“We will try to lock in a new world speed record,” Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Durheimer said in a recent interview with Autocar. He told the British magazine that the Chiron will be faster than the old Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, but that he didn’t know how much faster. Bugatti has run computer simulations, but testing a car’s top speed in the real world is another matter, noted Durheimer.
Bugatti is aiming for its own 268-mph record, but that isn’t the only “world’s fastest” claim out there. In 2014, a Hennessey Venom GT reached 270.49 mph at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but that attempt was not recognized by Guinness World Records because the car didn’t make runs in both directions to compensate for wind. The records are close enough that the Chiron may be able to beat both, becoming the undisputed speed champion.
Production versions of the Chiron will be limited to 261 mph, but Bugatti will disengage the limiter for any record attempts. It did the same thing with the Veyron Super Sport in 2010, which led to that car’s record getting briefly rescinded. Guinness declared that any modifications violated the definition of “production car,” but then changed its mind.
The Chiron certainly has the goods to go up against the Veyron Super Sport, and pretty much anything else. Like the Veyron, it’s powered by an 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine. But the Chiron boasts 1,500 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque, compared to 1,200 hp and 1,106 lb-ft. for the Veyron Super Sport. In addition to a world-record top speed, Bugatti promises 0 to 60 mph in less than 2.5 seconds.
Bugatti will likely set the Chiron loose at parent Volkswagen’s test track in Ehra-Lessien, Germany, where all Veyron record attempts were done. The circuit includes a five-mile-long straight, making it one of only a handful of places in the world where Bugatti can take its cars to their top speeds. Bugatti hasn’t decided when it will make the Chiron record attempt.