What’s a Bugatti Chiron then?

Son-of-Veyron is nothing less than the fastest, most powerful and most expensive production car the world has ever seen.

What do I need to know?

The Chiron is monumental in every way. Let’s start with the engine. It’s a completely reworked version of the 8.0-litre, quad-turbo W16 found in the Veyron. The carge air cooling system can inhale 60,000 litres of air per minute. The coolant pump, err, pumps through 800 litres per minute. It has 10 radiators, six titanium exhausts (two of which produce a blown diffuser effect) and a pair of catalytic converters that together are 12 times bigger than the one used by the average hatchback.

Clearly there are immense forces at work in the Chiron’s exposed engine bay, which produce 1,479bhp and 1,180lb/ft torque. The old Veyron Super Sport made do with 1,183bhp and 1,106lb/ft.

The acceleration the Chiron is capable of beggars belief. Bugatti claims a 0-62mph of less than 2.5secs, 0-124mph in less than 6.5secs and 0-186mph in less than 13.6secs. In every case, that’s significantly quicker than anything else you care to mention.

Then there’s the matter of the headline top speed figure: 261mph, limited for safety reasons (ha!). At that speed the specially-developed Michelin tyres experience 3,800g and the car will drain its 100-litre fuel tank in nine minutes. Three minutes faster the Veyron, if that’s something to be proud of.

Bugatti expects to hit more than 270mph in its production car record attempt. The speedo runs up to 310mph, the magical 500km/h mark.

The all-new carbonfibre monocoque chassis is apparently as rigid as that of an LMP1 racing car. The rear subframe is carbonfibre, too, and the bodywork. The steering and suspension is bolted directly to the chassis, which should improve handling. It’s still a heavyweight though, tipping the scales at 1,995kg.

The styling is completely different to the Veyron’s, but a recogniseable evolution of it. The trademark horseshoe grille is flanked by a pair of quad LED headlights (which funnel cooling air to the brakes). At the back is a 1.6m-wide strip of 82 LEDs that serve as brakes lights, indicators and reversing light.

The entire rear of the car is designed to be as low-drag as possible and suck hot air away from the engine. But the Chiron’s signature is the sweeping curve around the cabin at each side, dubbed the ‘Bugatti line’ (they’re also air vents).

20in front and 21in rear wheels house carbon silicon carbide brakes clamped by eight-piston calipers at the front and six-piston items at the rear.

Inside, the interior is sumptuous but minimalist, the better to avoid the driver getting distracted when covering more than four miles a minute. An analogue speedo sits in the middle of the instrument cluster, with TFT screen either side which display all the usual nav and systems info. But as speed increases, the amount of content reduces.

There’s more space as well, with an extra 12mm of headroom (better for wearing a helmet on trackdays), a cooled glovebox, enough space behind the seats for jackets and room under the bonnet for a weekend bag.

Five driving modes alter the myriad chassis and drivetrain settings. The system defaults to Auto and switches automatically to Autobahn over 112mph. Lift mode works below 30mph and is intended for speed bumps and loading onto a trailer and Handling sets everything to max attack for track work. Finally, of course, there’s Top Speed, activated by a special key.

Anything else?

The stereo’s tweeters contain a one-carat diamond membrane that produces better sound. And the bonnet emblem is made from solid silver.

When can I buy one?

Bugatti is already taking deposits, with 120 on the books so far. Production is strictly limited to 500.

How much does it cost?

£1.9 million. Before options. Ouch.

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By Only Motors