If you’re a hypercar company, impressing clients with big numbers is kind of the name of the game (after all, this segment is all about bragging rights). If you’re Bugatti, and your $3 million Chiron hasn’t achieved the ultimate top-speed bragging right yet, you’ve got to try other stunts—like this zero to 249 mph back to zero run. You know, to keep things interesting.
It will be a while before the Bugatti Chiron can surpass the top speed of its predecessor, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. But until then, Bugatti continues to show the world just how much of an engineering marvel its car is. This time, the brand found a long stretch of pavement, hired Formula One and IndyCar driver Juan Pablo Montoya to take the helm, and got with a bunch of technical nerds at SGS-TÜV Saar (a company known for “testing, auditing, verifying and certifying”) to verify just how quickly the Chiron could accelerate—in both directions.
Montoya launched the Chiron from zero to 249 mph (400 km/h) in 32.6 seconds, covering a distance of 1.62 miles. Here’s what that looked like:
At that point, the two-time Indy 500 winner slammed the brakes, sending the nearly five-foot long rear wing up at a 49 degree angle. Within less than a second, the car’s rear axle found itself with nearly a ton of extra downforce.
That wing, along with the 16.5-inch front carbon ceramic rotors and 15.7-inch rears slowed the car down at a rate of close to two g, bringing the supercar to a halt in 9.3 seconds and in less than a third of a mile.
Bugatti says the 8.0-liter W16-powered, 1,500ish-horsepower Chiron’s total time of 41.96 seconds (which elapsed over a distance of 1.93 miles) for the zero to 249 mph back to zero run is the “fastest... ever reached and officially measured for this driving manoeuvre for a production vehicle throughout the world.”
But this impressive demonstration of engineering isn’t the end-goal for Volkswagen Group’s halo brand; the team still wants the ultimate bragging right, saying in its press release:
The 0-400-0 manoeuvre is the first step on the way to a new world speed record for production vehicles which Bugatti intends to set in 2018 and a further highlight in the success story of the Chiron, which made its world debut last year.
OK, Bugatti. Make it happen. Find some tires that can withstand the load, and show us what the car world looks like at speeds above 268 mph. We’re all curious.