Watch Bugatti Become The First Car Maker To Break The 480 kph Mark
Bugatti has never been a brand to do something in half measures, but the past few months of late have been a particularly big time for the car maker. The french marque has been almost hitting the headlines with surprising frequency, dropping obscenely extravagant cars in the La Vouiture Noire, the Centodieci, and even stoking the fires of rumours that they're set to drop a $1 million SUV.
And now, just casually, they've taken to the internet to announce that they've attained what's largely been regarded as the holy grail of car making over the last couple of decades – making a hypercar officially capable of hitting 480 kph.
“Bugatti has once again shown what it’s capable of. With this new record of the Chiron we enter again uncharted territory. Never before has a series manufacturer reached this high speed,” said Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “Our goal was to be the first manufacturer ever to reach the magic 300mph mark. We have now achieved this – making ourselves, the entire team and myself, incredibly proud.”
The incredible feat of engineering was completed with the use of a modified Bugatti Chiron, which in stock trim normally has a top speed of 420 kph. The car was significantly lightened for the run, has a remodelled rear end to minimise drag, sits lower on the ground to improve aerodynamic efficiency, and is also 30cm longer. The car was developed with the help of Dallara, who make the cars for the Formula 2 and Formula 3 series, and Michelin, who had to develop special tyres capable of handling the car's mind-boggling top speed.
"The biggest challenge is to get the overall package right, not only design, not only aerodynamics, not only engine, not only tyres. It’s to get everything together and working in one car,” Frank Heyl, Bugatti's head of exterior design, told Top Gear.
Interestingly, this is also one final glorious hurrah for Bugatti, as they also took the chance to announce that they're stepping away from the top speed race once and for all. “We have shown several times that we build the fastest cars in the world. In future we will focus on other areas,” said Winkelmann.
Of course, the glaring question remains as to whether Bugatti will make one final bid to make what is the fastest production car in the world right now. The modified Chiron, which isn't scheduled to go into production, may be the fastest single hypercar in the world right now, but the brand with the fastest car available to customers is still Koenigsegg, who's Agera RS hit a top speed of 447.19 kph in 2017.
Some have speculated that the developments that went into the modified Chiron could find their way into a potential Chiron Super Sport, but only time will tell.