Top Gear can exclusively reveal that Bugatti has smashed through the 300mph barrier. On 2 August 2019, Andy Wallace hit a vmax of 304.77mph in a go-faster Chiron at Ehra-Lessien, becoming the first hypercar to break 300mph.
The velocity is verified by the TÜV – Germany’s Technical Inspection Association – meaning Andy and the prototype Chiron supersede previous really, really fast runs from SSC (256.18mph two-way average, 2007), Hennessey (270.49mph two-way average, 2013) and Koenigsegg (284.55 vmax, 277.87 two-way average, 2017) as well as punching through the mythical 300mph target.
Over the past six months, a team of engineers from Bugatti, Michelin and chassis wizards Dallara set about creating a car that can break the 300mph barrier. And what a car. This is no ordinary Chiron. First, there’s the way it looks. At 25cm longer, this Chiron has an elegant but menacing presence. Its purposeful intent is amplified by laser-controlled ride height, set significantly lower to reduce drag, giving the impression that the car is melting into the tarmac.
At the rear, the long tail with its reduced cross section (to aid aero and minimise drag) is punctuated by a pair of over-and-under shotgun tail-pipes (first seen on the Centodieci limited special). Objectively, these project the exhaust emissions as far from the rear as possible to reduce their effect on drag and aero. Subjectively, they add even more drama and a whole new menace and sense of purpose to the Chiron aesthetic.