Update: An original version of this article based on incorrect information from a September 8 'Autoblog' post suggested Bugatti will unlock the 261-mph speed limiter on the Chiron.
The current land speed record for a production car is the 267.86 mph set by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport in 2010. Hennessey’s Venom GT has gone faster, though the car didn’t make the mandatory two-direction run to secure the record.
Bugatti has since released a successor to the Veyron in the form of the Chiron, and the automaker is quite confident the new car will smash the record. However, Bugatti doesn’t plan to make its attempt until sometime in 2018.
Unfortunately, owners won’t be able to make their own attempt as Bugatti is limiting the Chiron’s top speed to 261 mph. Following an interview with Bugatti engineer Willi Netuschil, Autoblog on September 8 reported that Bugatti was willing to unlock the speed limiter, allowing the car to go about 285 mph.
A spokesperson for Bugatti has told Motor Authority that this information is incorrect and is likely a result of some misunderstanding of Netuschil’s comments. (The Autoblog post has since been updated.) The spokesperson said there were no plans to unlock the Chiron’s 261-mph speed limiter. Part of the reason is due to safety concerns, particularly in regards to adequate braking zones and tire integrity at such insane speeds.
Of course, we may eventually see a special edition model capable of reaching speeds in excess of 261 mph. Recall, Bugatti’s Grand Sport Vitesse had its top speed limited to 233 mph but there were a handful—eight to be exact—of special “World Record Cars” that could reach the 254.04 world record speed for an open-top production car. (This particular record has since been beaten by Hennessey’s Venom GT Spyder, which in April ran 265.6 mph.)
Deliveries of the Chiron commence in the fall. Like the Veyron before it, the Chiron comes with a quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W-16 paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel-drive system. With 1,480 horsepower on tap, the car accelerates to 62 mph in under 2.5 seconds, to 124 mph in 6.5 seconds and 186 mph in 13.6 seconds.
Just 500 will be built including all the planned special edition models. We’ve heard the 500-car run will also include open-top targa models.