Carbon Fibre Hypercar Breaks Through 300mph Barrier

A pre-production vehicle of a Bugatti Chiron SuperSport 300+ is the first hyper sports car to break the magic 300-mile-per-hour barrier.

Le Mans winner and Bugatti test driver Andy Wallace reached the top speed of exactly 304.773 mph on the test track at Ehra-Lessien in Lower Saxony. He worked his way up to the top speed from 190 mph in 30 mph increments to make sure all the conditions were right and the Chiron was optimally balanced in terms of lift and downforce. The previous record was held by the Koenigsegg Agera RS which set a then-record of 277.9 mph over two separate runs back in 2017.

An incredible speed. It’s inconceivable that a car would be capable of this. But the Chiron was well prepared and I felt very safe – even in these high speed ranges Bugatti test driver, Andy Wallice

The body of the car which has been confirmed for production is made from exposed carbon fibre along with a carbon fibre engine cover, while the stripped out interior features a pair of Alcantara-trimmed carbon-fibre-backed bucket seats and a full carbon fibre dashboard.

For the record, a team of engineers prepared a pre-production vehicle of a Chiron derivative. In addition to aerodynamic improvements, the specialists attached great importance to safety. Andy Wallace was held in place by six-point belts and protected by an additional safety cell.

The Bugatti team were supported by Italian race specialist Dallara as well as tyre manufacturer Michelin. The tyres were subjected to extensive test bench trials at speeds of up to 317 mph in the USA. On the test bench, the Bugatti engineers also tested the performance of the engine and the interaction between engine, gearbox and chassis during various manoeuvres with the smallest changes having a huge impact on overall top speed.

The Ehra-Lessien high-speed track in Lower Saxony is 50 metres above sea level. Unlike higher-altitude high-speed tracks such as in Nevada, however, this has certain drawbacks. Due to the higher air density, the vehicle has to apply more force, and at high speeds of over 249 mph, it runs as if were driving against a wall.

The record run was recorded by a sealed GPS box, the certificate was issued by SGS-TÜV Saar. So as of August 2019, Bugatti is the first manufacturer to produce a car that runs faster than 300 mph – at a speed of 304.773 mph.

The production-ready version of the record-breaker will be powered by a tweaked version of the original car’s quad-turbo 8-litre engine and will produce 1,578bhp. Bugatti has confirmed that only 30 of the Chiron SuperSport 300+ will be manufactured with prices starting around £3.1 million.