A hyper car from Bugatti topped the 300 mph for the first time in history of cars. A modified version of its hypercar crossed 304 mph in a test drive.
This test was carried out on Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany on August 2 and on a Bugatti Chiron car that had been modified to adapt to higher speeds and driven by Andy Wallace. This is the first instance that a super car broke the 300 mph barrier.
“Bugatti has once again shown what it’s capable of,” said Stephan Winkelmann, president of Bugatti. “With this new record of the Chiron we enter again uncharted territory. Never before has a series manufacturer reached this high speed.”
In 2005, a 254 mph speed was hit by the Veyron model of Bugatti, a subsidiary of Volkswagen, which was the first production car to do so back then. Another record with a top speed of 268 mph was set by its Veyron Super Sport cars in 2010. The company however annoucned that it would not conduct such speed tests in the future and would not be part of this type of numerical records anymore.
“We have shown several times that we build the fastest cars in the world,” Winkelmann said. “In future we will focus on other areas. … This was the last time for us.”
The Chiron model that broke the speed record is not a typical production model which can be easily bought by customers and comes with a price tag of $3 million. The company describes this car as a “pre-production vehicle of a Chiron derivative” that has been adapted with a longer and more aerodynamic body and fitted with reinforced tires from Michelin. Special tires had to be fitted in the car because they were to face rotation speeds of up to 4,100 times in one minute. Extensive trials and tests of the tires were undertaken by the company which even included X-ray examination, with the aim of optimizing even the minutest details ahead of test run.
There were also a number of additional safety elements that were fitted in the car which included six-point seat belts and a special “safety cell” for the British racing car driver. Any stones or grit on the track pavement was removed and it was cleaned with special mats.
There is a growing race among hypercar makers in the field of being the fastest one and Bugatti is hopeful that the new record speed would bring an end to, or at least reduce its role in that speed race. A record speed of 278 mph was set by a Koenigsegg Agera RS in 2017 – breaking Bugatti’s earlier record, and there were speculations whether the Chiron model of Volkswagen subsidiary would be able to set a new record. And now since the 300 mph speed barrier has been broken by it, Bugatti now hopes that its research and development activities can now be more focused on other attributes of its cars instead of focusing only on increasing speed.
“Our hypercars are capable of so much more,” Winkelmann said. “They offer absolute exclusivity, luxury, unmatched beauty and a high level of automotive craftsmanship. The Bugatti is the only hyper sports car that combined all of these characteristics in one vehicle. We will concentrate even more on this in the future in the context of further exciting projects.”
(Adapted from CNBC.com)