Remember when ex-Bugatti CEO, Wolfgang Dürheimer, announced the Chiron would try to set a new world record for the fastest production car? That was in late June 2016. Now it’s the end of March 2018 and Stefan Winkelmann is calling the shots at the Molsheim-based company. The former Lamborghini and Audi Sport boss has a different agenda, one that doesn’t include a top speed run for the W16 monster, at least not for the time being.
When asked by CNBC whether the attempt will take place this year as originally scheduled, Winkelmann declared: “I have a lot on my plate. The speed test is not my priority. I think we have a lot of things to do.” Not only that, but when Bugatti’s head honcho was quizzed whether that statement meant the 1,500-horsepower hypercar may never be put through its paces in a top-speed test, his response was: “Maybe, I don’t know.”
Apparently, those who have signed their names on the dotted line to claim one of the 500 Chirons do not really care about how fast the car goes. When asked by CNBC if the hypercar’s maximum velocity doesn’t matter, Winkelmann said: “I know this for sure. I don't even know how fast our car can go.
So, why has Bugatti changed its mind? Unlike the Veyron, for which the company needed 10 years to sell all 450 cars, the Chiron is a commercial success as the company’s CEO told CNBC more than 320 cars have been sold. The production backlog now stands at three years, so if you order one today, you’ll have to patiently wait until 2021 to get behind the wheel. In other words, the Chiron is a hit and it doesn’t need the bragging rights granted by a top speed to move the needle when it comes to sales.
Looking at the bigger picture, we also have to keep in mind that the Koenigsegg Agera RS is the new speed king. Although not sanctioned by the Guinness World Records, the Swedish hypercar did manage to average 277.87 mph (446.97 kph) back in November 2017, with the data recorded by the Vbox verified by Racelogic. Perhaps Bugatti knows deep down its Chiron would not be able to top that?
After all, the Chiron’s 0-249-0 mile-per-hour (400 kilometer-per-hour) record of 41.96 seconds announced last September with Juan Pablo Montoya as the driver was obliterated by the Agera RS only about a month later with a time of 36.44 seconds. In addition, Koenigsegg further improved its performance in November when the Agera RS needed just 33.29 seconds for the same task.
It’s also worth mentioning that Christian von Koenigsegg recently said the Agera RS could have gone even faster than 277.87 mph. Also, the Agera RS is not Koenigsegg’s flagship model as the Regera serves as the range topper and it should be even faster.
Should Bugatti have a change of heart, the Chiron will likely be pushed to the maximum at the same VW Group-owned 13-mile Ehra-Lessien test track where the unrestricted Veyron Super Sport made history in 2010 by hitting 268 mph (431 kph).