One of the surprises at the Geneva Motor Show this week, the new Chiron Sport is said to corner “significantly faster” than the regular Chiron, lapping the Nardò handling circuit five seconds quicker. Its power, 1500hp (that’s 1479bhp), is unchanged.
“We have developed the Chiron Sport for customers wanting an even sportier driving experience with improved lateral dynamics on winding roads,” said Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann.
What Bugatti calls “significant handling improvements” are wrought by changes that include stiffening the suspension, optimised rear diff, faster-reacting dampers and modified steering. Extra carbon parts have brought the weight down by 18kg and there’s a new Dynamic Torque Vectoring system (standard now on all Chirons) said to improve steering behaviour in tight going.
“The Chiron Sport has become perceptibly more nimble and its new agility makes for a much more emotional experience for the driver on winding roads and handling circuits,” Winkelmann said.
There is no mention of any aero changes, or of any increase in downforce – no surprise since that would inevitably harm the car’s top-speed raison d’etre.
You can spot the Sport by its new lightweight wheel design and four round (rather than rectangular) tailpipes in the exhaust diffuser, plus the extra carbon parts – which include the world’s first carbon-fibre windscreen wiper arms, saving 1.4kg. Sport logos feature on the inside, along with new trims.
Straight-line speed is said to be the same as the regular Chiron. So 0-124mph in 6.5 seconds and a top speed… well, we know what the restricted top speed is – 261mph – but as yet Bugatti has not confirmed what the Chiron will do when fully off the leash.
Bugatti last used the Sport badge on the Veyron Super Sport which was the chosen weapon at the time to set the speed mark of 267.8mph. That’s since been broken in what has turned into a top-speed duel between Sweden and the US – Koenigsegg versus Hennessey. At Geneva, Hennessey showed its new Venom F5, claiming it to be the world’s first 300mph car. Will the Chiron Sport, which has a 500km/h (310mph) speedo, be the machine to put Bugatti back on top?
One thing for sure, the Chiron Sport is the most expensive new road car in the Geneva show halls. The recommended list is €2.65 million (about £2.4m), but the car on show, featuring the new colour and trim options, comes with a tag of just under €3m. First deliveries are due by the end of the year.