When you’re making claims that are as bold as “The Best Car The World Has Ever Seen,” you better have something really special to back it up. Something that will make people stop in their tracks to admire its beauty and/or badassery. Something that as a driver, you have everything you could ever want in a car within arms reach while also providing a comfortable yet thrilling driving experience. Speaking of thrilling, it would also have to be mind-numbingly fast and handle like a dream. It would need to be the kind of car that you would want to jump in it for a long road trip or just rip it on every canyon road in the country.
That’s quite a few boxes to check, but Bugatti feels like they have met all those requirements, and so much more with the new Chiron. The Chiron is the follow-up to the all mighty Veyron that took the world by storm with its 1,000hp W16 engine and million dollar price tag. At the time those numbers were completely unheard of in a production car. Bugatti set out to make the world’s most luxurious, powerful and fastest car in production with the Veyron and they did just that. However, they have significantly raised the bar with the Chiron in every single aspect of the car and the end result is simply spectacular. And it has a price tag of $2.6 million to prove it.
Bugatti set out to find the perfect combination of form and function with the Chiron. They wanted it to look like it was fast when standing still and be staggeringly beautiful from every angle. It’s sharp and aggressive where it needs to be while putting those gorgeous curves in all the right places. The more you look at it, the better it gets. And there are even a few subtleties that you wouldn’t notice right away. For example, the big swooping curve that sort of resembles a backward “C,” is actually paying homage to the companies founder, Ettore Bugatti, by mimicking part of his signature. The rear brake lights also pay tribute to the founder by a very subtle use of his initials with the “E” on the left and “B” on the right. All these things come together to produce a car that not only is better looking than the Veyron it replaces, but possibly one of the best-looking sports cars out there today.
Considering the Chiron costs 150% more than the first Veyron 16.4, you would expect it to have a nice interior. But the interior inside the Chiron is far beyond “nice.” Every surface that you can see or touch has been meticulously produced with the highest quality of materials and hand craftsmanship. You won’t find a single piece of plastic or vinyl anywhere, unless you happened to request it for whatever asinine reason. All the knobs and switches are made using solid metal and anything that isn’t metal is wrapped in the finest leathers in the world. One of the many beauties of buying a $2.5 million dollar car from Bugatti is that quite literally whatever materials you want to be used, if they can get it and you’ll pay for it, they will use it. As far as luxury goes, you could line the Chiron up next to the best that Rolls Royce has to offer and not be able to tell the difference.
The Engine and Drivetrain
The moto enthusiasts of the world will no doubt be most interested in the performance aspect of the car. And as much as the Chiron shines in the looks category, the performance is where it excels far beyond your wildest expectations. Providing the power to this incredible machine is a revamped version of the 8.0L W16 engine that was used in the Veyron. It still uses a total of four turbochargers, but with the Chiron, it now uses a two stage system. At low RPMs, only two of the four are activated. But once it gets up over 3800 RPM it automatically activates the other two. This is said to dramatically decrease any turbo-lag like what was found in the Veyron. So when you put your foot to the floor, you’ll be summoning a staggering 1500hp and 1180lb-ft of torque that produces neck snapping acceleration.
Thanks to a highly sophisticated all-wheel drive system, the Chiron can blast off 0-60 times of around 2.5 seconds. If you’re really brave and keep your foot planted, you’d be doing 100mph in just over 6 seconds. For those with an unquenchable need for speed, the Chiron has a top speed that had to be electronically limited to 261mph. Limited to 261mph! Bugatti engineers have no doubt that the Chiron can go significantly faster but it’s the tires that are holding it back at this time. Apparently finding a tire that can travel at speeds close to 300mph for any period of time is a difficult task.
To handle all the shifting, Bugatti opted to use a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. And with the onslaught of torque, they did have to beef it up slightly. And boy was it worth it. It provides lightning quick shifts when you’re hard on the power, and yet still manageable when driving it around town or on the highway. For those quick 0-60 runs, you can just stick to first gear. Second gear will get you up over 100mph before needing to shift to third. And again, this is all happening at an alarming rate when you have 1500hp at your disposal, so it’s good to have strong and precise equipment.
The Aerodynamics and Braking
Bugatti spent a considerable amount of time and money on the research and development of the Chiron’s upgraded aero package. They wanted it to be as slippery and aerodynamically efficient as possible. How they managed to pull this off is a combination of things. They added a new front splitter and rear diffuser, as well as creating a flat underbody. The body is designed to perfectly channel the air in all the right places. All these things not only help the Chiron to stay planted when you’re hard in the corners but also help you slice through the air like a knife when on high speed runs.
With all this talk about speed, it makes sense to talk about the braking system. What good is going 250+mph if you can’t slow back down at the end of the run. Bugatti used a set massive brakes for the Chiron. Up front is a set of 8 piston calipers to handle the brunt of the stopping duties. The rear gets a set of 6 piston calipers for when you really need to stand on that brake pedal. To add in that extra bit of oomph, the Chiron also adapted a similar automatic wing that acts as an airbrake when under heavy braking. We assume it will provide similar stopping power as the one found on the Veyron, which is said to be equal to that of a stock Ford Focus. Everything working in unison provides an unbelievable 2Gs of deceleration force, which is almost double that of a standard sports car.
The Fun Factor/ Drivability
Maybe the most important part of determining whether a car is one of the best in the world or not is the drivability and overall fun factor of the car. This is a broad term, because it not only means being fast, but comfortable, easy to drive, and providing that feeling where you never want to get out of it and when you do, you can’t wait to get back in it. As odd as it might be, I think this is what might be the best part about the Chiron. It was built under the umbrella of the Volkswagen Group and therefore it must meet all crash safety, emissions, and noise standards from all over the world. That also means that it’s incredibly easy to drive. Most automotive journalists that have been lucky enough to get behind the wheel of one have said that “it’s as easy to drive as a VW Golf.”
That may seem like a ridiculous statement considering the Chiron has almost 10 times the power as the Golf. But apparently, it’s true. The Chiron has been designed to be a very mild mannered car when under normal driving conditions. You could literally use it for quick runs to the supermarket in town if you wanted. Where the Chiron would be really fun is on a road trip. Thanks to what Bugatti claims to be a stereo system that is second to none, the Chiron is “the world’s fastest concert hall.”
So in short, you could be cruising along listening to your favorite tunes, wrapped in the ultimate level of luxury, with 1500hp worth of performance under your right foot. You should be starting to see how it might be possible that the Chiron is the best car the world has ever seen. With this new level of ultra hypercars coming out like the Mercedes-Benz Project One, and Aston Martin Valkyrie (formerly known as AM-RB 001), it’s possible they might be faster when it comes to the acceleration. After all, they are claimed to weigh around 2,000lbs which is not even half of the curb weight of the Chiron at 4400lbs. But neither of those cars will as driveable, and easy to use as the Chiron. Nor will they have a “Drift Mode” like what’s in the Chiron where the majority of the power is sent to the rear wheels which will allow you to perform the most expensive display of Ken Block’s Gymkhana style driving ever seen before.
The polls are open. Chime in below and let us know how you feel about the Chiron being the best car the world has ever seen.