Color us intrigued.

Bugatti kicked off customer deliveries of the Chiron back in March, so why is it back at the ‘Ring to test the quad turbo beast during the industry pool? There are multiple scenarios, such as testing new bits and bobs for a potential Super Sport version, evaluating new tires, lap record attempt, or simply working on some tweaks for the standard model. The Veyron’s replacement might not be the sort of car that receives updates with the model year change like a Toyota Corolla or a Ford Focus, but nothing is perfect in this world and there’s room for improvements even for the 1,479-horsepower hypercar.


While at first the car may seem to be virtually the same as a production-spec Chiron, the test vehicle does come with a couple of noticeable changes. An image posted on Facebook with the very same sinister-looking black prototype shows a simpler set of headlights with only two instead of the regular model’s four squares. We’re not entirely sure, but those actually might be halogen lights rather than the full-LED setup you get on the road-going model.

Another important change is inside the cabin where the W16 machine had a pair of bucket seats. It should be mentioned many of the prototypes that are being tested by automakers at the Green Hell have body-hugging seats before switching to a regular setup on the final car. Even if this is some sort of a new version, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will have those sporty seats providing enhanced lateral support.

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It seems too early in the Chiron’s life cycle for a potential Super Sport version, so Bugatti was probably there for some other reason. The Molsheim-based marque has made the promise to try and take down its own record for the fastest production car in the world in 2018 and maybe, just maybe, this ‘Ring test serves as a preparatory step.

Whatever the reason is for Bugatti’s visit at the Nürburgring, we’re eager to find out.

Gallery: 2018 Bugatti Chiron: First Drive