THE laws of physics have taken a real beating recently, and Bugatti has come along to kick ’em while they’re down.
The French manufacturer has seemingly not just redefined the concept of fast, but shaped it into its own likeness.
The world’s most powerful production car, the Bugatti Chiron, has set a world record by performing a 0-400-0km/h sprint in a claimed 42 seconds. In fact, it’s technically quicker than that, with the official figure pegged at 41.96 seconds.
Let’s all now take a moment to think about that. Aside from the fact that the list of cars capable of clocking 400km/h are counted on one hand, none could dream of doing so, and then decelerating, in such a brief amount of time.
The record was achieved with Indy 500 winner and ex-F1 racer Juan Pablo Montoya behind the wheel.
To achieve the record-setting feat, the Chiron needed 3.112 kilometres of arrow-straight road for the Chiron’s full 1103kW to do its job.
To get an idea of the kind of forces at work when a car is travelling at 400km/h, at those speeds a tire valve that weighs only 18.3 grams when stationary transforms into a rotating mass of about 45 kilograms. During deceleration, Montoya experienced roughly 2Gs, similar to the 3G that astronauts experience during the launch of a space shuttle.
It took less than 500 metres for the Chiron to haul itself from 400km/h back to rest, and with that, a world record.
“With the Chiron, it was all quite easy; just get in and drive off. Incredible,” Montoya said. He’s also reset his personal high-speed record of 407km/h (reached in a purpose-built IndyCar), to 420km/h during testing with the Chiron.
Next up for the Chiron is a new outright top-speed record attempt of more than 431km/h, currently held by a supercar the Chiron has replaced, the Bugatti Veyron Supersport.
“I hope Bugatti will invite me to their world record run with the Chiron. At any rate, I’m saving the date in my calendar,” Montoya said.