A length of 12.6 kilometers. A ring-shaped circuit 4 kilometers in diameter. The outer edge tilts more than twelve degrees towards the center, which is optimal for top speeds. The Nardò ring-shaped control track, located in Puglia, Italy, is considered the fastest racing circuit in the world. It is therefore the ideal test ground for the two hypersportives Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport and Chiron Super Sport 300+. In theory, it is possible to reach speeds of over 400 km / h here, and up to 240 km / h test drivers do not need to steer. The tilt compensates for lateral forces.
Inside the high-speed round track is a 6.2-kilometer handling control circuit predestined for dynamic tweaks and chassis tweaks. On an area of more than 700 hectares, 70 kilometers of tracks are at your disposal for a complete test. For the first time, the two extremes of the Bugatti performance spectrum are found on a testing ground.
“The testing ground at Nardò with its round high-speed track and handling test circuit is ideal for us. Here we can massively test the Chiron Pur Sport and the Chiron Super Sport 300+ at different speeds, and at high outside temperatures ”, notes Stefan Ellrott, development director at Bugatti. “Our hyper sports cars need to perform perfectly, not only at moderate speeds and temperatures, but also at speeds in excess of 300 km / h, in cold or hot weather. "
More than 20,000 kilometers of testing
Bugatti devotes a great deal of effort to this: in Italy, for four weeks, from morning to night, 37 employees from several specialist departments develop eight Bugatti vehicles. In total, four pre-production vehicles from the Chiron Super Sport 300+ and four from the Chiron Pur Sport cover more than 20,000 kilometers. On each round, engineers record data with their computers and sometimes only change small details to verify the result on the next round. For the motor control tuning alone, nine gigabytes of data are generated and analyzed after testing. A job requiring great concentration on the part of all employees. "The time slot is tight, which is why we use every minute to do our testing on the circuit", explains Christian Mohr, engine test engineer at Bugatti.
In addition to the tests on the Pure Sport, the test engineers are actively engaged in the development phase of the Chiron Super Sport 300+, with longitudinal dynamics unheard of in the Chiron2 range. Derived from the record-breaking vehicle which in summer 2019 was the first production vehicle to exceed 300 miles per hour (490.484 km / h), it represents a very fast special edition, limited to just 30 vehicles. Bugatti only sets the maximum speed electronically at 440 km / h.
From an aesthetic point of view, this fastest production Bugatti ever built differs from the Chiron and the Chiron Pur Sport in particular by an elongated and aerodynamically optimized body, designed for high-speed journeys. The elongated rear, called the Longtail, allows the laminar flow to stay in contact with the car longer and offers a significantly reduced breaking area. "Air curtains" located laterally near the air inlets direct the air from the front to the rear over the sides of the vehicle. In addition, nine air outlets on each fender prevent air pressure from building up in the wheel arches due to rotation. Due to the modification of the bodywork, the vehicle reacts differently at high speeds compared to older Chiron models.
Chiron Super Sport 300+: the most powerful Bugatti
With an output of 1,600 hp (1,176 kW), the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ surpasses the Chiron by 100 hp, becoming the most powerful Bugatti ever built. For the power boost, Nardò engineers develop new thermal management for the engine and gearbox, check temperatures on the body and test the thermal behavior of all components. "Added to this are new cooling elements and new gearbox parts, as well as software developments and settings for the engine, gearbox, drive and turbocharger.", explains Christian Mohr. Each modification must be compatible with the other components and must therefore be tested. For safety reasons, the test engineers therefore drive "only" at 300 km / h. "At this stage of development, we're slowly moving up a gear so that we can react to every subtlety at any speed and fine-tune the components.", explains Christian Mohr. The first vehicles will be delivered to customers towards the end of 2021, at a unit price of 3.5 million euros net.
Chiron Pur Sport, almost ready for series production
On the Chiron Pur Sport, nearly ripe for mass production, engineers check the engine control software, thermal management, load and gearbox functions. At Nardò, the chassis and the braking system have received a final finishing touch on this vehicle with excellent transverse dynamics. Along with the high-speed round track rides, quick laps on the handling test circuit are also part of the tests. "We have consistently designed the Chiron Pur Sport to navigate corners with exceptional speed and precision," said Jachin Schwalbe, Chassis Development Manager. “On the handling test circuit, the uncompromising sporty chassis offers incredible grip. Added to this are sensational acceleration values, results in shorter gear ratios and extremely precise handling. »A hypersportive for customers who like to experience turns within the limits of transverse dynamics. Production of the Chiron Pur Sport, limited to 60 vehicles and sold for 3 million euros (net), is underway in Bälde.
The two models are unique and have a totally different ride. “The Chiron Pur Sport, with its shorter gearbox and large rear spoiler, feels very comfortable on the narrow handling test circuit. In the Chiron Super Sport 300+, the emphasis is on top speed, at which it is extremely quiet and precise. The longer tail section alone gives the Chiron Super Sport 300+ a totally different ride ”, explains Christian Mohr. These are precisely the two extremes of Bugatti's wide performance spectrum.
Photos – Video: Bugatti