Bugatti – a marque synonymous with mind-numbing top speeds – deviated slightly from its playbook with the recently released Chiron Pur Sport, which is speed-limited to “only” 350 kilometres per hour.
However, the French hypercar purveyor is back to doing what it does best with the Chiron Super Sport, inspired by the record-setting Chiron Super Sport 300+, which hit 490.484kph at the Ehra-Lessien test track in 2019.
Although the car created for the record was a one-off, it’s paved the way for the daily-driveable Chiron Super Sport. Deliveries start in early 2022, with each car costing Dh14.3 million ($3.89m), plus taxes and import duties.
Need for speed
Whereas the regular Chiron has a top speed of 420kph, the Super Sport (which is 23 kilograms lighter than the donor car) ups the ante to 440kph, and it accelerates to 400kph 7 per cent faster than its standard sibling. Bugatti claims the Super Sport sprints from 0 to 200kph in 5.8 seconds and to 300kph in 12.1 seconds.
Propulsion for the model comes from an uprated version of the quad-turbo W16 motor, eking out an additional 100 horsepower for a total output of 1,600hp. The power and rev hike is the result of larger turbochargers, plus modifications to the oil pump, cylinder head and valve train, as well as to the transmission and clutch.
At full load, the dual-clutch gearbox now shifts from sixth to seventh gear (which has a 3.6 per cent higher ratio than standard) at a mind-boggling 403kph.
Despite its mind-numbing stats, the Super Sport is touted as a well-rounded and user-friendly hypercar.
“In spite of the immense power and the enormous longitudinal acceleration, the Chiron Super Sport offers a comfortable, quiet and balanced drive,” says Michael Kodra, Bugatti’s head of driveline integration.
The Super Sport is equipped with firmer dampers and more direct steering to instil a greater sense of connection between car and driver. In addition, Bugatti says harder springs stabilise the vehicle at top speed, and the engineers also retuned the electronic chassis-control systems accordingly.
Arguably the most significant element of the Super Sport is its aero package, which includes a rear end that has been stretched by 250 millimetres. Apart from contributing to greater high-speed downforce and stability, the “longtail” endows the Super Sport with proportions that are quite different to its Chiron stablemates.
Bugatti designers also enlarged the diffuser, pushing its trailing edge higher and thereby reducing the rear’s trailing surface by 44 per cent. The company claims the extended rear and modified front makes for balanced aerodynamics at high speed.
“Even on long bends taken at high speeds, the rear remains calm and neutral, resulting in a very composed drive in the Chiron Super Sport,” says Jachin Schwalbe, Bugatti’s head of chassis development.
To boost the effect of the diffuser and give it more space, Bugatti has relocated the otherwise central exhaust system closer to the sides, with the pipes stacked vertically. The exhaust system will also emit a deeper and richer soundtrack.
The nine exhaust air holes on each fender are more than just a nod to Bugatti’s 1990s EB 110 Super Sport; they’re designed to release air pressure from the front wheel wells, thereby generating downforce at the front axle. Additional outlets behind the front wheel arches likewise help to balance out the aerodynamic loads.
Reinventing the wheel
Also unique to the Super Sport are five-Y-spoke aluminium rims, although the Chiron Pur Sport’s magnesium wheels, which further reduce the weight of the unsprung mass, are available as an option.
Newly developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, which have been optimised for top speed, offer greater rigidity and smoothness than the grip-optimised rubber fitted to the Chiron Pur Sport. What’s more, these are claimed to be the only tyres that can consistently drive at up to 500kph. This is made possible by reinforced belts that can cope with immense forces – verified on the test bench originally built for the Space Shuttle.
Every tyre is X-rayed following production in order to rule out even the most minuscule of irregularities.
Befitting its ultra-premium status in the Bugatti line-up, the Super Sport’s interior is trimmed in leather and polished aluminium, as well as high-tech carbon-fibre highlights.