At low speeds, which in Chiron-speak is any speed at which you can legally drive in the UK, its performance is actually quite limited, at least by the standards of what it does thereafter. Because despite enormous, sticky, bespoke Michelin Cup 2 tyres, all-wheel-drive and all that weight, the Chiron is massively traction limited at such modest velocities. So you have to see its 0-62mph time of 2.4 seconds in that context. More instructive is the fact it does rest to 124mph in 5.8 seconds and 0-186mph in 12.1 seconds.
For those perhaps struggling to put these figures in context, because they are translations from kilometres per hour (0-100, 200 and 300km/h) to miles per hour, a little simple plotting reveals a 0-60mph near enough unchanged but possibly, 2.3 seconds, a 0-100mph time of around 4.5 seconds and a 0-200mph of approximately 15 seconds. Now consider this: any car that can reach 100mph in 10 seconds can be considered to be very quick indeed, even by modern standards: this Chiron takes very little longer to get from that 100mph mark to 200mph. Put another way, and this really gives an idea of the level of performance you experience when you let a Chiron Super Sport loose, is that it will take you from rest to 200mph in little more than half the time you’d require in a McLaren F1. And even then it doesn’t slow much: give yourself just half a minute from rest and by the time the alarm pings on your watch, you’ll be doing over 250mph…
But these numbers bamboozle before long. What does it actually feel like? At first and while the car is still traction limited, the way it gathers speed is a simple joy to experience. With an enormous roar from the W16, the Chiron appears to grab the scenery around you, rip it loose and pull it towards you. Depending on your temperament but regardless of your experience level, it will leave you either giggling or gasping. So far so good.
Then, however, it gains grip and does something else entirely. Thanks to that power readout you can ease yourself into this experience by deciding, for example, to change up at 4,000rpm and therefore be propelled forward by only a trifling thousand horsepower or so. But sooner or later you’re going to want to experience it all and then there is no place for giggles and gasps. Such is the incalculable ferocity with which the Chiron Super Sports cannons you across the landscape when it can finally deploy all its potential, space remains only for dumbstruck silence. It feels physically violent, an experience so disorienting that even if you had the legal space in which to repeat the experiment time and again, you’d almost certainly choose not to. Without exaggeration, this is performance of a level that makes that of more normal supercars feel like hot hatchbacks.
And you can tell that everything in the way the car has been set up is that way to help the driver safely manage and marshal this performance. The entire suspension system has been reworked for the Super Sport and above all the feeling it provides is one of massive, almost impregnable stability. Yes, you can break the back loose if you perform an all-out acceleration run on a damp and bumpy road but even here is doesn’t skid, slide or do anything to make you want to lift off. It just skips a bit until traction is found.
The steering is quick but linear and guides the car with unfailing precision through quick corners. There’s real feel here despite the weight of the car and its electrically assisted rack, which probably has something to do with a pump that all by itself costs £25,000… The Chiron really is outstandingly composed, but it’s not the kind of car you’d choose to throw around: weighing two tonnes and configured for maximum stability, it’s just not a natural state for the car, and that’s before you consider where there might be enough safe space to indulge in such antics, and the price of getting it wrong.
As for the ride and refinement, at a gentle cruise it’s so quiet and comfortable you’d not only be able to drive it all day, you’d absolutely leap at the chance.