Bugatti Becomes The First Manufacturer To Break Through The 300mph Barrier!
The race to 300mph is over and Bugatti has claimed the elusive prize. On 2 August 2019, Bugatti broke through the 300mph in a modified Chiron driven by official Bugatti test driver, Andy Wallace.
The 304.77mph vmax achieved by Wallace at Ehra-Lessien has been verified by Germany’s Technical Inspection Association (TÜV) and displaces the previous record set by a Koenigsegg Agera RS in November 2017, where it achieved a 277.87mph two-way effort and 284.55 top speed. Bugatti has yet to reveal further details about the run and the exact specifications of the modified Chiron that was used but we would be very surprised if the vehicle seen here did not become available as a limited-edition model to celebrate this impressive feat as well as to officially make it the fastest ‘production’ model around.
Stephan Winkelmann, president of Bugatti was understandably elated by the results: “What a record! We’re overjoyed to be the first manufacturer ever to have achieved a speed of more than 300 miles per hour. It’s a milestone for eternity. I would like to thank the whole team and driver Andy Wallace for this outstanding performance.”
Being the manufacturer that builds the fastest car around has always carried with it a certain allure; it shows that the engineers and designers are at the top of their game and forces rivals to either concede defeat or try to catch up. Cars like the 1949 Jaguar XK120 (124.6mph), 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400 (171mph) and more recently the 1992 McLaren F1—in which Andy Wallace set a 240.1mph two-way average in back in 1998—have all made an indelible mark on the course of the automobile, and now Bugatti has set a new benchmark with their blistering 304.77mph achievement.
The record-breaking car features substantially modified bodywork with an extended tail incorporating an integrated rear wing and a set of stacked tailpipes as opposed to the centrally mounted units found on the standard Chiron. While the transmission and running gear has been left unaltered, the record-breaking car’s 8-liter 16-cylinder quad-turbo motor now produces the same 1600hp as the recently announced Centodieci.
The ride height has also been lowered and a number of weight-saving features implemented, all in the aim of achieving the highest speeds possible. While some may decry the seemingly pointless aim of chasing ever-higher top speeds, there is no denying that the technological know-how and engineering knowledge gleaned from such endeavors can be applied in many other areas and it can also serve as a source of inspiration for the next generation of automotive engineers. Long may the spirit of pushing technological boundaries continue into the post 300mph future.
Images courtesy of Bugatti