Earlier this week, Bugatti claimed that the 304-mph Chiron could have gone faster if they had gone to a higher altitude place, like, say Nevada. They brought up Nevada, of course, because it is the first high-altitude place that comes to mind and not because Koenigsegg did its record-setting speed run there.
In claiming that they could have gone faster—15.5 mph faster, precisely—if they hadn’t held themselves to such a high standard of safety, Bugatti basically passive-aggressively implied that Koenigsegg had an unfair advantage. And now—because the world needs two multinational companies that make products for billionaires to have YouTube star-level beef—Koeniggsegg is talking trash, too.
In an interview with Top Gear, they dropped this diss track:
“We want to congratulate them,” a Koenigsegg spokesperson told TopGear.com. “It’s a great achievement. If the homologated production version of the same car can drive faster than 284.55mph – or 277.9mph as average speed in two directions – then it will take the crown from the Agera RS as the fastest production car until now.”
Koenigsegg of course, set a record with that customer Agera RS back in 2017. Koenigsegg test driver Niklas Lilja managed a two-way average of 277.9mph on a closed road in Nevada.
Oh, and in case you forgot, the spokesperson mentions that the company believes that the Jesko is capable of over 300 mph. That’s using the same estimating methodology that Koenigsegg used to forecast the Agera RS’ top speed, which, they specify, actually underestimated the car.
There is so much to unpack here. Koenigsegg’s main point is that, well, Bugatti’s record doesn’t count. And if it does, we’ll beat it anyway.
“Friends,” I imagine Christian von Koenigsegg saying while sitting on a throne crafted from the bones of his enemies, “it is cute that your vehicle went quite fast. Thank God it wasn’t a production car, or we’d have a... problem.”
So that’s the company’s first point of contention. While Koenigsegg’s record was achieved with a customer car in production spec, Bugatti used a prototype that blends together parts from multiple different versions of the Chiron. For now, it’s not a production car record.
Of course, pretty much everyone expects that a Chiron Super Sports or World Record Edition will debut in time. That should be a production version of the car that set the 304-mph record at Ehra-Lessien.
But even if they do make a production version, Koenigsegg also calls out Bugatti for not setting a two-way average. Historically, speed records are usually set in both directions to account for elevation changes and wind. Bugatti’s record was set in one direction only.
Bugatti claims that this, too, was a safety issue. Ehra-Lessien and its safety features were designed for one direction, so they didn’t want to risk anything by running in the opposite direction. The Veyron, however, was tested in both directions.
One final point. None of this matters even a little bit. The nitpicking about how each record is set is petty and small, so I absolutely love that two prestigious companies are essentially subtweeting each other and doing callout posts.
As I’m sure Koenigsegg will point out in its next press release, Bugatti started it.