Friday 2nd August 2019
Bugatti test driver Andy Wallace reached 490.48 km/h (304.77 mph) in a modified near production ready Chiron prototype at Volkswagen’s test facility in Ehra-Lessien. The speed was verified by the TÜV, Germany’s Technical Inspection Association. This marks the first time a semi-production car has ever broken the infamous 300 mph barrier. The car was developed under Bugatti head exterior designer Frank Heyl in collaboration with Italian automobile engineering firm Dallara and tyre manufacturer Michelin over the course of six months. The overall length of the car was increased by 248.9 mm (9.8 in) and it is fitted by a laser controlled ride height system in order to reduce drag. To further reduce drag and aid aerodynamics, the electronically controlled rear wing was removed and was replaced with a long tail incorporating a rear wing with a short cross section. A full roll cage along with a minimalist driver focused interior and the removal of a passenger seat reduce weight. The car incorporates an exhaust system first introduced on the Bugatti Centodieci in order to further reduce aerodynamic drag. Mechanically, the engine was modified to generate 1,177 kW (1,600 PS; 1,578 hp) of power output with no changes to the gearbox and all-wheel-drive system.