Bugatti Pushes the Limits of Road Legal Speed with 300-MPH Chiron
Kyle Maxey posted on September 11, 2019 |
Bugatti has built a car that tops out above 300mph. Is a 400mph car far behind?

In the arms race that is “who can build the world’s fastest street legal car,” French auto maker Bugatti has come out on top with the debut of its Chiron Super Sport 300+, a supercar capable of topping 300mph.

Since the beginning of 2019, Bugatti’s engineering teams have been hard at work improving the performance and aerodynamics of its already fast Chiron supercar. While the previous Chiron model featured a restrictor plate that leveled the car’s top speed to 261mph, engineers on the Bugatti team wanted to design a machine that could top 300mph while technically being street legal.

On August 2, the team did just that. In fact, its Super Sport 300+ made good on every character in its name, traveling at an officially clocked 304.77mph.

To achieve this feat, Bugatti’s team partnered with chassis experts Dallara and roadtested Michelin to develop an automotive system that would ride the balance between acceleration and downforce.

In the Chiron’s 300+ incarnation, the chassis hardly clears the road surface and has been elongated by nearly a foot, leaving little room for lift to be generatedand enhance aerodynamic stability. To lessen the downforce generated as the car pierces the fluid we commonly call air, the recordbreaker was also stripped of its hydraulic wing and airbrake.

Oh, and lest we forget, the 300+ also sports an engine that generates 1,578 horsepower—a 5.2 percent increase over the power of its predecessor.

Will Bugatti continue to push the performance of its supercars? If past is prologue, we can expect that 300mph is only a temporary marker for the French automaker and its supercar competitors. Without a doubt, a 400-mph road car will eventually be tested, and one day we’ll likely see the rubber peel on a model whose presence will be announced with the crack of a sonic boom. What might be more intriguing, however, is just how designers will keep such systems glued to the road as they ascend to speeds that make flight more or less an inevitability.

Bugatti has yet to say how much its 300+ will cost, but figure that only a few will be made and that you’ll likely need to be a superstar soccer player or own an oilfield or two to afford such an ostentatious auto.

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