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Bugatti Chiron — 1,500hp with speedo indicating 500km/h top speed

Bugatti Chiron — 1,500hp with speedo indicating 500km/h top speed

BUGATTI has unveiled the Chiron as its flagship replacement for the long-standing Veyron.

The Chiron made its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show beginning today with Bugatti touting it as the “most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car in the world”.

Packing 1,500hp and 1600Nm of torque from its quad-turbo 8.0-litre W16 engine, the Chiron is said to be able to hit 100km/h in “less than 2.5 seconds”, despite weighing a tick under two tonnes.

But in the interests of safety, the Chiron’s top-speed has been electronically limited to a mere 420km/h – short of the world-record 431km/h set by the most powerful version of the Veyron, the 1184hp Super Sport. The Chiron’s speedometer goes up to a mind-blowing 500km/h.

Bugatti Automobile president Wolfgang Dürheimer indicated that Bugatti set out to smash records with the latest model.

“It is part of human nature to cross boundaries and set new records – to run 100 metres faster than ever before, to fly even further into space and to enter new realms,” he said. “This striving is also our driving force at Bugatti.”

Bugatti claims every Chiron will make money for parent company Volkswagen Group, unlike the Veyron, which reportedly cost VW a large wedge of cash for every one sold over its 10-year reign as the world’s leading road car.

Sitting on an all-new, race-car-style carbon-fibre platform with a honeycomb floor, the Chiron is bigger in every dimension than the Veyron, although the wheelbase of 2711mm is just one millimetre longer than before. Overall length is a 4544mm – 82mm longer than its predecessor – and width is 40mm greater, at 2038mm.

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The massive mid-mounted engine that resembles two V8s line astern is carried over from the Veyron, but it gets four larger turbochargers that blow sequentially – two at up to 3800rpm and then all four.

Other changes include a carbon-fibre inlet and an all-new titanium exhaust system that feeds the exhaust gases through no fewer than six catalytic converters.

Peak torque is reached at a mere 2000rpm and continues all the way to 6000rpm, just as the power is peaking at 6700rpm.

That’s good enough to take the Chiron and its white-knuckle occupants from a standing start to 200km/h in 6.4 seconds – about the same time as handy family sedan reaches 100km/h — through an upgraded seven-speed automatic transmission and an electronically controlled multi-plate central clutch for variable distribution between the front and back axles.

Regular driving modes cater for driving up to 380km/h, but to ensure the driver is absolutely certain they want the full 400-plus experience, Bugatti requires them to stop and insert a special Speed Key.

This lowers the active rear wing to improve straight-line speed, but of course, reduces downforce – a move that requires careful consideration. The air suspension has active adjustment according to speed and driving style, along with five-mode variable ride height adjustment. This includes a lift mode to avoid scraping that expensive front splitter.

Steering is now electro-mechanical and the Chiron gets bigger carbon-ceramic brake discs – 420mm on the front and 400mm at the rear – with eight-piston front and six-piston rear callipers. From 420km/h, an air brake can be deployed. The Chiron can stop from 300km/h in 275 metres.

Exterior wise, the Chiron shares many of its cues with the Vision Gran Turismo concept shown at last year’s Frankfurt motor show.

Lights are LEDS all round, with the back getting a simple but stunning single red LED strip almost the full width of the vehicle.

Just 500 of the Veyron successors will be built at Bugatti’s Molsheim factory in France, with about a third of them already spoken for at a European price of €2.4 million (RM10.4 million).

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