There's more to this car than just a long tail and orange stripes.
The motoring world is awash in debuts from the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, but there’s another hot topic that isn’t going away anytime soon. We’re talking about the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+, and unless you’re been riding shotgun in Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster touring the inner solar system, you know it’s the first production car to exceed 300 mph. Yes, there’s some controversy on whether or not this vehicle should wear the production moniker since it’s fitted with a roll cage and was missing the driver’s seat. Honestly, such technicalities are small potatoes because this car is extraordinary to behold, and Supercar Blondie was fortunate enough to get an up-close look at the actual speed machine.
The video provides an interesting look both at the technical aspect of the car, and what it was like to actually go 300 mph on a very long stretch of tarmac. Bugatti Head of Exterior Design Frank Heyl offered a personal tour around the car, pointing out some of the aerodynamic changes required to send the Chiron faster than any other production car in the world. We all know about the longtail addition, but the video explains why that extra 10 inches at the rear is so important for improved airflow.
Gallery: 2021 Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+
At the front, the Super Sport 300+ also gets a new fascia with all kinds of ventilation, and small eyebrows over the standard-issue Chiron headlights further smooth the airflow. As for those holes in the fender, they’re designed to reduce pressure in the wheel wells at high speed. Heyl also points out that the Super Sport’s 1,578-horsepower (1,177-kilowatt) W16 engine and exhaust system is the same as what you’ll find in Bugatti’s other new ultra-rare hypercar, the Centodieci. However, the engine was developed all along for the Chiron Super Sport, so despite debuting second, it’s the source for the Centodieci’s motivation.
As for driving 300 mph in a road car, Bugatti’s test driver Andy Wallace explained how it’s far more difficult than just going in a straight line. Among other things, steering input at that speed is terrifically sensitive, requiring very small adjustments to avoid a catastrophic crash. Before attaining the magic velocity, several test runs at increasing benchmark speeds were performed and the data analyzed. In short, he didn’t just jump into the car and give it the beans.
Video footage from the event clearly shows the Chiron’s amazing 304-mph run, but the official Guinness World Record still belongs to Koenigsegg. That’s because official top-speed runs are compiled by averaging two runs in opposite directions, so wind speed and terrain variances can be factored out. Even though Bugatti said it was through chasing records, it would be nice to see the automaker attempt an official run with the Chiron at some point.
If that doesn’t happen, there’s still no denying Bugatti's incredible achievement with this exceptional hypercar.