Second, it isn’t even on sale yet (much less available for test drives) and Bugatti has already received over 100 orders. And third, it will officially be called “Chiron” in honor of famed racing driver Louis Chiron, the most successful Bugatti driver of his day. Time to get excited. For more on the man behind the supercar, scroll below. RELATED: This Spy Shot Sneaks a Peek at the Bugatti Chiron's Rear
Louis Alexandre Chiron was born on August 3, 1889 in Monte Carlo, son of the maître d' at the famous Hôtel de Paris. He was brought up by a wealthy Russian noblewoman, whose chauffeur provided Chiron his first driving lessons at the age of 15. This would be a definitive moment.
Following World War I, Chiron became a car dealer in Nice where he first became familiarized with the Bugatti brand thanks to ex-racer and dealer, Ernest Friderich. He soon began running cars from Bugatti’s Molsheim factory to the Côte d’Azur and became well acquainted with Ettore Bugatti himself.
His racing career began in earnest in the mid 1920s with a number of hill climb competition wins behind the wheel of a Bugatti Brescia and Type 30 race car. Later his connections earned him a Type 35 in 1926 at which point bigger victories followed. In 1927 he won the Grand Prix of the French Automobile Club at only 28-years-old.
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In 1928, Chiron became the ace of the Bugatti works racing team, claiming a dozen victories that year. Success would continue for the next four seasons, and in 1931 he became the first (and to this day, the only) Monaco-born racer to win the Monaco Grand Prix.
In 1933, Chiron departed the team, reportedly due to arguments with racing boss Meo Costantini, to start his own racing outfit, and he later moved to Ferrari and Mercedes. Interestingly, Chiron's last race came in the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix, at which point the 56-year-old became the oldest Formula One driver ever to compete.
In the latest announcement, Bugatti president Wolfgang Dürheimer said the Bugatti Chiron will be the "world's most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car.” That’s quite a fitting tribute for such a distinguished racer.
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Of interesting note, the Chiron moniker isn’t a newcomer to modern Bugatti creations. Back in 1999, Italdesign crafted the 18/3 Bugatti Chiron concept car, which fashioned an even more exotic W18 engine and foreshadowed the arrival of the EB 18/4 Veyron concept, and as such the production-ready Veyron 16.4 in 2005.
Buzzing with excitement yet? Various spy photos confirm the Bugatti Chiron does indeed look like a stripped-down version of the 2015 Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo (pictured top), sans enormous rear wing of course. Stay tuned for more as the Bugatti Chiron debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show inches closer.