Every hyper sports car made by the French luxury brand is required to meet exceptional quality standards whatever the conditions, be it in day-to-day use or on the circuit. Bugatti therefore regularly tests its vehicles – current models and future series production models – on various test tracks and circuits. Once a year, the Bugatti development team sets out for the demanding circuit at the Nürburgring. Recently with no less than four models and six engineers.
It’s the most exclusive vehicle fleet in the world, with a net value of just under 20 million euros – the Centodieci1 (8 million euros), the Divo2 (5 million euros), the Chiron Pur Sport3 (3 million euros), and the Chiron Super Sport 300+4 (3.5 million euros).
“We want to achieve the best possible chassis setup for our customers, so we perform test-drives under extreme conditions as well as in day-to-day situations,” says Lars Fischer, Head of Chassis Testing and Setup at Bugatti. And Bugatti does not make any distinction between the Chiron5 and a few-off of just ten vehicles like the Centodieci. What matters to the engineers during the test-drives is that the Centodieci likewise drives extremely precisely, quickly, and perfectly in all situations.
The Nordschleife is considered the world’s most demanding circuit with an unusual topography, making it the ideal testing environment – 33 left-hand and 40 right-hand bends, 17 percent gradients, and an altitude difference of 300 meters, all spread across a distance of 20.832 kilometers. The vehicles that complete this circuit in a fast time and effortlessly have been perfectly set up. During the laps, the engineers note the overall impression made by the vehicle and ensure that it delivers the perfect differentiation within the Chiron family’s performance range. Following the test-drives, the results are analyzed and transmitted to the development team in order for the execution procedure to be further optimized.
“We put the same degree of development and testing into a few-off like the Centodieci as we do with the Chiron,” explains Jachin Schwalbe, Head of Chassis Development at Bugatti. In other words, following extensive simulation and intensive testing on test benches and at proving grounds, test-drives are performed on circuits and in road traffic in order to further optimize the handling characteristics and driving behavior.
In the case of the Chiron Super Sport 300+, the developers check and verify the chassis’s series setup as finalized a few weeks before. Designed for longitudinal dynamics, the hyper sports car with a long tail was primarily developed for top speeds of up to 440 km/h. “The Chiron Super Sport 300+ naturally has to likewise deliver a very high-performance drive on narrow tracks,” explains Jachin Schwalbe.
The development engineers take the various characteristics and the handling of the current Divo and Chiron Pur Sport models as benchmarks for the new Centodieci and Chiron Super Sport 300+ – thus allowing them to directly experience and compare Bugatti’s wide “spectrum of performance.”