The long-awaited replacement for the Veyron is finally among us. The 2016 Geneva Motor Show will host the official unveiling of the Chiron.
The Chiron will represent the fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive production hypercar in the world. The main goal for the French engineers was to make the new car better in every single way.
As you’d expect, it’s extremely powerful. 1118 kW is the magic number, accompanied by 1600 Nm of torque between 2000-600 rpm.
The new car is therefore very well-positioned to become the next world speed record holder, by reaching a significantly higher number than that set by the Veryon Super Sport. For safety reasons, the road going version will be limited to 420 km/h.
The Chiron will use the, now legendary, 8-litre W16 engine, which has been completely redesigned. The 4 turbochargers have also grown in size and is now controlled by Bugatti 2-stage turbocharging, one of many innovative technologies that Bugatti are revealing for the 1st time.
In essence, the 2-stage system is designed to reduce turbo-lag. When the car accelerates from standstill, only 2 turbos are in use. The second set of turbos only kick in about 3,800 rpm. The result is an incredibly linear power curve.
The Chiron is to be built at the company’s headquarters in Molsheim and 500 of these exceptional hypercars will ever be built.
The basic price is €2.4 million, that’s around R41.4 million before import taxes and such. Currently, advance orders have been received for one third of the total production run. The first vehicle is due to be delivered to a customer this autumn.
Other new developments include the new carbon fibre monocoque, a newly designed adaptive chassis and tyres developed especially for Bugatti by Michelin. This will make the Chiron not only a massively impressive straight line car, but also impressive handler.
Almost every single component of the engine was considered and redesigned. To compensate for the weight increase caused by the high power output, greater use is made of lightweight materials such as titanium and carbon fibre. For example, the intake tube, the charge air system and the chain housing are all made of carbon fibre. The weight of the new crankshaft has also been reduced.
In addition to the new turbos, there is also a new duplex fuel injection system with 32 injectors. The charge air cooling system has also been improved. As a result, more than 60,000 litres of air per minute are pumped through the engine. The coolant pump is also a very high-performance unit. In 1 minute, it circulates 800 litres of water through the entire engine.
The exhaust system is also unlike anything we’ve seen before. The system is fully insulated and equipped with 4 pre-converters and 2 main catalytic converters, which are considerably larger than their predecessors. The main converters are about 6 times as large as the unit fitted to a medium-sized car.
The total active surface of the 6 catalatic converters used for exhaust gas treatment is about 230,266 m², corresponding to the area of more than 30 soccer fields. From the catalytic converters, the exhaust gas is fed to a silencer which is extremely light compared with similar units, weighing only 20 kg. While other manufacturers use stainless steel, the silencer of the Chiron is made from titanium. The exhaust system is rounded off by 6 tailpipes, with 4 routed to the rear and 2 pointing downwards.
In the case of a car with more than 1000 kW on offer, the brakes are seemingly very important. Bugatti uses special carbon ceramic brake discs made from carbon silicon carbide (CSiC). This material makes the brake disk lighter at the same time as giving it greater improved corrosion resistance, performance and durability.
The brake calipers have also been entirely redesigned, and are forged aluminium. The front features 8 titanium pistons, with 6 titanium pistons at the back. As a special feature, the Bugatti’s pistons are different diameters. This setup ensures even pressure distribution over the entire surface of the brake pad, preventing irregular wear. This is complex racing technology that Bugatti has fitted to a production vehicle.
The ”hypercar compulsory” active aero is present on the Chiron in the form a hydraulic diffuser flap. This optimises geometry on the front axle to ensure lower drag and improved brake cooling, the adaptive chassis which allows different ground clearances to be set. The adaptive rear spoiler is also present, which can act like an air-brake.
The new Bugatti has a hugely impressive sound system, exclusively developed by Accuton. Stand-out features include the use of a one-carat diamond membrane in each of the four tweeters, delivering a crystal-clear sound. In addition, the world’s first mid-range speaker with two separate membrane zones is fitted to the Chiron. In combination with other sophisticated features, the result is a sound platform that makes the Chiron the world’s fastest concert hall. It is almost unsurprising that the system can even be adjusted for different interior materials. It is even possible to take different types of leather into consideration.
More than 30 test mules were, or still are, in use. This includes 6 vehicles alone used to ensure compliance with worldwide safety standards and legislation. 2 quality and type-testing vehicles are also on the roads. No fewer than 10 pre-series vehicles are being built to lay the foundations for the perfect start of series production in September 2016.
The Chiron has spent more than 300 hours in the wind tunnel, completed more than 500,000 test kilometres and used up more than 200 sets of tyres in development.
Apart from comprehensive simulations, the Chiron has completed a large number of tests on test rigs. Some of these, including the engine test bench, had to be redesigned and built especially for the Chiron as existing facilities were inadequate to simulate the loads on a 1118 kW unit or were simply too small for the new W16 engine. In addition, the Bugatti was tested on rigs operated by the aerospace industry or the armed forces as only these test facilities were adequate for reaching and verifying the performance data that were aimed for.
“It is part of human nature to cross boundaries and set new records – to run 100 m faster than ever before, to fly even further into space and to enter new realms. This striving is also our driving force at Bugatti,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S., at the presentation of the Chiron. “The Chiron is the result of our efforts to make the best even better.”