Leaving the 99.999 percent in its dust, the Chiron is a 1500-hp smackdown of every hypercar ever produced in the history of time. An 8.0-liter sixteen-cylinder engine utilizes four turbos to make 1500 hp and 1180 lb-ft of torque for what will surely be epic acceleration; Bugatti claims a top speed of 261 mph. A seven-speed automatic routes that power through all four wheels. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it—expect a price of around $2.6 million when it goes on sale this fall.
With the Bugatti Veyron’s top-speed records, a price tag over $1 million, and distinctive melted-scoop-of-ice-cream styling, it was an instant rolling superlative when it debuted in 2005. Its successor, the new Chiron, is even more of a record- and headline-grabbing show pony. Is it faster? A 310-mph (500 km/h) speedometer and Bugatti’s claim that it’ll do 261 mph say it is.
Never mind that there are few places in the world where anyone could achieve 261 mph, and even fewer owners who will ever attempt the feat, what could hypercars such as the Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder, or McLaren P1 offer in retort? That their top speeds are lower, they’re less comfortable, or, critically, that they’re—gulp—cheaper? The Chiron’s game is to be so unattainable, so unimaginable, so magical as to reestablish Bugatti as the ultimate automotive accouterment for those who measure their cash reserves not by face value but with a yardstick.
Make Bugatti Great Again
Bugatti says the 4400-pound Chiron is “the world’s first production sports car with 1500 hp.” It’s best to simply shelve any expectations of modesty on Bugatti’s part. After all, when the car you’re replacing produced 1200 horsepower, hit 258 mph, and cost more than $2 million, adding an extra 300 horsepower, 3 mph of governed top speed, and half a million to the window sticker matters. Oh, and just 500 will be made, because nobody wants a mass-produced $2.6-million car.