NewsWorldWhat it's like to drive Bugatti's new $ 4...

What it’s like to drive Bugatti’s new $ 4 million supercar


(CNN) – He was in the passenger seat of a $ 4 million supercar, with nearly 1,500 horsepower, staring down a near-perfect-looking freeway entrance ramp. It was long and straight with a steep incline on the side to block the view of anyone who could see what was about to happen.

Butch Leitzinger, a retired racing driver, was going to show me what the new Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport could do.

The Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport is lighter and more responsive than the standard model.

The experience of driving the Bugatti supercar

The driver hit the gas pedal and four turbochargers on the 16-cylinder engine behind us drew in a huge gulp of air. The engine made a quick gear change as the car hurtled down the straight stretch of road, both of us crashing hard against the backs of our seats. After a couple of seconds, Leitzinger took his foot off the gas. As I was braking hard to slow the car so we could join the slow traffic from the right lane on the highway, there was an air blast – the turbochargers redirecting pressurized air to the atmosphere instead of the engine.

Leitzinger has done this kind of thing with me before in a ‘standard’ Bugatti Chiron (he and I share a 325 mile ride in a Chiron in the summer of 2019), but the acceleration in the Pur Sport was more brutal. Not that the engine is more powerful, but the Pur Sport’s 7-speed transmission is primed for quick off-line acceleration at the expense of top speed. The Pur Sport can’t go as fast as the standard Chiron, assuming it can find a place to get close to the top speed of either car. But it will squeeze your eyes tighter when you step on the gas and it can still hit 349 kilometers per hour. It’s probably fast enough for most of us.

A smooth ride

The Pur Sport is one of several Chiron variants and special editions that Bugatti has created to entice the world’s richest to buy just one more multi-million dollar supercar. Bugatti is owned by the Volkswagen Group and is the most expensive car brand by miles.

The Pur Sport is more about responsiveness, reflexes, and cornering than the standard, relatively quiet Chiron. Since it doesn’t have to hit absurd top speeds, the Pur Sport can have a gigantic wing at the rear that provides downforce for better grip at high speeds. (The standard Chiron also has a wing, but it’s a relatively heavy, complex retractable one that automatically moves up and down.) It also has tires that are better suited for cornering, as Michelin’s tire engineers didn’t have to worry about rims breaking at speeds of more than 402 kilometers per hour.

The Chiron model line is gradually approaching the end of a planned production of 500 cars that began in 2016. As of early June 2021, 300 have been built and another 150 are already booked and awaiting completion. Only 50 more are still awaiting final orders, according to Bugatti. The brand’s factory in Molsheim, France only produces about 80 cars a year, so even now it will still take a few years to build all the remaining cars.

Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport

The Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport has a permanently raised wing that weighs less than the moving wing of the standard Chiron.

Car production

That 500-car race only includes models from the Chiron line. Other Bugatti models, such as the Centodieci, of which 10 will be manufactured, the Divo, almost all 40 have already been manufactured, and the La Voiture NoireThe one-of-a-kind, nearly $ 20 million, is not included in the 500. All of these cars look somewhat similar because they share the Chiron’s engineering that, while impressive, does not allow for drastically different body shapes. Neither of these models is convertible. They can’t be because the underlying structure of the Chiron makes it practically impossible.

Since most Bugatti customers own more than one, these variants and new models will give owners reasons to keep buying. That’s in addition to attracting new customers, of course.

The Chiron Pur Sport was created at the request of customers who wanted a car that was more fun to drive at the kinds of speeds they could actually go at in the real world, Leitzinger explained. (In this case, “real world” means driving at speeds of 80 to 193 kilometers per hour).

The differences in steering feel and ride quality are notable. Steering is quicker and more immediate in the Pur Sport and the ride is clearly firmer. As I crossed the New York-Connecticut border on twisty two-lane highways and small highways, I was just tickling the muscular underside of the Chiron Pur Sport’s performance potential. Still, I did notice the brutal kick from the faster acceleration and the well-balanced way it took the corners.

Differences between the Chiron Pur Sport and the Bugatti

In many ways, the Chiron Pur Sport makes more sense than the regular Bugatti Chiron. The standard Chiron is truly a great touring car: quiet, beautiful to look at, comfortable and pleasant to drive, but with strangely outrageous power and acceleration. It can navigate pleasantly, when the road in front of you opens up, you step on the gas and watch the view around you melt into a blur passing through the side windows. It’s like having your own private coaster hand-assembled from the highest quality materials and you can hit that steep part downhill whenever you want.

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport

The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport is designed for a smooth ride and high top speeds.

I have always really liked the Bugatti Chiron. I love that it doesn’t make any real sense and doesn’t fit into traditional categories. It’s a comfortable car for an hour-long drive, but it has no luggage space and an oceanic thirst for high-quality gasoline. Still, it is a pleasure to have so much power in such a beautifully built car and never intimidating to drive.

Now, in addition to the Bugatti Chiron, Chiron Sport and Chiron Pur Sport, there is another variation of the Chiron. The Chiron Super Sport was recently announced. The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport takes exactly the opposite approach to the Pur Sport. It’s all about a smooth ride and top speed. There is no fixed rear spoiler to slow the flow of air over the car. There are even holes in the body above the front wheels to allow air trapped in the wheel wells to escape. The maximum speed of the Super Sport is 439 kilometers per hour. Like the Pur Sport, it will cost around $ 4 million.

And it will give loyal Bugatti customers yet another flavor to choose from.


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