The new hyper car hit 236 miles per hour (380 kilometres per hour) on the famous track.
After the Bugatti’s Veyron’s international acclaim for its staggering performance, the new Chiron has a huge legacy to uphold. The exclusive brand wrote an early chapter in the upcoming hypercar’s story by staging its French public debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Chiron even unleashed its power on the famous course during a parade lap before the race on Saturday. The coupe reached a phenomenal 236 miles per hour (380 kilometres per hour) there, which was faster than any race car during the event. The speed was well short of the model’s 261 mph (420 km/h) limited top speed, though.
While the company’s boast of being faster than a Le Mans racer is impressive, it’s an apples-to-oranges comparison. The top competitors in the 24-hour event are much more concerned with having a high average speed during a lap, rather than hitting a large number briefly down the straight. To maintain such high velocities, the cars might sacrifice a little drag to stick like glue through the corners. Also, the teams have to run reliably for an entire day, not just for one high-speed blast during a parade lap.
Customer deliveries of the $2.7 million USD Chiron don’t begin until this summer, but all indications suggest it’s another masterpiece from Bugatti. The new hyper car uses an upgraded version of the Veyron’s W16 that now generates 1,479 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque. The company already has orders for over 200 of the 500-vehicle production run.
The Chiron's speed at Le Mans is admirable. However, if Bugatti really wants to show its vehicles' performance, the company should time a race entry with the 80th anniversaries of its previous victories there in 1937 and 1939.