Money can’t buy you more time on this planet, but it can buy you a Bugatti Chiron Super Sport for $3,825,000. While 1578 horsepower won’t help you live longer, accelerating quickly in a Super Sport packs a lot of life into a short period of time.
The four new turbochargers on the Super Sport compress not just air but also time. Consider how long it takes the Chiron Super Sport to reach 200 mph. In 14.8 seconds, a month’s worth of dread, joy, and humor all compressed into 14.8 seconds.
Performance Bugatti Chiron Super Sport
The first moment you stomp the Chiron’s accelerator and unleash the W-16’s gas-fired wrath on the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, your life flashes before your eyes. The engine is brought to roughly 2500 rpm via launch control, allowing the Super Sport to create some boost before takeoff. If 2500 rpm seems low, keep in mind that the 8.0-liter reactor behind your head produces 562 horsepower and 1180 pound-feet of peak torque at that speed.
When you let go of the Chiron’s leash, a 1.5 g leather backrest slams into your spine, engulfing you in a dizzying fuzziness. Even with an all-wheel-drive system and gigantic Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires (which are X-rayed at the manufacture to verify they’re up to near-300 mph speeds), the Chiron’s power can’t be contained. All four tires come loose and leave a mark on the pavement.
The Bugatti doesn’t slow down much after it’s connected. Even at 60 mph, you’re outrunning gravity. The automobile accelerates with 0.4 g of force between 160 and 170 miles per hour. Hold the accelerator pedal to the floor for 9.1 seconds to achieve 161 mph, a new C/D test record. At 197 miles per hour, the half-mile milestone is reached in just 5.0 seconds.
The letters we’ll get expressing dissatisfaction with the pricing, signaling the end of an era.
The three-quarter mark is reached in 18.5 seconds, with a speed of 217 miles per hour. The Super Sport touched 222 mph in less than 0.8 mile with the wind at its back (we average runs in both directions). Despite the power of the massive carbon-ceramic brakes, running out of room on the proving ground’s roughly 1.2-mile straight becomes a major problem. With a little more room, what kinds of speeds could we find?
Avenue A outside Rosamond, California, looks to be auditioning for a John Ford Western, with a pencil line drawn on the Mojave sand. The route was discovered in the 1980s by former editor-in-chief Csaba Csere after the old testing location on Sierra High-way grew too crowded. For years, this location functioned as an unofficial test site because it was mainly empty of buildings, automobiles, and people. It’s the ideal site to find out how fast a car can drive since you can see for miles in every direction. Even though we’re not here to flee, returning seems like a fitting way to commemorate the end of the Chiron period.
The situation has shifted slightly. On the north side of the road, the six-mile stretch that was once utilized for straight-line testing is now skirting the perimeter of a solar farm. The mirrored panels on the farm glitter like a sequined garment in the proper light. Employees drive by in a Ford F-150 on a daily basis, preventing speed runs. C/D testers befriended the Dennis family, who were some of the few people in the area, back in the 1980s.
They’d stop over to speak and look at the automobiles, perhaps starving for amusement or wondering about what was going on around them. Testers would bring food and beverages, then remain for supper in exchange for turning their heads while a Porsche 911 Turbo or a Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 sped by. If a Bugatti raced past at Indy 500 qualifying speeds, we’re not sure the solar farm would be as kind.
The Super Sport receives the carbon-fiber bodywork of the 300-mph Chiron Super Sport 300+, which is governed at 273 mph. The most noticeable difference is that the automobile has a longer tail, giving it a lower, almost slender appearance. Perforations on the front fenders like cheese graters pay homage to the Bugatti EB110 Super Sport from the 1990s.
The redline climbs from 6500 to 7100 rpm, and the engine tune and new turbos are to blame for the 99-hp increase over the standard Chiron. The W-16 has become more melodic as a result of the alterations. At full blast, the 88-decibel sound is richer and deeper. Of all, the Chiron accelerates so quickly through the first two of gears—100 mph is reached in only 4.1 seconds—that you don’t notice it until it reaches speeds beyond 100 mph.
Even the 4587-pound Super Sport will seem as light as a Mazda Miata with a 1578-hp engine. The Chiron, on the other hand, is known for its proclivity towards turning. A multimillion-dollar car that’s as at home in the canyons as it is spinning outside Nobu, thanks to light and fluid handling, a carbon-fiber frame that’s undisturbed by anything short of an off-road path, and 1.05 g’s of grip on the skidpad.
In the middle of a bend, become a touch too loose with the throttle and the engine’s tectonic energy will send you slip-sliding. You become aware of the bulk of the enormous engine and transmission as the back end begins to revolve and strives to pass the front. Although you’re cornering at over 1.00 g in a Ford Explorer, the handling is neither sharp nor scary. It’s simply another example of the Bugatti’s ability to make the irrational appear rational.
Despite our best efforts, this version of the Chiron will be the final, a farewell before electric motors join the party. What follows will almost certainly exceed our $4,301,450 Chiron, but there’s something alluring about a nonhybrid 16-cylinder engine with 64 valves and four turbochargers. There’s little doubt that the future iteration will provide a more comprehensive answer to the subject of how to travel really quickly. However, we’ll remember both the Chiron Super Sport and testing on Avenue A for doing things the hard way—the old, somewhat dumb way.