In Depth

Bugatti Chiron 2017: What’s it like on the road?

Critics hail ‘special’ and ‘monstrously rapid’ successor to record-breaking Veyron

Bugatti Chiron: see the megacar in action

Bugatti has released a video of its 1,479bhp Chiron megacar in action after its launch at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this week.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"91857","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

Named after the 1950s Formula 1 driver Louis Chiron, the car takes on the mantle of replacing the company's previous poster car the Veyron, which had 1,000bhp when it released in 2005.                  

Bugatti says it is the "world's most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car".

The car-maker claims a 0-62mph time of less than 2.5 seconds, despite it weighing nearly two tonnes, and will romp onwards to a limited top speed of 261mph – leaving space for a faster Super Sport version down the line.

Away from the official video circulated by Bugatti, Auto Express managed to get a video of their own – a brief start-up of the Chiron on the Geneva show floor revealing its engine roar.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"91858","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

The sound is "good and menacing", says Autoblog, but is almost identical to the outgoing Veyron considering the two both use an 8.0-litre quad-turbocharged W16, albeit with almost 500bhp more in the Chiron, thanks to larger turbochargers, a new inlet manifold and a revised titanium exhaust system.

Bugatti Chiron: critics wowed by 1,500bhp Veyron successor

01 February

Bugatti has revealed pictures and details of one of 2016's most anticipated new supercars ahead of its debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

The Chiron is the "world’s most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car", says the company.

The engine may be the same 8.0-litre quad turbocharged W16 as in the outgoing Veyron, but revisions means it now produces an astonishing 1,479bhp - 300bhp up on the Veyron Super Sport - and 1,600Nm of torque from as low down as 2,000rpm.

It drives all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the four-wheel drive system now with a torque vectoring function which can vary the amount of power sent to either of the rear tyres for new vehicle dynamics and an "easy to drift" function.

The engine gets a redesigned, carbon fibre inlet manifold, a heavily reworked injection system featuring 32 individual injectors, larger and more powerful turbochargers, a revised intercooler system and new titanium exhaust system with a total of six catalytic converters.

With a 0-62mph time of "under 2.5 seconds", Bugatti has confirmed the top speed is limited to 261mph for "road use" – while hinting that further performance advances are on the way. Auto Express notes the speedo runs to 500kmh (310mph), but we shouldn't "expect that to be achievable any time soon".

As a marker of just how rapid the Chiron is - and how much of an advance over the Veyron it represents - Bugatti claims it can reach 0-186mph in less than 13.secs – more than three seconds quicker than the Veyron.

While focusing on the engine and performance, Bugatti hasn't forgotten about driving dynamics, placing an emphasis on how the car feels that was almost side-lined when the Veyron was launched. The Chiron uses a carbon fibre monocoque chassis but still weighs almost two tonnes. Despite this potential downer, at 741bhp per tonne, the power-to-weight ratio is staggering. The Chiron uses a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, meaning it should be considerably lighter than the 4,162lbs curb weight of its predecessor, and there's a new,adaptive suspension system with variable ride height and damper settings, and tyres made especially for the huge performance, too.

With so much power and pace, stopping power is provided by way of huge 16.5ins front and 15.7ins rear carbon-ceramic brake discs, coupled to eight-pot and six-pot calipers, meaning it can come to a standstill from 186mph in 300 yeards.

It's taller and wider than the Veyron, but styling cues within the new design language hint towards the old car, such as the huge horseshoe grille and curved bodywork around the passenger cell. The front end adopts much of the design of the Vision Gran Turismo concept and indeed, the Chiron appears to have changed little in comparison to some of the spy shots floating around the web over the last few months. The headlights are a particularly intricate item – the four lens setup has integrated cooling vents for the front brakes. 

The car differs greatly from the Veyron at the back. There's been an almost complete design re-think, with a full-width LED light beam running across the rear, a new fully integrated spoiler and vast amounts of venting

Hailing its introduction, Top Gear says there are days when the automotive world "shifts on its axis" and the reveal of the Chiron and its monumental performance makes for one of those.

"It's built to bend physics to breaking point," adds the magazine.

Autocar is keen to stress just how powerful the Chiron is, almost having an entire tier of Supercardom to itself, saying it should "occupy the position its highly celebrated predecessor held at the very top of the supercar ladder, one rung above the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari, and Porsche 918 Spyder".

The Chiron will come with a price tag of £1.9m when it goes on sale in the autumn and 500 will be made -166 already have owners.

It's sure to be one of the most talked about cars of 2016 and considering the Veyron had several faster editions ater the release of the original in 2005, it could be one of the most talked about cars in a generation.

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