We’ve been looking forward to finding out what kind of performance numbers the Bugatti Chiron would produce with its 1,500-hp 16-cylinder engine, and now, thanks to former F1 driver Juan-Pablo Montoya, we have a pretty significant one.
Montoya recently took the Chiron’s wheel at a German test track, where he drove the car from zero to 400 km/h and back to zero in 41.96 seconds and in a distance of less than three kilometres, which Bugatti claims is a world record for a production vehicle.
But the fact Bugatti claims to have set a record almost doesn’t matter: the $3-million Chiron would be a wickedly fast car without having made its mark in the record books by being able to do things like hitting 250 km/h in 10 seconds, when most cars are lucky to have broken into triple-digit speeds.
It’s also notable the Chiron spent a solid three quarters of that 42 seconds accelerating, meaning its 16-inch carbon ceramic brake rotors were tasked with dispatching 400 km/h worth of inertia in just 10 seconds.
In the above photo from the record-setting run, the front brakes are glowing red hot. You can also see the massive rear spoiler that flips up under high-speed braking, acting much like the wing-mounted spoilers that help big jets slow down after touching down on the runway.
Montoya chose not to wear safety gear for the test, but that’s not because he was underestimating the Chiron’s performance.
“The Chiron is so incredibly fast it takes your breath away, and its braking is at least as impressive,” he said in Bugatti’s press release. “Of course, the Chiron is a super sports car that requires your full attention when you are behind the wheel. At the same time, it gave me such a feeling of security and reliability that I was entirely relaxed and really enjoyed myself during my two days with the car.”
Bugatti will build 500 examples of the Chiron, of which 300 have already been claimed by those who can afford the stratospheric price tag. And the manufacturer isn’t done setting records: it next intends to break its own world speed record, a 429.7-km/h velocity set by the brand’s own Veyron Super Sport.
Here’s some video of the Chiron’s speed run, courtesy Bugatti’s Instagram feed.