Bugatti Automobiles has existed in one form or another for over a century. The company’s heritage includes some of the most dominant motorsports vehicles and the most ornate road cars of the 1900s. Yet despite its illustrious past, no one anticipated the impact of a new Bugatti supercar in 2005.
The 2005 Veyron (one of the most expensive cars in the world) didn’t have competitive targets; it didn’t adhere to budgetary constraints; it was built with the sole purpose of shattering the road car ceiling. In a breath, the Veyron far exceeded the McLaren F1’s 240.1-mph top speed (a record that had stood for seven years, also making it one of the fastest cars in the world), leapt hundreds of horsepower beyond modern-day outputs, dropped 0 to 60 mph acceleration well below 3.0 seconds, and demanded an unheard-of starting price of $1.48 million.
It’s taken the automotive world more than a decade to catch its collective breath, and now that Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, Koenigsegg, and other high-end manufacturers have rallied, Bugatti is back to break up the party. World: meet the bewildering Bugatti Chiron. It’s a car so high-class that it has a matching yacht.
The Chiron is an opportunity for Bugatti to revisit the Veyron’s limitations, namely its handling and design. While the Veyron smoothed some of its rougher edges over its 10-year, 450-car production run, there were only so many tweaks that could be made to the original platform. Indeed, the Chiron makes gobs more power than even the hottest Veyron, but the most critical changes are to its driving dynamics and curb appeal.