“Where others are satisfied with theory, we validate our data with real-life values.”Wolfgang Dürheimer, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.
The driver for this word record was none other than racing legend Juan Pablo Montoya, winner of the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, two-time winner of the Indy 500 and three-time winner of the Daytona 24 Hours. It is really impressive how stable and consistent the Chiron is,” said Montoya. “Its acceleration and braking are simply incredible.”
The Chiron is powered by a 7.993 litre V16 quad-turbo 1,500 hp engine that generates 1,180 lb-ft of torque. Using the Top Speed Key, Montoya activated the Top Speed mode, which allows a Chiron to go faster than 380 km/h. He placed his left foot firmly on the brake pedal; engaged first gear and activated Launch Control. The digital display beside the speedometer acknowledges the command received and the 1,500 horses wake up. Montoya pressed the accelerator to the limit with his right foot. The engine runs up to 2,800 rpm; the turbochargers speed up; he releases the brake pedal and all four wheels receive equal power and grip. The traction control prevents the wheels from spinning. In combination with ESC (Electronic Stability Control), it catapults the Chiron forward, keeping it firmly on track. Full acceleration.
The V-Box 3i, the GPS-based measurement system used by the inspectors from independent testing and certification company SGS/TÜV Saar which supervised the tests, indicated 41.96 seconds. During this time, the Chiron only covered a distance of 3,112 metres. This means that the Chiron is significantly faster than its predecessor, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, which raised a furore with its performance and caused an upheaval in the automobile world at the time.
Juan Pablo Montoya
“My first thought was that I would do anything Bugatti wanted in order to drive this incredible car,” said Montoya. The former Formula 1 driver, who is now active in the IndyCar series, was especially impressed by the fact that a super sports car actually felt like a normal road vehicle. “When you are driving the Chiron for the first time and taking it easy, you cannot imagine how powerful it is. But as soon as you open the throttle, you hear the turbochargers pull up and all this torque comes in, and it just does not stop. It is like a linear power curve to happiness.”
Montoya is thrilled at the acceleration and braking performance of the Chiron. “The Chiron is so incredibly fast it takes your breath away. And its braking is at least as impressive,” is how he describes his impressions following the record run. “And the car is just so stable and consistent. I feel honoured to be part of this project.”
During the world record weekend, Juan Pablo Montoya travelled faster than 400 km/h 17 times and also had an opportunity to improve his own personal speed record of 407 km/h, recorded with an IndyCar racing car to 420 km/h with the Chiron. “It really was incredible to see that you didn’t need the complex preparations we have to make in racing for the 0-4000 drive,” said Montoya. “With the Chiron, it was all quite easy. Just get in and drive off. Incredible.”