Bugatti refined the formula that made its Veyron famous with the Chiron. Since its debut, the automaker has pushed the new model to the extreme with the Chiron Super Sport 300+. Bugatti went in the other direction with the Chiron Pur Sport it revealed earlier this year. Focused on handling, Bugatti made significant changes to the hypercar’s performance, greatly limiting its top speed –  limiting for a Bugatti – to just 218 miles per hour (351 kilometers per hour). Why? In an interview with Motor Trend, Bugatti R&D chief Stefan Ellrott addresses the speed disparity.

Ellrott admits that traveling at a high rate of speed and quickly taking corners can’t happen with the same road car. Bugatti wanted the Pur Sport geared toward agility, giving the car “perceptible performance.” Bugatti modified the chassis setup, stiffened the springs, altered the wheel camber, and developed a new tire with Michelin to start. Bugatti also shortened the gears by 18 percent and cut 110 pounds (50 kilograms) of weight, sacrificing top speed in the pursuit of “agility, handling, elasticity, acceleration.”

Even though Bugatti sacrificed the Pur Sport’s top speed, it’s still quicker than the regular Chiron to 60, 124, and 186 mph (96, 200, and 300 kph). It just stops accelerating at 218 mph as the regular Chiron continues. The Pur Sport has a higher rpm than the Chiron, too – 200 rpm more at 6,900. At the Pur Sport’s 218-mph top speed, the large wing helps the car generate 110 pounds more downforce than the regular Chiron, too.

Gallery: 2020 Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport

Bugatti designed the Chiron Pur Sport to show that the brand can be about more than just top speed. While the Pur Sport is far from a track star, it does have a focus on handling and agility – more so than other Bugatti Chiron models. That could help attract new customers to the brand, according to Ellrott.

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