The Chiron is not only an awesome grand tourer, but a great car to drive at the track, too. To demonstrate its cornering abilities again, Bugatti took a trio of hypercars to the Paul Ricard circuit in Southern France, 40 km (25 miles) outside Marseille.
Among the participants was the Chiron Sport, the brand’s more track-focused model that is 18 kg (40 lbs) lighter than the regular Chiron. It also comes with a stiffer suspension, modified steering, refined rear-axle differential and Dynamic Torque Vectoring. Power remains unchanged, with the 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 still producing (as in all current Bugattis so far) 1,500 PS (1,479 hp / 1,103 kW) and 1,600 Nm (1,180 lb-ft) of torque.
Responsible for driving the trio on the French track was Pierre-Henri Raphanel. The pro-racing driver has made a name for himself in Formula One and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He has also been a Bugatti test driver for years, and he’s the aone who broke the world speed record for production cars back in 2010, when he drove the Veyron Super Sport at 431.072 km/h (267.86 mph). His job wasn’t to set a new lap record at Paul Ricard, though, but rather to demonstrate what the Chiron is capable of.
Referring to Lewis Hamilton’s 1:30.11 race lap set on the 5.8 km (3.6-mile) long track in 2018 in an F1 car, Raphanel said: “We’re not quite that fast because a Formula 1 racing car is built much more uncompromisingly than a Bugatti Chiron. But the hyper sports car offers more power and, above all, comfort.”
The Chiron is “a perfect vehicle for the race track”, commented Bugatti’s test driver, as “it achieves a great balancing act, and this inspires me again and again. A balancing act between sportiness, luxury and comfort. You can speed around the race track in the morning and then cruise down country roads into town in the afternoon.”
Unfortunately, the exotic carmaker didn’t release a video to show the Chiron in action at Paul Ricard. Nonetheless, they did drop a few pictures, which can be viewed in our Gallery below. And maybe the video(s) will follow at a later date.