Bugatti Chiron Sport – The art of nurturing anticipation
The question is quite obvious. Why Sport? What was wrong with the 1,500 PS Bugatti Chiron, presented two years ago at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show? Not a thing. However, at this level of investment, one expects improvement to be an ever-flowing process and people at Bugatti know how to keep their clients in anticipation.
In general terms, the French luxury brand is offering significantly improved handling capabilities and unparalleled agility, without any alterations to the “powerplant” and its output. Bugatti has developed a dynamic handling package and reduced the weight of the car by about 18 kilograms. As a result, the Chiron Sport reaches higher cornering speeds and can lap the Nardò handling circuit five seconds faster than the Chiron.
The main differences between the appearance of the Chiron Sport and the standard version are a new wheel design and new four-pipe exhaust deflector.
The basic price of the Bugatti Chiron Sport is €2.65m. A base price of US$3.26m including transport, customs duties, taxes and fees has been set for the US market. In addition, there is an optional colour and trim package allowing customers to individually tailor the sporty appearance of their Chiron Sport. The first vehicles are planned for delivery to customers at the end of 2018.
“We have developed the Chiron Sport for customers wanting an even sportier driving experience with their Chiron, with improved lateral dynamics on winding roads,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. “What was important for us was to leave unchanged the unique character of the Chiron, its combination of ultimate performance, longitudinal acceleration and maximum speed with luxury, comfort and everyday usability.”
This is why the extreme power and performance data of the Chiron as well as the ease and convenience of driving remain unchanged. There is however a significant improvement in the handling of the Chiron Sport.
“The Chiron Sport has become perceptibly more nimble and its new agility, especially in tight corners makes for a much more emotional experience for the driver on winding roads and handling circuits,” Winkelmann continues.
The Bugatti Chiron Sport benefits from a new dynamic handling package. The Bugatti developers have defined a stiffer suspension. This includes a new control strategy for the shock absorbers, which demostrate a 10 percent on average stiffer reaction, compared to the Chiron. The steering has also been modified without sacrificing its outstanding direct feel and its calculable performance.
These new settings only take effect in the Handling mode of the Chiron Sport, which is therefore distinguished from the EB mode more clearly for the driver.
In addition to these changes, the rear-axle differential has been optimised and the car now features a Dynamic Torque Vectoring function that distributes torque individually to the wheels on each side, significantly improving the steering behaviour and agility of the vehicle, especially in tight curves. This change is effective in all driving modes.
One of the modifications which make the Bugatti Chiron Sport more nimble is a weight reduction of about 18 kilograms, thanks to the use of new lightweight parts.
The greatest weight savings were possible as a result of the new lightweight wheels, together with increased use of carbon fibre, for example for the stabiliser, the intercooler cover and the newly developed windscreen wipers. The Chiron Sport also features lighter glass for the rear window and a new, lighter exhaust deflector.
As a result, the Chiron Sport has become even more responsive and corners even faster. On the handling course of the Nardò test circuit, Bugatti developers recorded a lap time which is five seconds faster than the base Chiron model. Due to its design the Nardò circuit is especially well-suited as a reference track for the Chiron, as the super sports car can reach its full handling potential even at cornering speeds in excess of 200 km/h.
The windscreen wiper arms developed by Bugatti for the Bugatti Chiron Sport are an interesting technical feature. This is the first production car to present windscreen wiper arms made of carbon fibre. This new development means that Bugatti no longer needs the articulated joints found on conventional wipers. The function of these joints has been integrated into the carbon fibre structure of the wiper arms. In addition, the aluminium wiper arm tips are produced by a weight-saving 3-D printing process. This means that the new carbon fibre wipers are 77 percent or 1.4 kg lighter than their predecessors. Fascinating!
Finally, thanks to the new material, the wiper arms have a new profile, which allows improved aerodynamic properties.
At first glance, the Bugatti Chiron Sport can be recognised by its new “Course” alloy wheel rims and the new exhaust deflector, which has four round tailpipes instead of the rectangular design used on the Chiron. In addition, the Sport version has a number of design features that underline its identity as a Chiron Sport.
For example, the engine starter button and the driving mode selector knob on the steering wheel as well as the marketing plate have an anodised black finish.
The “Sport” logo is standing out on the door sill strips and there is an insert on the central console with an embroidered “Chiron Sport” logo. Cosmic.
The elite Bugatti design team has created a package of colour and trim options for the Bugatti Chiron Sport, allowing customers to give their vehicles the sportiest look possible. The Chiron Sport on show in Geneva features all the options available.
The vehicle body has a classic duo-tone colour scheme. The A-colour at the rear of the vehicle is determined by visible grey carbon; Italian Red paintwork at the front represents the B-colour.
Apart from red, the colours available are “French Racing Blue”, the silver tone “Gris Rafale” and a dark grey “Gun Powder”.
The distinctive Bugatti side line, a C-shaped trim strip made from aluminium alloy, is painted in the B-colour, in this case “Italian Red”. This red tone is also to be found on the brake calipers, the EB logo on the hubcaps, the underside of the rear spoiler and in the labelling on the intercooler cover. Here, it creates an exciting contrast with the “Gun Powder” grey of the carbon fibre intercooler cover and the same tone which is used for paintwork on the wheel rims, the aluminium bezel of the Chiron’s iconic rear lights, the EB logo on the rear and the famous Bugatti horseshoe on the radiator grille.
A red “16” is positioned prominently on the black-painted grid of the radiator grille – referring to the number of cylinders, which gives the Chiron engine its unique position.
Black is the dominant colour of the interior. All the controls of the car have a black anodised finish.
The steering wheel and selector lever are covered with suede leather. In addition, Bugatti has used three materials for the styling of the interior: Alcantara for the roof liner including the A-pillar and sun blinds, the rear wall trim, the sill trims, the lower part of the central console, the insides of the seat side cushions and the boot lining. Smooth leather is used for the seats, the inside door trims, the islands on the dashboard including the instrument cluster trim, the airbag container on the steering wheel and the armrest and insert of the central console. Finally, the dashboard itself, the door trims, the rears of the backrests and the steering column housing are made from exposed carbon fibre.
The B-colour of the exterior, “Italian Red” on the Geneva show car, is used to create restrained but distinctive accents in the interior, for example on the stitching, the safety belt, the surround of the C-shaped light bar in the centre of the vehicle, the back of the rear-view mirror and the lining of the central console stowage compartment.
Including this optional colour and trim package, the Chiron Sport on show in Geneva costs €2.98m (US market: US$3.672 million gross), which probably makes it the most expensive production car on display at this year’s show.
Sit back and relax. Forget about trivial things, such as performance and driving in general. For this is a work of art and these are the criteria by which the Bugatti Chiron Sport “marks the automotive bench” for others to follow.
Enjoy the visual impact and try to capture the growing anticipation of someone, who has just placed an order. The more fortunate examples will end up being preserved, between the cellar and the stack of bullion. The least fortunate ones will be “revved to death” stuck in the traffic at Knightsbridge, by people with little automotive culture, but massive automotive ego. We can only hope, that some will find their way to a home with motoring credentials, the persistence to invest in the moment and the determination to put the “Sport” of the Bugatti Chiron to the test.