The Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport is designed for corners; engineered for lateral acceleration and incomparable driving dynamics. As production reaches the halfway point, with the 30th unit recently being delivered to its new owner, Bugatti celebrates the spectrum of performance of the Chiron family that characterizes the Pur Sport as its most agile member by ‘Drifting The C’, the iconic sideline of the design DNA.
The track is set. The air is still. Overnight precipitation means the tarmac is slick, glistening in the early morning sunshine. The Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport1 lies in wait, just off center of the track, ready to execute a perfectly controlled and precise maneuver – possible only because of the Pur Sport’s combination of performance and poise. An advanced four-wheel-drive system is ready to channel the full fury of 1,500 PS and 1,600 Nm, delivered by one of the most innovative powertrains ever created: the 8.0-liter W16.
The challenge for the Chiron Pur Sport and its expert driver – a lead Bugatti development and chassis engineer – is to launch into a controlled four-wheel-drift, tracing a perfect arc that would form the famous Bugatti C-line when viewed from above. For decades, this recognizable design feature has come to define the elegance of Bugatti styling, visible both on Veyron and Chiron2 as well as Jean Bugatti’s creations. The signature C-line, which seamlessly elongates the car from a side profile visual while simultaneously imbuing it with a flow that gives the impression of movement even while at rest, has been used to great effect in the design from his earliest creation the Type 50 through to the famous Type 57 series.
With the W16 engine fired into life, the Pur Sport launches off the line, all four tires smoking as it gathers momentum, shifting rapidly through the gearbox. Its driver turns the wheel and delicately eases the Pur Sport into a drift with a press of the throttle. As he counter-steers into the turn, tire smoke bellowing out of all four wheel arches, the character of the Chiron Pur Sport is obvious: precise, controlled and powerful. With minute inputs to both the steering wheel and the throttle, the driver completes his drift with perfection, leaving a Bugatti C-line written in a large letter on the tarmac.
“What we celebrate here with this showcase is the unrivalled handling of the Chiron Pur Sport. One of the most agile automobiles ever created within our product portfolio is both composed and precise, allowing it to complete a controlled four-wheel-drift. It did it time and time again, from its very first attempt through to the final drive during dusk, the Chiron Pur Sport delivered, repeating the feat even as the tires were pushed to the extremes and the hyper sports car was put under the increasing stress of high temperatures and huge lateral loads,” outlined Christophe Piochon, President at Bugatti Automobiles.
“The Pur Sport has become a firm favorite with customers because of its focused performance and pure driving characteristics. It was only right that the Pur Sport was the selected Chiron model to honor our iconic signature line with this ambitious C-Drift,” added Piochon.
Each model in the Chiron family has been carefully honed and optimized to offer exceptional dynamics across the driving spectrum. With a 1,500 PS W16 engine and advanced four-wheel-drive system, the Pur Sport feels most at home on tight and twisting roads. Like all Chiron models, the Pur Sport proudly features the famous Bugatti C-line that has come to define the profile of each Bugatti.
In part a major design ideation, the sideline C is also employed to enhance performance parameters, having been born out of the necessity to increase ventilation in Bugatti’s 16-cylinder models. At window level, clean air flow reaches the Pur Sport from behind the A-pillar. The C-line receives the air, which is then channeled through the wheel arch and pumped out the rear of the car The side line is realized by using a 2.8 meter trim strip composed from a unique aluminum alloy.
The Chiron Pur Sport channels stellar performance throughout the entire speed range. Its weight has been reduced by 50 kg, while its downforce capacity has been substantially boosted, realizing a sports-focused character and optimal suspension setup.
Sven Bohnhorst, Bugatti’s experienced development driver, who drifted the ‘C’, recalls “The controllability of the Chiron Pur Sport’s all-wheel drive is outstanding. You, the driver, decide, if you want to slip the rear axle to make the car turn or if you want to stabilize it with more slip at the front, solely by balancing it with the throttle. You can also have all four wheels spinning at once – just as you like it! This is what I call a car made for drivers.”
The Pur Sport’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission has undergone a radical transformation: Bugatti engineers optimized numerous components, and the gears were shortened overall by 15 percent.
The Chiron Pur Sport benefits from a chassis that has 65% firmer springs at the front and 33% firmer springs at the rear. It also has an adaptive damping control strategy geared towards performance as well as heavily modified camber values (front +115%; rear +150%; camber adjusted to -2.5 degrees) to guarantee even more dynamic handling, increased performance and added agility in bends.
An interpretation of Bugatti’s ‘Form Follows Performance’ ethos, the Chiron Pur Sport grips the road in part due to its lower unsprung mass – as a result of lightweight magnesium wheels that combined save 16kg – further strengthening the three-way connection between driver, machine and road.
In a straight line, Chiron Pur Sport remains blisteringly quick. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.3 seconds and from 0 to 200 km/h in 5.9 seconds. Moreover, the shorter gear ratios allow it to launch from 60 to 120 km/h in sixth gear in just 4.4 seconds.
“With these cutting-edge characteristics that encompass power, agility, lateral dynamics and pure performance, the Pur Sport is a Chiron model designed and developed to handle the most extreme situations with total precision, finesse and ease.” added Christophe Piochon.
The Chiron Pur Sport ‘Drifted The C’ under conditions that ensured full safety for the entire team, including the professional development driver who was behind the wheel. It was performed at a track in which only Bugatti had access to during the event.