2017 Bugatti Chiron Coupe Drive Review

2017 Bugatti Chiron Coupe Drive Review
- the new top speed 261-mph Bugatti is really just about being all ate up with motor, 1001-hp Veyron 16.4 was the busted sound barrier, the Everest summit, the four-minute mile. It was the car that went 1 mph faster than a Peugeot P88, the fastest race car on the Mulsanne straight

— benchmarks have all been bested, the hyperbole all belabored

- pointless to raise the bar again with another mid-engined two-seat coupe

- Veyron may have improved greatly during its 10-year, 450-car slow drip of a production run, but its handling never rose above that of a blindingly fast Lexus

- initially it was just to restyle the Veyron and crank up the boost, everybody soon realized that going from 1200 horsepower in the hottest Veyrons, the Super Sport and the Grand Sport Vitesse, to a still drivable 1500 in the Chiron required more than just a bigger blow

- nearly every single part number changed in the engine, seven-speed transmission, two clutches, the wheels, tires, brakes, and self-adjusting suspension, the body, aerodynamic devices and interior, hand-painted, solid-silver Bugatti grille badge

- Chiron is quieter inside and that it has a gentler ride

- Michelin PAX tires cost five figures to replace, with new wheels required at the third tire change

- Bugatti-spec Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s, size 285/30R-20 in front and 355/25R-21 in back

- less road roar from these massive drums and less unpleasant noise from the engine, hear the husky swell from the enormous titanium exhaust

- zero-to-62-mph in less than 2.5 seconds, the first Veyron we tested hit 60 mph in 2.5 second, while Porsche 911 Turbos handily pull a 2.6, and Tesla P100Ds in Ludicrous mode are quicker still

- accelerate even harder, 180 mph, takes about 10 seconds

- throttle, able to summon a bonkers 1180 lb-ft of torque

- steering ratio having dropped from 18.0:1 in the Veyron to 16.0:1

- chassis sniffs the pavement a little, occasionally following the changing camber and feeling altogether more organic

- AP Racing brake calipers and Brembo carbon-ceramic rotors display a delicate progression belying their enormous size

- side profile, spinal ridge and the extravagant sweep of LED accent lighting that cleaves the cockpit, is either a tribute to his name

- more purposeful shape, the horseshoe grille pushed forward into the wind to initiate a sleeker and somewhat tenser profile

- eight LED headlights, the 82-LED taillight blade

- no plastic anywhere in the cockpit

- a flat underbody tray with strategically placed air dams, plus a system of ducts and slats up front that create both a high-pressure zone in the wheels for cooling the brake rotors and a low-pressure air curtain around the front wheels to suck out the hot air, there are two moving aerodynamic elements

- flaps forward of the front wheels adjust their pitch with the car’s speed to improve downforce, and the large wing in back rises on stilts, mightily obscuring the rearward vision whether it’s pitched up 3 degrees in Top Speed mode or 47 degrees in the air-brake position

- certainly the last of its kind as supercars give way to super-hybrids and super-electrics

Starting Price $2,998,000
Vehicle Type 2 door coupe, mid engine, all wheel drive
Engine quad-turbocharged, intercooled DOHC 64-valve W-16, port fuel injection
Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, manual shifting mode
Horsepower 1500 hp @ 6700 rpm
Torque 1180 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
Displacement 488 cu in, 7993 cc
Wheelbase 106.7 in
Length 178.9 in
Width 80.2 in
Height 47.7 in
Curb weight 4400 lb
Passenger volume 54 cu ft
Cargo volume 2 cu ft
0-60 mph 2.3 sec
0-100 mph 4.8 sec
Top speed 261 mph
Fuel economy (city/highway) 8/15 mpg
Pros quiet cabin, communicative chassis
Cons rear visibility, $3 million