Geneva 2016: The Bugatti Chiron & the Quad-Turbocharged 8.0-liter W-16 engine

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Today’s star would have to be the Bugatti Chiron, a car that has been hyped for so long I can’t tell you how ampped everyone was when Bugatti finally released the official version especially after they teased the incredible Bugatti Vision GT Concept that looked like the most luxurious track car on earth.

Then and there I knew Bugatti were plotting for something insanely powerful, super good looking and monstrously fast and was I disappointed? Hell no!

Why? The Bugatti Chiron is expected to to have around 1,478 ponies from an almost completely revised W-16 8.0-liter Quad Turbo engine that has four new turbos to address turbo lag previously seen in the Bugatti Veyron – A car that was the first to introduce the 1,000 hp figure to the masses in a luxury production coupe and a top speed of 267.8 mph which is the land speed record currently set by the Bugatti Super Sports version.

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To top numbers like that, you need to re-work a magical plan and Bugatti did just that. The W16 packaged in the Chiron sends all 1,180 lb-ft of torque to a seven-speed dual-clutch unit all of which is available at 2,000 rpm ONLY! Full power is given to the driver at 6,700 rpm after the torque lets go to maintain the car’s stability, but the turbos are main ingredient to the Bugatti Chiron’s new tarmac wizardry.

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The Bugatti Chiron’s quad turbos feature a new layout of 2 smaller turbos that sequentially work up to 3,000 rpms to address lag, after that the other two larger turbos take over and suck all that exhaust gas and turn it into massive amounts of air fed directly to the engine. The Bugatti Chiron also has an entire new cooling system with 10 radiators in total, with one main and two auxiliary radiators pushing over 37 liters of cooling water pumped through the entire loop within the span of seconds. For the fuel, Bugatti relies on duplex fuel injection with 32 injectors which means the  Bugatti Chiron needs way more fuel and will probably empty the full tank in less than 12 minutes. The intake manifold is made out of carbon fiber, the exhaust is lighter titanium to reduce back pressure and there are six catalytic converters.

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All those added bits make the Bugatti Chiron heavier, about 340 pounds heavier than the Bugatti Veyron – 4,400 pounds or 1995 KG is what Bugatti claims as the dry weight without all the liquids. They also added a rather stupid feature called “Drift Mode” – Like seriously Bugatti, you think I’m going to drive my $2.6 million Bugatti for entertainment? Give me take-off mode instead for a good long stretch of runway.

Yes, all 500 Bugatti Chiron units are going to have a price tag of $2.6 million with 150 of them already pre-ordered you may want to hurry up. I mentioned that the Bugatti Chiron deserves a take-off mode because the Bugatti Chiron is expected to reach 0-124 mph in less than 6.5 seconds while a 0-186 mph in 13.5 seconds – It churns out the 0-62 mph in 2.5 seconds because let’s be honest, it takes a lot to put all that power to the ground within the first couple of feet.

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The Bugatti Chiron is technically the same size of the Veyron with only 1 mm added to the wheel-base length, but Bugatti are saying it’s a completely new car. The chassis tub is built completely out of carbon fiber with a honeycomb sandwich floor section that helps reduce sound and vibrations through the cabin. The Bugatti Chiron is huge, with a 1.5 inches increase in overall width, two inches in height and three inches in length to give the driver more headroom and footwell space.

 

To add insult to injury, Bugatti claims a 50,000 newton-meters per degree of torsional rigidity putting it up there with Audi LMP1 and the Porsche Le Mans Racers. The Bugatti Chiron has an All-wheel-drive layout but with an electronically controlled multi-plate center differential with torque vectoring that manages to entertain each wheel independently depending on driving situation.

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The Dual-Clutch Seven Speed gearbox was a development of the Veyron’s Ricardo-built unit, while the steering features an electro-mechanical steering system. Since this is a luxury coupe, it gets an air suspension that improves high speed body control while still maintaining luxury and comfort. The tires are Micheline Super Cup 2’s with a 335/25ZR21 format in the rear and a 285/30ZR20 size upfront. The air suspension has different modes for speed, city driving and dynamic handling.

The Bugatti Chiron benefits from huge carbon-ceramic brakes that measure 16.5 inches upfront and 15.7 inches in the back hugged by an eight-piston caliper in the front and a six piston caliper in the back which promises a stopping distance from 62 mph to zero in 103 feet while 124 mph takes 410 feet, 186 mph in 902 feet only.

 

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The interior of the Bugatti Chiron follows the same theme of the Vision GT but with a luxurious approach and a production version look of course, it also features the first airbag in the world that can deploy through the carbon fiber dash to protect the passenger. The design of the Bugatti Chiron remained aerodynamically friendly since the design team worked closely with the engineering team to keep the car beautiful without sacrificing any aerodynamic proficiency.

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The design of the Bugatti Chiron remains very close to the Vision GT concept but with a toned down production look that still has a massive front splitter, the same 4 unit LED lights that can direct air to the front brakes. The large scoops seen in the Bugatti Veyron have been replaced with cleaner NACA ducts to provide less air turbulence and a cleaner profile, there is also an integrated rear spoiler.

Visit Our Bugatti car buyer guide for Bugatti, specs and pictures in the United States, UAE and Saudi Arabia.

If you are asking yourself if there will be more hardcore versions of the Bugatti Chiron – Yes, Bugatti wants more variants like the Grand Sport, Grand Vitesse and the Super Sport. Bugatti named the Chiron after the famous racing driver “Louis Chiron” who raced for the marque in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Stay tuned for more.

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