Enthusiasts: Black Magic: What Really Enables the Bugatti Chiron to Hit 260+ MPH

$399 Lease-Deal Special: Giulia vs. 330i vs. A4 vs. C300 vs. ATS vs. XE vs. IS vs. Q50 vs. S60

  $399 Lease-Deal Special: Giulia vs. 330i vs. A4 vs. C300 vs. ATS vs. XE vs. IS vs. Q50 vs. S60 When Everything’s Equal, Who Makes the Best Compact Luxury Sports Sedan?Let's be honest. The compact luxury sedan is an irrational car. It's the size of a Honda Civic but costs twice as much. People are willing to pay a substantial premium for the experience of owning, driving, and of course being seen in one of these premium cars.

To most car owners, they're round and black and wear out too soon. They're an expensive pain in the ass, replaced only when the tread wears thin enough to risk a ticket from a pedantic cop.

2017 Bugatti Chiron

  2017 Bugatti Chiron In Death Valley, Bugatti engineers do a very slow test on a very fast car.“Where the hell do you put silverware in a Bugatti?” the customs officer asked, staring at the eating utensils packed in engineer Dennis Rohlfs’s fancy aluminum Zarges case, which was otherwise filled with spare parts for hot-weather testing of the new 1500-hp Bugatti Chiron. At Bugatti, even the engineers have expensive luggage. Rohlfs explained that he wanted to show good manners in America by using a knife and fork when eating the hamburgers he expected to be deluged with out in the desert west. Shaking his head, the customs officer let the weird foreigner pass. Welcome to America.

To a Bugatti Chiron owner, though, tires are the only reason theirs is the fastest street-legal production car in the world. Those 1,479 ponies? The trick aerodynamics? The carefully tuned suspension and steering and brakes? All worthless without tires capable of keeping the Chiron in touch with terra firma at 261 mph and beyond.

The specially developed Michelins hugging the Chiron's massive forged alloy wheels are arguably the car's singular technical achievement. They make the big Bugatti's raison d'tre a reality.

Just 15 years ago tire manufacturers scoffed when Bugatti engineers asked whether they could build a tire for the original Veyron. Impossible, they said. The Veyron was too fast, too heavy. No tire could cope with the physics, let alone be durable enough to be used on regular roads in all weather conditions. Only Michelin was brave enough to try. And even then its tire came with plenty of caveats.

Bugatti built a luxury sport yacht to match its $2.6 million Chiron supercar

  Bugatti built a luxury sport yacht to match its $2.6 million Chiron supercar There's now a yacht to match your Bugatti Chiron supercar. Bugatti teamed up with yacht designer Palmer Johnson to create the Bugatti Niniette 66, a limited-edition sport yacht inspired by the Bugatti.Bugatti said potential buyers expressed interest after seeing the renderings, but asked for a closer connection to the Chiron that made its world premiere at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. It should come as no surprise that Bugatti owners were among the prospective buyers. Now Bugatti and Palmer Johnson have unveiled the results of their collaboration — a luxury sports yacht that doesn't skimp on power. Scroll down for a closer look.

Bugatti-Chiron-wheels.jpg© Motor Trend Staff Bugatti-Chiron-wheels.jpg

Each Veyron tire took an hour to build by hand, a set of four cost $42,000, and they lasted maybe 6,000 miles. At 253 mph, they'd last a maximum of 15 minutes before the heat and enormous centrifugal forces would simply tear them apart. Fortunately, the Veyron would run out of gas in less than 10 minutes at that velocity. To guarantee the integrity of the bead seal, Michelin would only allow two sets of tires to be fitted to a Veyron rim before the rim had to be scrapped. A set of replacement rims cost a cool $69,000, which made fitting that third set of tires a $111,000 proposition.

Michelin learned a lot from the Veyron experience. During the Chiron development program, Bugatti engineers made 18 trips to Michelin's R & D center in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Michelin used an aircraft-tire testing rig during the process because this was the only piece of equipment that could spin a prototype tire fast enough to replicate the huge loads expected at V-max.

2018 Bugatti Chiron First Drive Review: The Benchmark

  2018 Bugatti Chiron First Drive Review: The Benchmark The Benchmark

The Chiron tires--285/30R20 for the front and 355/25R21 for the rear--deliver increases in contact patches of 14 percent and 12 percent, respectively, compared with those on the Veyron. They can handle almost 3,700 lb-ft of torque where the rubber meets the road, and most important, they can endure 3,800 times the force of gravity at 261 mph without exploding, all while delivering good ride quality and good grip regardless of the weather.

Bugatti-Chiron-front-three-quarter-in-motion-12.jpg© Motor Trend Staff Bugatti-Chiron-front-three-quarter-in-motion-12.jpg

The new tires are also easier to fit than those used on the Veyron. Michelin has dispensed with the complex PAX run-flat system, which also required special and expensive asymmetric rims. Bugatti won't give details yet, but it says the new tires allow lower operating expenses. Apparently even gazillionaires hate paying for tires.

After his record-breaking 268-mph run in the 1,200-hp Veyron Super Sport at Ehra-Lessien in July 2010, Bugatti test driver and former F1 racer Pierre-Henri Raphanel said the only thing preventing the Veyron from going beyond 270 mph was its tire technology. Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Drheimer promises the more powerful Chiron will easily blow by the mark set by the Super Sport and become the fastest production car in history.

Does that mean 270 mph? 275? 280? We'll see this summer. Whatever the final number, Bugatti now has the tires to make it happen.

Bugatti and Palmer Johnson unveil a yacht inspired by the Chiron .
© Powered by Turbo.fr Logo turbo 1280 bugatti niniette 66 The similarities between this exceptional boat and the supercar are striking! Niniette 66, the yacht inspired by the Bugatti Chiron Bugatti and Palmer Johnson, the specialist in luxury yachts, have just announced their new collaboration. The latter relates to a futuristic and very high-end yacht, directly inspired by the Chiron, the latest Bugatti to date produced in the Molsheim factory in Alsace.

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