Thirty examples of record-setting car to be built for the road – but limited to 442kmh

The Chiron has always been a ‘big numbers’ car: 1102kW, 8 litres, 16 cylinders, $4.75million… we could go on. But unlike its Veyron predecessor, the Chiron has always been missing one key figure, indeed the figure that went on to define said earlier car and was its underlying reason for being: an all-out top speed. In September, Bugatti finally removed the 420kmh limiter on a near-production version of the Chiron, enabling it to smash through the 482kmh barrier at the VW Group’s Ehra-Lessien test facility in Germany.

There was a good reason for Bugatti’s hesitation to let the Chiron run unrestricted, namely the lack of a production tyre able to carry those speeds. It looks like the company’s patience has paid off, though, as the Chiron has not only beaten the Veyron Super Sport’s 429kmh, but put an enormous gap between it and the current car by reaching 490kmh. It also trounces the 445kmh set by the current holder of the fastest production car record, the Koenigsegg Agera RS.

Although the 490kmh-spec record car isn’t homologated for the road, Bugatti has announced it will sell 30 units of a related model, restricted to a mere 442kmh. Sitting alongside the special-edition Divo, La Voiture Noire and Centodieci, it will be priced at $6.6million and will sport the same bodywork as the record car and get an extra 74kW over a standard Chiron. Don’t send the cheque just yet, though, as all 30 are already accounted for, and set for delivery in mid-2021.

Stephan Winkelmann, president of Bugatti, said: ‘After the incredible speed record of more than 300 miles per hour, which we were the first series manufacturer to achieve, we’re now offering our customers the Super Sport 300+, a very special edition model and the fastest Bugatti ever.’

The model’s all-carbonfibre bodywork is longer than the standard Chiron’s, with an extended rear overhang and tail in a similar vein to that seen on the McLaren Speedtail. The hydraulically actuated rear wing maintains its position relevant to the rear axle, though, meaning the trailing edge of the bodywork is fixed, with a redesigned lower diffuser and vertically stacked exhaust outlets helping clean the airflow.

The nose is also new, and features a deeper splitter, a wider grille and more heavily raked headlight openings. There are also nine small portholes drilled into each of the front wings, likely reducing air pressure in the wheelarches to keep the front axle on the ground.

This specific Chiron also features a variation on the Veyron Super Sport’s carbonfibre and orange livery, alluding to the fact that this car is a record-breaker. Though it wasn’t a road-legal, production model that broke the 480kmh barrier, leaving that accolade up for grabs, the Chiron looks to have finally made full use of its quite spectacular capability.