Technology

Watch a Bugatti Chiron break the mythical 300mph speed barrier

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Bugatti, the luxury subdivision of Volkswagen, has just announced that one of its cars has managed to hit over 300mph on the Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany.

That’s quite a feat of engineering. It means that, flat out, the car would be going fast enough to cross a standard football pitch in less than a second.

The car in question – a Bugatti Chiron – has been adapted over the course of six months especially in order to break 300mph.

The attempt was verified by the TÜV (Germany’s Technical Inspection Association) although it doesn’t get a mention as a Guinness world record because that stipulates that the car takes two attempts (forward and back on the same stretch of road) and the overall speed is the average of the two.

Bugatti only went in one direction but really that’s just splitting hairs considering Bugatti test driver and former Le Mans winner Andy Wallace was clocked at 304.77mph – faster than planes travel during takeoff. Amazingly, considering that speed, he not only kept it under control but the car itself held together.

The car hit a top speed of 304.77mph (Bugatti)

The car hit a top speed of 304.77mph (Bugatti)

‘The biggest challenge is to get the overall package right, not only design, not only aerodynamics, not only engine, not only tyres,’ Bugatti’s Frank Heyl told Top Gear.

‘It’s to get everything together and working in one car.’

Bugatti lowered and lengthened this Chiron specifically to attempt to break 300mph (Bugatti)

Bugatti lowered and lengthened this Chiron specifically to attempt to break 300mph (Bugatti)

This particular Chiron is a prototype with a longer body and a laser-controlled ride height set considerably lower than the production model to avoid drag. It’s also got an 8.0-litre, quad-turbo W16 engine delivering 1,578bhp that’s been nicknamed ‘Thor’.

Ehra-Lessien, the VW-owned test track, is in the German state of Lower Saxony (Bugatti)

Ehra-Lessien, the VW-owned test track, is in the German state of Lower Saxony (Bugatti)

‘Bugatti has once again shown what it’s capable of. With this new record of the Chiron we enter again uncharted territory. Never before has a series manufacturer reached this high speed,’ said Stephan Winkelmann, the president of Bugatti.

‘Our goal was to be the first manufacturer ever to reach the magic 300mph mark. We have now achieved this – making ourselves, the entire team and myself, incredibly proud.’

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