In Depth

Bugatti Chiron ‘Super Sport’: hardcore hypercar prototype cracks 300mph

Specially designed test model becomes the fastest ever production car

Bugatti has surprised fans by announcing that it has cracked the 300mph barrier in a specially prepared version of its Chiron hypercar. 

The black and orange prototype reached a top speed of 304.77mph at the Ehra-Lessien test track near Wolfsburg in northern Germany on 2 August, with former Le Mans winner Andy Wallace behind the wheel during the record run. 

In an interview with Autocar, Wallace said the wheels of the Chiron prototype produced a gyroscopic effect as he approached 300mph.

“At 200mph you can barely feel it, but at 300mph it’s absolutely enormous,” he told the magazine. “It’s felt mostly on the front wheels and therefore the steering, like a spinning top when it starts to move it wants to continue to move.”

It’s the first time a car that shares its underpinnings with a production car has broken the 300mph barrier, beating the company’s previous best effort of 268mph courtesy of the old Veyron Super Sport in 2010.

Bugatti says the hypercar is a “near production prototype”, suggesting that the car may find its way into the exclusive Chiron line-up. 

While we wait to see a final, production-spec version of the 300mph machine, here’s everything we know about the reworked Chiron: 

Design

On the surface, the top-speed prototype doesn’t look drastically different to the regular Chiron. The headlights, grille and body-wide tail-light LED beam all come from the standard model, as does the swooping panel of bodywork that contains the car’s vast air inlets behind the doors. 

But the differences become more apparent upon closer inspection.

The car, which Top Gear calls the “Super Sport” version of the Chiron, is slightly longer than the regular model – 25cm to be precise – thanks to a new long tail rear end. The design helps reduce drag, improving air flow over the top of the car to help it reach a higher top speed. 

Beneath the long tail section is a pair of “shotgun” exhaust pipes, similar to those on the EB110-inspired Centodieci, the motoring site says. They’re designed in such a way to prevent the disturbance of air flow through the rear diffuser, but they also “add even more drama and a whole new menace” to the Chiron’s looks.

Other changes include a fixed rear wing as opposed to the electronically operated version of the Chiron, as well as a more aggressive front bumper design and stripped-out interior to keep weight to a minimum. 

Performance and specs

Under the vast engine cover behind the driver’s head sits the same 8.0-litre quad-turbocharged W16 motor as the standard Chiron. 

However, Bugatti has upped the car’s power output from 1,479bhp to 1,578bhp. There’s no word on a 0-62mph figure, but it’s 300mph-plus top speed means the so-called Super Sport will be no slouch. 

How much will it cost?

Bugatti has yet to announce a release date for the hardcore Chiron, nor has it revealed any information on pricing.

Given that the regular car cost £2.1m, expect the long-tail version to carry a significant premium.

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