Back in 2005, Bugatti stunned the world with the release of the Veyron, a car with 1000 hp and a 253 mph top speed. It broke records and bank accounts unlike few cars before it.
Fast forward 11 years and the French marque again sent heads spinning when at March’s Geneva Motor Show, the veil was lifted on the Chiron.
Complete with a new and improved design and an uprated quad turbo 8.0-liter W16 engine delivering 1500 hp, the Chiron has a lot to live up to and in one key regard, is still shrouded in mystery. The official word is top speed sits at 261 mph, but as is often the case these days, that figure is limited and not the ultimate V-max. It’s also just 8 mph faster than its predecessor and actually slower than the Veyron Super Sport – weird, to say the least.
Some speculate the car will do 280 mph, others say 300 mph. We’ve heard that Bugatti has yet to build a production-spec prototype and therefore hasn’t even tested the car to its limits. When it does, expect records to be smashed and boundaries redefined.
While we’re unlikely to learn just how fast the Chiron is for quite some time or see customer examples on the streets, we decided to do the next best thing and check out an example currently on display at the company’s boutique in Germany.
Having already seen the car at Geneva, we can safely say that pictures don’t do it justice and after taking an up-close look at the silver car in Munich, we can also confirm that the Geneva showcar didn’t do the Chiron justice.
An employee at the boutique confirmed that prospective customers have much preferred this example than the Geneva one and it’s easy to understand why. The more subtle silver and dark blue paint scheme perfectly highlights the new design, drawing your attention to the sharper lines and menacing front fascia. By comparison, the Geneva car was almost too bright, too outlandish and an overload of unnecessary colour. Sometimes simpler really is better.
Overall, the design of the Chiron isn’t revolutionary. From some angles, particularly the side, it looks too much like the Veyron. The front and rear are far bolder and certainly shout out at it being the latest and greatest.
Just 50 will be built each year, meaning the Chiron will enjoy a decade-long production run. At this stage, it’s hard to judge how its design will age. If rumors about its performance are correct, it’ll definitely carve out a permanent place in automotive history – and that’s what it was created for.