Skip to main content

Bugatti ends its record-chasing career with a stunning, limited-edition Chiron

Bugatti quietly built a highly aerodynamic evolution of the Chiron to break the 300-mph barrier and become the fastest car in the world. British pilot Andy Wallace slipped behind the wheel, and made achieving both goals look easy.

Documented by a sealed GPS box, the record was set on a German test track named Ehra-Lessien. There are thousands of race tracks in the world, but Volkswagen’s official test circuit is the ideal place for high-speed runs because it offers intrepid drivers a 5.4-mile stretch of straight pavement on which to exercise their car’s muscles. It’s on this part of the track that Wallace reached 304.773 mph in the Chiron-based prototype.

Official photos confirm the record-breaking car is based on the Chiron, but it wears a modified body with a longer rear end that allows it to keep its four wheels on the ground even as it crests the 300-mph mark. The extension is made with carbon fiber to keep weight in check, and to match the rest of the body, which is also manufactured using the lightweight composite material. Front-end tweaks and a bigger rear diffuser further improve the car’s aerodynamic profile, Digital Trends learned.

The aerodynamic modifications played a large role in helping the Chiron become the fastest car in the world, but other factors played a big role as well. The car was fitted with reinforced Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires that were sent through an X-ray machine before being installed to make sure they were 100% perfect. And, power comes from a 1,600-horsepower evolution of the standard Chiron’s quad-turbocharged, 8.0-liter W16 engine. The regular, 1,500-horsepower variant is obscenely quick; Digital Trends called its acceleration “uncanny” after driving it on the roads around its home town. We can only imagine what injecting 100 additional horses into the driveline achieves.

The 304-mph run brings the top speed crown back into Bugatti’s court. The Veyron Super Sport earned the bragging rights when it reached 267 mph on the same track in 2010, but it was bumped down from the podium’s top spot when the Koenigsegg Agera RS hit 285 mph in 2017. The Swedish boutique automaker can’t use Volkswagen’s test track, so the record attempt famously took place on a closed stretch of a Nevada highway. Don’t expect Bugatti to go for 310 mph, though.

“We have shown several times that we build the fastest cars in the world. In the future, we will focus on other areas,” said company boss Stephan Winkelmann in a statement.

Bugatti will make 30 examples of the record-breaking car. Called Chiron Super Sport 300+, it was presented to a room full of hand-selected customers during the company’s 110th birthday celebrations, and the entire production run was spoken for before the event closed its doors. Pricing started at $3.5 million, a relatively small $500,000 premium over the standard car.

Updated on September 9, 2019: Added information about Bugatti’s retirement, and about the Chiron 300+.

Editors' Recommendations

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
There’s a huge Black Friday sale on Thule roof cargo boxes
thule rooftop cargo boxes deals amazon november 2023 box on car

It's almost winter, which means snowy day trips and skiing, and if you pack your whole family inside one vehicle, it can be difficult to get the rest of your critical belongings (such as bikes and kayaks) to your destination. In theory, you could buy a larger car. Many families get a minivan for the explicit purpose of relieving this kind of pressure. But that's pretty extreme when you could simply expand the storage space of your current car. And with Black Friday sales like this one, putting dozens of Thule rooftop cargo boxes on big discounts, now is a good time to consider doing so. We're seeing deals were you could save $100 (or even more) or Thule rooftop cargo boxes and accessories. Just tap the button below to access the curated collection, then keep reading for our take in how to shop the sale.

Why you should shop the Thule rooftop cargo box sale
One of the first things we want you to know before you shop the Thule collection is some features that aren't immediately apparent just by looking at the cargo boxes. For example, you may be highly concerned about driving off and having your belongings (including embarrassing items like underwear) go everywhere because the box flies open. Thule boxes, however, typically snap shut with an audible click. You know your items are secure. Alternatively, items like their

Read more
Honda recalls more than 300,000 vehicles over seat belt safety issue
2015 Honda Accord Sport

Honda has recalled more than 300,000 of its 2023-2024 HR-Vs and Accords over a safety issue, according to a document posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The issue concerns a missing seat belt part, which means that in the event of a crash, the belt “will not properly restrain the occupant, increasing the risk of injury,” the NHTSA said.

Read more
How to watch Tesla’s Cybertruck delivery event today
Tesla's Cybertruck.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk behind the wheel of a Cybertruck. Tesla

It’s been a long time coming, but Tesla is about to deliver the Cybertruck to its first customers.

Read more