At the 2016 Geneva Motor Show Bugatti has revealed the much anticipated Chiron, successor to the Veyron model, produced from 2005 to 2015.
Like for the Veyron in 2005, the launch of the Chiron marks a new records for production vehicles: the GT delivers 1,500 HP and 1,600 Nm, and can reach a top speed 420 km/h, a value which is electronically limited for road use.
The design of the Chiron appears to be very close to the Vision Gran Turismo Concept – minus the racetrack-oriented details and with a less extreme surface treatment of the sides.
Iconic design elements include the C-shaped side line that defines the two-color scheme, the trademark grille and the central character line that runs from the front end to the tail, taking inspiration from legendary models such as the Type 57 Atlantic.
The main technical features include a carbon fiber monocoque chassis and a 8 liter W16 engine with four new, larger turbochargers controlled by a two-stage turbocharging system.
The luxurious interior echoes the flowing lines of the exterior as well as the C-shaped graphic theme of the flanks, which is adopted for the design of the distinctive transition between the center tunnel and the ceiling.
Like the Veyron, the Chiron will be built at the company’s headquarters in Molsheim, with a total production volume limited to 500 units.
The basic price is €2.4 million net. Currently, advance orders have been received for one third of the total production run.
The name Chiron pays homage to Louis Alexandre Chiron, a Monegasque racing driver who competed in rallies, sports car races, and Grands Prix, and the oldest driver ever to have raced in Formula One, at 55 years of age.
Below we report the design details from the official press release.
From the official Press Release:
The most distinctive design features of the Chiron are the Bugatti horseshoe with the eight-eyed front end, the C-bar on the side (also known as the “Bugatti line”), which is also used as a design element in the interior, the central fin as a reminiscence of the central seam on the Bugatti Atlantic, which extends over the entire vehicle to the rear, and the redesigned rear end with the newly developed rear light, which is unique in the automobile industry and gives the Chiron its distinctive Bugatti signature.
Most of these elements have a technical background and have been designed to fully accentuate the growing performance requirements of the Chiron.
The Chiron is higher and wider than its predecessor, which allows for more space, especially in the footwell, and improved ergonomics. The headroom has been increased by 12 mm.
The wider front end of the vehicle is highlighted by the new eight-eye face. Apart from the lamp housings, the front end features a highly effective air inlet for the cooling of the front wheels and brakes and therefore performs an important aerodynamic function.
That also applies to the Bugatti line, which not only emphatically defines the sides of the exterior but is also conspicuous in the interior. The exterior line impressively reflects Bugatti’s design ethos which ideally calls for shapes and lines to be derived from technical requirements. This is not only a beautiful styling line. Its positioning was defined by the need to improve engine ventilation and ventilation performance in general at this point. Behind the A-pillar a very useful fresh air flow enters the vehicle at the level of the window. The air is absorbed by the C-bar, guided through to the wheel arch and leaves the car via the rear.
A trim strip with a length of 2.80 metres effectively sets the scene for the side line. This strip is made from a special aluminium alloy with hand polishing to ensure a high gloss. If the customer so wishes, the strip is available in a number of different colours. It is embedded both in the side and in the door. The interaction of an aluminium trim strip of this size and shape and the carbon fibre outer skin poses a special challenge, which Bugatti has mastered impressively. This detail alone already demonstrates Bugatti’s ability to facilitate the impossible.
The rear with its all-round trailing edge is the clearest example of form following performance in the design of the Chiron. The rear is shaped to ensure lower drag and to meet the requirements posed by the high power output, the new top speed and heat dissipation from the rear end. The suction effect behind the rear end allows the extraction of hot air collecting in the engine compartment.
Although this rear design is not entirely new in the sports car sector, the combined rear, brake, reversing and indicator light certainly is. The designers developed this homogeneous light strip with a length of 1.60 metres extending over the entire rear without any interruptions with a view to making a purist statement emphasising the width of the Chiron. The rear light strip is the unmistakable signature and unique feature of this Bugatti. The Chiron is the first and only production car to feature a rear light of this type. The light strip is only a few millimetres high and is surrounded by a bar machined from solid aluminium. 82 Super RED LED lamps ensure that all road-users can immediately see that a Bugatti Chiron is driving ahead of them.
The lines of the new car show that the balance between “beauty” and “beast” needed in a modern Bugatti has been significantly shifted in the direction of aggression in the case of the new Chiron. This can be seen from the considerably more dynamic sideline, the central fin that gives an impression of acceleration, the elongated rear wings and the more dynamic angle of attack.
A two-tone colour scheme is a classic element in Bugatti’s design DNA. However, the boundary between the two colours does not run across components in the case of the Chiron but follows the edges of components in a highly technical way. In the past, more than 50 percent of Veyron customers chose a two-tone colour scheme for their car. Similar developments are expected in the case of the Chiron although the new model will still look extremely seductive and impressive in a single-tone scheme.
At a standstill, the Chiron already has emphatic proportions, not least as a result of its larger wheels.
The fact that the vehicle is wider also enhances the volume of the powerful wings, allowing the Chiron to flex its muscles. This impression is enhanced by the fact that the doors ahead of the rear wings closely follow the shoulders like a bespoke suit.
The rear spoiler (the “air brake”) emphatically accentuates the unparalleled performance generated by the rear-mounted powerplant of the Bugatti. The air brake extends over the full width of the vehicle, making a statement that is both stylistic and technical.
This vehicle is constructed in every respect from authentic materials. Parts that look like carbon fibre, aluminium or leather are really made from these materials. All the exterior trim parts, wherever they are installed, are made from aluminium of consistently high grades and quality with an anodised effect. The horseshoe at the front is made from a single part, with the degree of deformation of the edges reaching the limits of technical feasibility. On average, the thickness of the material is no more than 1.5 mm. A special, hand-polished alloy is used to obtain a high gloss finish.
The grille inside the horseshoe also explores the limits of feasibility. The lightweight aluminium structure used for the grille of the Chiron has a 3-D effect providing optical depth. However, the grille not only looks good but also has extremely high impact strength as a result of its complex multi-stage production process.
The front emblem on the radiator grille, also known as the Bugatti “Macaron“, is a real gem. This symbol is a completely new design which is one third larger than its predecessor. The Bugatti oval is the only component of the Chiron that has not been subjected to the painstaking weight saving programme that is normal practice in the development of a super sports car. This part is allowed to be heavy. The eyecatcher, with a circumference of 26 cm, consists of solid 970 fine silver and enamel and has a total weight of 155 g, including 140 g of silver. Previously, the emblem had 2-D optics, with an art deco logo and a hint of shadow, following examples from the 1920s. The new emblem is a 3-D design creating the effect of letters hovering over the red enamel. This decorative component can only be produced by a handcrafting process that is extremely complex and time-consuming. In all, five layers of enamel are applied in individual processes, followed by baking and hand polishing. Ettore Bugatti, whose motto was “nothing is too beautiful and nothing is too expensive,” would certainly have taken pleasure in this example of sheer craftmanship.
Illuminated C-bar in the interior is the longest light conductor in the automobile industry
The interior reflects the stylistic themes of the exterior including the central fin inspired by the Bugatti Atlantic. This approach ensures a symmetrical layout in the interior.
At the same time, the design theme of the Bugatti line is expressed most strongly in the interior of the vehicle. The open oval based on a stylised “C”, the initial of Louis Chiron’s signature, is already a dominant element in the side view of the super sports car and is also taken up in the passenger compartment as a separating line between the symmetrical units for the driver and passenger. The C-shaped light strip emerges from the front bonnet into the passenger compartment as a raised graphic element and merges seamlessly into the dashboard. From here, it flows over the armrest between the seats to the back wall where it rises to the roof liner; at the front, it ends at the rear-view mirror. The homogeneously lit, dimmable light bar is the longest light conductor used in automobiles. This is not the only superlative as it has a surround that is machined from a single piece of aluminium in a complex process and is an eyecatcher in itself.
The cockpit layout of the Bugatti Chiron consistently follows functional requirements. In order to keep the central console as slim as possible and to allow a spacious impression, the climate control and infotainment systems have been separated. The units on the central console have independent displays. The selector for the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is located in the perfect ergonomic position within easy reach of the driver’s hand. It is produced from the most exclusive materials available and all aluminium parts are milled from solid material. Bugatti is the only carmaker to use anodised aluminium for its controls and to ensure that each individual graphic symbol is illuminated.
Bugatti pilots have all the driving dynamics information they need within their field of vision. The instruments visible through the steering wheel with its central horseshoe emblem include the analogue speedometer, the two supplementary digital displays, with the mechanical speed indicator standing out as a result of its exclusive quality. The speedometer runs up to the magic figure of 500 km/h (310 mph) and is a feast for the eyes with the exclusive appearance of a precious Swiss watch.
The steering wheel is a classic example of the perfect combination of form and function. With an entirely new design, the steering wheel is the pilot’s control centre. There is no need to take a hand off the steering wheel in order to operate any essential systems. Two multi-function buttons installed on the left and right sides of the inner rim allow the driver to control all the multimedia features of the car, including navigation, telephone, sound system and many other functions. Below the multi-function button, there is a rotary switch for selecting various driving modes on the left-hand side and the starter button on the right-hand side. At the bottom of the wheel, the driver finds a button to activate the launch control function, allowing the Chiron to deploy maximum torque for standing starts and acceleration, leaving all other vehicles behind.
Chiron buyers can choose between a full-leather steering wheel or a unit with a combination of leather and carbon fibre. Bugatti is following the wishes of its customers by making very generous use of high-grade carbon fibre material in the interior of the vehicle. The perfectly harmonised material split between leather and carbon fibre creates a luxurious environment commensurate with a technically sophisticated super sports car. At the start of discussions with customers concerning the configuration of their dream car, Bugatti already offers 31 colours for leather and eight colours for alcantara. If customers have special wishes concerning colours or materials, which is rather the rule than the exception at Bugatti, the designers and engineers will do everything in their power to take these into consideration if possible in view of the stringent quality and safety requirements that apply. For a Bugatti, only exclusive materials with the best possible quality of workmanship can be used. It goes without saying that every interior is tailor-made for the individual customer and hand-crafted.
A good seating position and optimum seat comfort are especially important in a super sports car. Three types of seat are available for the Chiron. The standard version boasts outstanding seating comfort thanks to its sophisticated upholstery, special seam pattern and the optimum distribution of seat pressure. Electric adjustment functions make for relaxed, ergonomic sitting. This is enhanced by the possibility of manual fore and aft adjustment. The side pads of the seat provide outstanding lateral support. Apart from this all-rounder, Bugatti also offers a sports seat with belt openings made from high-grade polished aluminium for four-point belts and a comfort seat with lumbar support, electric fore and aft adjustment and a memory function.
The shelf and stowage concept underlines the Chiron’s claim to be not only a high-performance vehicle but a sports car that is both luxurious and comfortable and stands out from other market players. With open and closed stowage compartments and doors, which are all equipped with dimmable lighting, the driver can choose between a considerable variety of stowage possibilities. Smartphones can be positioned on the central console where they are directly accessible. The cooled glove compartment provides even greater comfort. Suit bags or jackets can be hung up on two high-quality hooks behind the seats.
The engineers have even created special stowage spaces for the two ignition keys. The main key for the operation of the super sports car in driving modes up to a speed of 380 km/h has a keyless go function and locks into a position to the right of the steering wheel in order to ensure safe stowage even during very sportive driving. The main key of the Chiron is an elegant, exclusive unit that lies comfortably in the driver’s hand. It is fabricated from aluminium and is covered in leather with decorative seams adapted to the interior equipment of the individual vehicle. The front of the key features the Bugatti logo, handcrafted from silver and enamel in the same workshop that makes the radiator emblem.
The famed Bugatti Speed Key has a design appropriate to its name. The key housing is milled from aluminium, polished to a high gloss and boasts the unmistakable blue lettering of the Chiron.
The Speed Key has its own stowage location, held in place by an invisible magnet on the switch strip to the left of the driver’s seat. It is therefore immediately visible when the driver enters the vehicle.