11 things you need to know about the Bugatti Chiron – CNET
Make no mistake, the Bugatti Chiron is bound to be ridiculous. It’s a massive feat of engineering underneath quite the gorgeous shell. It’s the whole package, really. During our time with the car in France, we learned quite a lot about the world’s latest hypercar. In the interest of keeping it succinct, here are 11 things we took away from our time with Chiron that we think you should know.
1. It’s packing 1,500 horses
Yup, that’s a lot of power. It gets it from an 8.0-liter, quadruple-turbocharged W-16 engine. 0-62 mph will take less than 2.5 seconds, and its top speed will be limited to 261 mph.
2. That top speed won’t stay limited forever
After all, there’s a record or two to be beaten. If one were to have an educated guess, 280 mph wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility.
3. Customers didn’t want a hybrid
While hybrid cars do acceleration very well, there are a couple of things they don’t do: top speed and future proofing. A quick word with Willi Netuschil, head of technical development and a member of the board, revealed that Bugatti thought about going gas-electric, but customers they talked to were unsure about how long a hybrid drivetrain would last. They wanted a more traditional setup, if you can call a 16-cylinder engine with four turbochargers traditional.
4. It’s not light
Unsurprisingly, the Bugatti Chiron is no featherweight. It weighs in at 1,995 kilograms — nearly 4,400 pounds — the same as the outgoing Veyron Supersport. Over 960 pounds of that is the engine and 265 pounds is transmission.
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5. Its engine takes seven days to build
On average, Bugatti builds one Chiron engine a week. Two teams of two build an engine each over seven days. After completion, the motor is tested to verify how much power it generates.
6. Bugatti built a new rolling road to handle the Chiron’s power
Each car is tested thoroughly after build, one chunk of that is on a rolling road (dynamometer, or dyno). The Atelier at Molsheim, Bugatti’s home, was redesigned for Chiron, and it needed a new rolling road to cope with the car’s 1,500 horses. The old one could just about handle 1,200. On the upside, the energy created during testing is used to power other things.
7. You can drift it
Feeling brave? Bugatti says you can get the Chiron’s rear end out in the corners. There’s no specific mode to do it, but if you push it hard enough, it’ll slide for you. It’s especially impressive in the wet, apparently.
8. The carbon fiber is beautiful, but super difficult to make
Carbon fiber means a lighter car, sure, but the tooling to make those parts only last around 50 uses before you have to get another set in. The upside of carbon parts is fewer panel gaps (the deck lid is a single-piece affair), but if the weave of the carbon doesn’t line up, Bugatti rejects the parts. You can have a number of finishes on your Chiron, but to my eyes, the tinted carbon looks most spectacular. To get the effect, the bodywork is painted with three layers of clearcoat, one tinted layer of clearcoat, and two more clear layers on top of that. It all has to be painted at the same time, or the hue won’t match all over.
9. The rear light bar is one piece of metal
As with many things on the Chiron, the rear light bar is as impressive as they come. It’s a single piece of metal and rounds off the car beautifully.
10. The ‘Bugatti line’ mirrors Ettore Bugatti’s signature
Well, the ‘E’ bit of it anyway. It’s a wonderful hark back to the man who started it all. He once said, “I build the cars I like. If people wished to purchase one, then that could be arranged.” One look at the Chiron, Ettore, and you’d realize that many, many people would like to purchase your new car.
11. It takes five months to build a Chiron
Congratulations! You’ve ordered a Chiron and you’re at the head of the queue. How long to wait now? Five months. It takes three months to get all the parts to the Atelier in Molsheim, then two more months to bolt the thing together.