Last year, Bugatti hit the headlines after the Chiron achieved an astonishing speed record, hitting 0-249 mph and back to a standstill again in just 41.96 seconds over 1.933 miles. Less than a month later, the Koenigsegg Agera RS beat Bugatti’s record, achieving the same run in 36.44 seconds and achieving a top speed 284.55 mph. With both Koenigsegg and Hennessey aiming to beat the 300-mph barrier in a production car with the Jesko and Venom F5, all eyes were on Bugatti to come back fighting.
Bugatti calls the record-setting car a pre-production version of a Chiron derivative. While technical details remain under wraps, we can tell its rear end has been extended in order to add downforce without creating drag. Round vents drilled into the top part of the front end reduce turbulence in the wheel wells, while peeking inside reveals a roll cage and a Sparco bucket seat for the driver. The prototype looks a little bit lower than a regular Chiron, too, but we’ll have to wait until Bugatti publishes more information to find out what lies beneath the carbon fiber bodywork, and whether any of it will reach production. The company went as far as sending the four tires through an X-ray machine to scan for even the smallest imperfections.
The run comes as a surprise, because the company’s interest in setting speed records seemingly waned after it released the Chiron. Getting to 304 mph required a tremendous amount of effort, but Bugatti now has two additional bullet points on its resume. It’s the first automaker to break the 300-mph barrier, and the Chiron stands out as the fastest car in the world.