Bugatti Retires From Chasing Top Speed Records After Chiron Shatters 300-MPH Barrier
With a handful of high-end automakers looking to surpass Bugatti’s new benchmark, the French brand is moving on to focus on “different projects.”
Ever since the original Veyron came on the scene in 2005, whenever pub discussions were held about the fastest cars in the world, the word "Bugatti" usually wasn't far behind. However, after rocketing past 300 miles per hour in a "pre-production" modified Chiron, it looks like Bugatti's record-chasing days are over with brand president Stephan Winkelmann confirming the news shortly after setting the new benchmark. I mean, if you're gonna leave, you might as well go out on top.
In a statement celebrating the Chiron hitting 304.773 miles per hour, Winkelmann said this would be the last speed record the ultra-luxury automaker would attempt.
"However, ladies and gentlemen, this was the very last time for us," said Winkelmann. "We were the first ones to achieve this incredible milestone and we engraved our names in the history books forever. From now on, our minds and our focus will stay on different projects."
This leaves firms like Koenigsegg, Hennessey, and SSC dueling it out for top speed supremacy. The Koenigsegg Jesko, Hennessey Venom F5, and SSC's Tuatara hypercars all claim and aim to exceed 300 mph but none have pulled it off just yet.
Featuring more power, reinforced tires, a stronger safety cell, revised aero, and a longtail body, the Bugatti Chiron achieved its latest record with Le Mans winner and Bugatti test driver Andy Wallace behind the wheel—the same man who took the McLaren F1 to a then-record-breaking 243 mph back in 1998.
It was also done on parent company Volkswagen's Ehra-Lessien 12-mile test track which is essentially two long straights connected by banked corners on both ends. Now that Bugatti has retired from the top speed stuff, what Volkswagen plans to do with the space is anyone's guess.