The track-focused Chiron Pur Sport is in its final stages of development, and Bugatti has given us a look behind the scenes
Despite focusing its efforts on record-breaking top speeds since the Veyron’s 2005 inception, Bugatti has also held a number of racing accolades in its 110-year history. In an attempt to prove that the Chiron’s abilities extend from the straights into the corners, the firm has shaved weight from the hypercar and tweaked it for track performance, or at least twisty roads.
Following the Pur Sport’s reveal in March, Bugatti released footage of it testing at Bilster Berg circuit in Germany. As part of a two-day session in May, a pair of prototypes were put through their paces to fine-tune elements such as the chassis, newly revised gearbox, and engine. As promised, it has now hit the Nürburgring too, to fine-tune handling before its chassis control software is finalised.
Stefan Ellrott, head of development at Bugatti, said: ‘It’s extremely important to us for the Chiron Pur Sport customer to instantly sense the much more radical approach we’re taking with this car in terms of driving dynamics. With its unusual topography, numerous bends and the high-speed section from Döttinger Höhe onwards, the Nordschleife is very demanding for both driver and vehicle so it’s ideal for our new car, which is streamlined for agility and speed.’
New lightweight components and materials are adopted for a lower kerb weight, with various chassis adjustments also included for improved dynamics. Aerodynamic magnesium wheels are the most significant item, reducing weight by 16kg overall, with titanium brake pad base panels shaving a further 2kg of unsprung mass. Various other adjustments take total weight savings to a not-insignificant 50kg.
The most notable addition on the Chiron Pur Sport over the standard car is its new wing, spanning 1.9 metres across the car’s rear end. This fixed unit ditches heavy hydraulic componentry for weight savings, and helps to provide lower-speed downforce alongside the new diffuser and front splitter. Also new is the Super Sport 300+-esque front bumper, with wider, larger air intakes for additional cooling.
Despite the model’s increase in downforce, Bugatti has revealed that it features a brand new ‘ESC Sport+’ drive mode, absent from the standard car, which will allow drivers to push the Pur Sport into a controlled drift should they desire. Well, if it’s good enough for the M division and AMG…
At the heart of the car is the same 1103kW, 1600 Nm 8-litre quad-turbocharged W16 as in the standard model. Despite an identical power output, top speed is limited to a mere 350km/h due to revised gearing. The marque claims that 80 percent of the transmission has been altered, with gearing 15 percent closer together for a 100-120km/h time almost 2 seconds faster than standard.
Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann said: ‘By cutting the weight by 50 kilograms while simultaneously boosting the downforce and configuring an uncompromising, sporty chassis as well as a suspension set-up, the Chiron Pur Sport boasts incredible grip, sensational acceleration and extraordinarily accurate handling. It’s the most uncompromising yet agile Bugatti of recent times.’
This being a model designed for corners, its springs are now 65 percent stiffer at the front, 33 percent at the rear, and thanks to a partnership with Michelin, it also receives bespoke ‘Bugatti Sport Cup 2 R’ tyres (285-section front, 355 rear) for better cornering abilities.
The price? €3million (approximately AUD$4.8 million), and even if you have the cash, you’ll likely require a previous history with Bugatti to get on the list. Just 60 units will be produced in total, with the first hitting the road later this year.