Motoring News

Bugatti Chiron: Going in big circles at R70 000 000 a pop


Bugatti’s Chiron Pur Sport1 and Chiron Super Sport 300+1 are two extreme hyper sport-cars. They came come together for the first time for development test drives at the Nardo Technical Centre.


NARDO, Italy and MOLSHEIM, France – A 12.6km circular track whose outer edge tilts towards the centre by more than 12 degrees is ideal for ultra-high speeds – the Nardo proving ground in Apulia, Italy.

It’s rated as Earth’s fastest vehicle circuit so was chosen by specialist automaker Bugatti to test and compare Bugatti’s Chiron Pur Sport and Chiron Super Sport 300+ hyper sport-cars.

BUGATTI CHIRON ON TEST: Image: Bugatti

After all, more than 400km/h is possible and test drivers need not even steer at 240km/h as the curve and slope are meant to do that balancing job.

FLAT OUT – IN A CIRCLE

The low parabolic profile, along with centrifugal force, gives the drivers a sensation of driving in a straight lane instead of a giant circle – within which is a 6.2km handling course to tune vehicles’ dynamics and suspension.

Overall, 70km of track is available for extensive testing across an area of more than 700ha and, for the first time, the two extremes of Bugatti’s performance spectrum met there.

BUGATTI CHIRON ON TEST: Image: Bugatti

Stefan Ellrott, Bugatti’s head of development, told The Corner: “The Nardo test tracks were ideal for us. We could extensively enhance the Chiron Pur Sport and Chiron Super Sport 300+ not only at various speeds but also at high temperatures.

“Our hyper sport-cars must not only operate flawlessly at moderate speeds and temperatures but also beyond 300km/h in very hot and very cold atmospheric conditions.”

MORE THAN 20 000 TEST KM

About 40 people from various Bugatti departments have In recent weeks  been developing eight Bugatti vehicles. All in all, four Chiron Super Sport 300+ and four Chiron Pur Sport pre-series vehicles covered about 20 000km while engineers recorded lap data and modified even minor details to check the result on the next lap.

Nine gigabytes of data were generated to tune the engine control unit for later evaluation.

BUGATTI CHIRON ON TEST: Image: Bugatti

Christian Mohr, Bugatti’s engine test engineer, explained: ”This is a job that requires a high level of concentration from all staff. Time was tight so we used every minute for track testing.”

The development phase for the Chiron Super Sport 300+ – the new longitudinal dynamics force within the Chiron2 family – was also in full swing having been derived from a record-breaking vehicle that was the first series-production car, in 2019, to exceed 300mph (304.773mph) or 490.484km/h,

FASTEST YET

The engineers, The Corner was told, are developing a very fast edition – only 30 vehicles –  electronically limited to 440km/h.

Visually, the fastest series-production Bugatti yet built differs from the Chiron and Chiron Pur Sport with elements such as an extended and aerodynamic shell designed for high-speed driving.

An elongated tail significantly reduces the aerodynamic stall and side curtains next to the air intakes direct air front to rear to force it along the side of the vehicle. Nine outlets on each wing prevent the wheels’ rotation building air pressure in the wheel arches.

The modified body can handle the very high speeds.

Chiron Super Sport 300+

THIS THE most powerful Bugatti yet assembled, given its 1176kW, exceeds the Chiron’s output by 75kW.To boost performance engineers in Nardo are developing a thermal management system for engine and gearbox, checking temperatures on the body, and testing the thermal behaviour of all components.

Christian Mohr explained: “In addition, there are new thermal components and new gearbox parts, as well as software developments and adjustments to the engine, gearbox, power train and turbocharger.

BUGATTI CHIRON ON TEST: Image: Bugatti

”Every change needs to match other components so must be tested. For safety reasons, the test engineers “only” drive the vehicle to 300km/h.

“We are slowly working our way towards higher speeds to react to every detail at every speed and to precisely adjust components.”

The first vehicles will be delivered to customers towards the end of 2021 at a net unit price of 3.5 million Euros – about R70 000 000.      .

Chiron Pur Sport

FOR THE ALMOST series-production-ready Chiron Pur Sport, engineers are checking the engine control software, thermal management, turbocharging and gearbox functions.

The lateral dynamics specialist is also being given the finishing touches to chassis, suspension, and brakes in Nardo. This involves tests on the high-speed ovaland and fast laps on the handling course.

Jachin Schwalbe, head of chassis development, told The Corner: “We’ve consistently geared the Chiron Pur Sport with the agility to take bends exceptionally quickly and precisely.

“The uncompromisingly sporty chassis offers incredible levels of grip on the handling course, sensational acceleration, and extremely precise handling thanks to a shorter gear ratio.“

DIFFERENT HANDLING

It’s said to be a hyper sport-car for those who like to experience cornering close to the limit of lateral dynamics and, Bugatti says, the brand will soon start production of the Chiron Pur Sport – only 60 units for the equivalent of R60 000 000.

The two Chiron versions are, the automaker says, unique and handle completely differently. Mohr again: “The Chiron Pur Sport, with its shorter gear ratio and large rear wing, felt very much at home on the tight handling course.

BUGATTI CHIRON ON TEST: Image: Bugatti

”The focus of the Chiron Super Sport 300+ is on top speed and it does so very smoothly and precisely whereas the other model handles completely differently thanks to the elongated rear.”

The Corner figures that if you can afford either car, the fuel consumption shouldn’t be a problem: about 24 litre/100km, rising to 36/100km in city use.

 

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