Why the Bugatti Chiron looks the way it does Page 2


The front view

Like the rest of the car, the front end is all about cooling and aerodynamics. "One of the most critical things about a supercar is the front brakes. When you drive it hard, the first thing that's going to give is probably the temperature of the front brakes because that temperature goes into the wheel and that goes into the tires, and then the tires start to get really soft," Anscheidt said. To combat that issue, the car has air intakes in the headlight design. That air leads directly down to the brakes and pushes the hot air out through the wheels.

The lower air intakes are more conventional and they help cool several radiators, as well as the brakes.

Of course, the most pronounced element of the front end is the horsecollar grille. It is designed for airflow, but its look goes all the way back to the first Bugattis of the 1920s.

Bugatti Chiron

Bugatti Chiron

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Bugatti Chiron

Bugatti Chiron

Enlarge Photo
Bugatti Chiron, 2016 Geneva Motor Show

Bugatti Chiron, 2016 Geneva Motor Show

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Nods to the past

There are other nods to the past as well, and they are almost exclusively based on the Type 57 Atlantic of 1938. Just four of those cars were ever built, but they are viewed as the high point of Bugatti design. "The Atlantic is such a strong asset in our history. We in the design studio cherish that car," Anscheidt said. For inspiration, Anscheidt and his team examined a perfect example owned by noted collector Peter Mullin.

Bugatti 57 SC Atlantic

Bugatti 57 SC Atlantic

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"If you know where the character lines sit on an Atlantic, you will see that they are one-to-one identical," Anscheidt said. "The two fender lines that you see on the Atlantic, and the rear fender lines and center line, they so characterize that car and they also stylistically characterize the form language on this car."

The Atlantic also provided the inspiration for the strong center line of the car. It starts up front behind the grille and extends all the way down the spine of the car.

Bugatti Chiron

Bugatti Chiron

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Interior design

The center line even shoots into the interior and shoots back out over the roof. The C shape is also reflected in the interior, incorporating itself into the center line.

Otherwise, the interior adds a bit of civility to this monster of a car, and yet it has a sportier feel than the Veyron's cockpit. "In this balance of beauty and beast, the car in all aspects became quite a bit more beast. The interior reflects that in its architectural layout," Anscheidt said. "The passenger and driver have a more secluded, sporty compartment, and all the functions move from the center console to the driver's hand on the steering wheel."

Final thoughts

The Chiron's design is certainly cleaner than the Veyron's, and the lines allow the car to perform better than that car. In fact, it may be the fastest production car ever. Think of the look what you will, but every line and detail is there for a reason.

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