Watch a Bugatti Chiron Find Its Top Speed on a Former Space Shuttle Runway
How much damage can the 1,500-horsepower Chiron do on a 3.2-mile runway?
A video posted to the Johnny Böhmer Proving Grounds' YouTube channel shows a small crew testing the top speed limits of the 1,500-horsepower Bugatti Chiron. The facility was once a space shuttle program landing site on Merritt Island, Florida, but now its 3.2-mile runway has been re-purposed so supercar drivers can let loose in a controlled environment.
Like its Veyron predecessor, the Bugatti Chiron is powered by an 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W-16 engine. That means four banks of four cylinders being fed by four turbos. This complex arrangement of pistons and blowers results in an output of 1,500 horsepower, 1,200 pound-feet of torque, and a noise that sounds like the world's largest vacuum cleaner sucking up an angry puma. Combine that power with all-wheel-drive and expensive aerodynamic engineering, and you end up with a top speed deep into the 200s. Bugatti itself has chosen to electronically limit the Chiron to a speed of 261 miles per hour, but just how fast is it able to go on this runway?
The Chiron briefly met 261 miles per hour before hitting the brakes at the proving grounds' 2.7-mile mark. That number is impressive on its own, but the fact that the car still eagerly gained speed after passing the 240 threshold makes it even more so. Throughout the run, the Chiron stays totally planted, traveling smoothly over the runway's surface. The video also shows off the Bugatti's braking ability. The driver applies the brakes with half a mile of runway left, and once the vehicle comes to a stop, it's nowhere near the edge of the course.
It makes one wonder what the car is capable of with its limiters taken off. Unfortunately, we may never know, as Bugatti has chosen not to conduct any unlimited top speed tests on the Chiron.