SuperCar manufacturers have been working on this for a very long time and it is a dream that never came true. The dream was to build a production car that can cross 300 miles per hour, which is equal to 482.8 KM/H. It was a dream Until now, Bugatti Chiron is now the first vehicle to cross the barrier of 300 miles per hour.
At the VW test site in Ehra-Lessien in northern Germany, a prototype of a derivative of the supercar Chiron surpassed the magic limit with a speed of 304.773 MPH (490.484 KM/H) creating a new world record.
“What a record! We are overjoyed to be the first series manufacturer ever to reach the speed of more than 300 miles per hour. A milestone for eternity. I thank the whole team and the driver Andy Wallace for this outstanding performance,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. At the same time it was the last record run for Bugatti. “We have shown on several occasions that we are building the fastest cars in the world. In the future, we will focus on other areas,” says Winkelmann.
The record driver
Le Mans winner and Bugatti test driver Andy Wallace reached the top speed of exactly 490.484 KM/H (304,773 MPH) on August 2, 2019. He reached his way up to 300 KM/H in 50 KM/H increments to the top speed to see if all conditions are right and Chiron is optimally balanced in the up and down.
After a lap to condition the Chiron, Andy Wallace accelerated from the north curve to 200 KM/H, to get on the then 8.8 km long straight to top speed. At a previously defined braking point he delayed the Chiron again to 200 KM/H to drive through the south curve and gave full throttle for the next 70 seconds to create the world record.
It’s not the first time that Andy Wallace sets a speed record: In 1998, the Briton set a record in the McLaren F1 with 391 KM/H (243 MPH) on the same track.
The world record Chiron
Bugatti has made no comments about the engine power of the eight-liter 16-cylinder engine. Though, the 1600 hp of the standard Chiron should not be enough for the record anyway. For the world record, a team of engineers from various disciplines, led by Bugatti’s Chief Development Officer Stefan Ellrott, prepared a pre-production vehicle for a Bugatti-Chiron derivative.
In addition to aerodynamic improvements, the specialists placed great eMPHasis on safety. Andy Wallace was held down by six-point belts and an additional security cell protected him as well.
The reason why no manufacturer has crossed the speed 300 MPH, is not only because of the performance, but also that there were no tires that can withstand these speeds. The rollers of a Bugatti Veyron stop at 400 KM/H.
The longtime tire partner Michelin provided the necessary grip and stability. The Michelin high-speed tires are already used with the Chiron. It was extremely important to get the right tires because in a minute, the tires had to turn up to 4,100 times. Extensive bench tests in the US tested the tires up to a speed of 511 KM/H. Each tire has been X-rayed to eliminate the smallest irregularities.
The Bugatti engineers also tested the performance of the engine as well as the interaction between the engine, transmission and chassis in advance during various maneuvers on the test bench. Smallest changes cause big effects in this speed range.
This will go down in history that Bugatti is the first manufacturer to cross 300MPH with the speed of 304.773 MPH.
It is not the first Bugatti world record on this track with a Chiron. In 2017, the former Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya drove the test track in a Chiron from 0 to 400 to 0 KM/H in just 41.96 seconds, which is the record for the shortest ride to 400 MPH ever.
“Now Bugatti was the first to exceed the limit of 300 miles per hour. An incredible achievement that shows what the men and women of Bugatti are capable of. This was the last time for us. Bugatti was the first to exceed 300 miles per hour, and his name has been written in the history books – it will stay that way forever, “says Stephan Winkelmann.