On Monday, Bugatti announced a production prototype Chiron derivative surpassed the 300-mph mark as it hit a top speed of 304.773 mph at the Ehra Lessien test track with Andy Wallace behind the wheel. That speed sets a new world speed record for a production car. Bugatti just won the race to 300 mph.
Bugatti was light on many details and did not say whether the run was an average between two sprints, outside conditions, or the car’s setup. The record-breaking chiron Ibs 25cm (9.84 inches) longer than the standard car, mostly thanks to a longer section that ditches the rear wing and airbrake to reduce drag. The new quad exhaust pipes also help, as do the bigger and deeper rear diffuser. The front end also get a larger splitter and a set of air outlets over the wheels.
Bugatti calls the record-setting car a pre-production version of a Chiron derivative. While technical details remain under wraps, we can tell its rear end has been extended in order to add downforce without creating drag. Round vents drilled into the top part of the front end reduce turbulence in the wheel wells, while peeking inside reveals a roll cage and a Sparco bucket seat for the driver. The prototype looks a little bit lower than a regular Chiron, too, but we’ll have to wait until Bugatti publishes more information to find out what lies beneath the carbon fiber bodywork, and whether any of it will reach production.
The 300mph project will inevitably result in a production Super Sport version of the Chiron (even if Bugatti refuses to confirm it as yet) and future generations of the Chiron, each improved by the lessons learned breaking the 300mph barrier. But what will this incredible achievement do for the likes of Koenigsegg and Hennessey? Well, we’ll have to wait and see. But there’s a new watermark for going fast, everybody. And it’s really bloody fast.