Bugatti unveils slightly slower, slightly uglier Chiron

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Words: Matthew Hansen
9 Jun 2021

You’d think that a company like Bugatti would have nothing to prove, in any respect. Its Veyron and Chiron are world-beating monsters, and its limited edition projects (like the La Voiture Noire) are among the most expensive, most coveted cars on the planet.

But, evidently, the brand seems to think it could do better in the realm of luxury. So, overnight, it unveiled the new Chiron Super Sport.

The name may give the car a track-weapon vibe off the bat, but the Super Sport is actually designed to be more of a middle-ground model for Bugatti. Slotting underneath the Super Sport 300+ (the brand’s 300mph+ beast) while featuring interior touches from the luxury-orientated Pur Sport.

The biggest difference to the new model is the entirely new rear profile. Bugatti has given its Chiron a McLaren-esque ‘long tail’, designed to give the Super Sport improved stability at high speeds. So effective is the new body work that it apparently negates the need for Bugatti’s retractable rear wing at high speeds.

The cost of this change is a back end that seems to be an acquired taste. The NZ Autocar office certainly struggled with it on first impression — the added visual weight appearing at odds to the familiar, streamlined front end. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course.

Less subjective are the Super Sport’s devastating performance figures. It comes with the same engine as the Super Sport 300+; a 1176kW/1600Nm quad-turbo W16 capable of zooming to 200km/h in just 5.8 seconds and 300km/h in 12.1 seconds.

But, it is admittedly a little down on overall pace relative to the 300+. It doesn’t get that ‘300+’ badge for good reason; it can’t do 300mph. Instead the square-backed Super Sport is capped at (a still very insane) 273mph, or 440km/h.

Given its divisive looks and the slight lack of Top Trumps top speed credibility, one could rightly wonder what the point of the Super Sport really is. Apparently, the answer is smiles per mile.

This is, apparently, a much better driver’s car than the 300+ — chiefly because without the need to make it stable at over 300mph, Bugatti’s engineers have been able to put more emphasis on suspension tuning and handling in general. And, even if it’ll lose a pissing contest with a 300+, the Super Sport will still rinse a standard Chiron.

Bugatti plans to make just 60 Super Sports, each costing €3.2million ($5.4million). Knowing Bugatti, a good portion of these cars are probably already accounted for. But, knowing Bugatti, there’s a good chance that a raft of special edition versions will follow once these are all gone.

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