Bugatti Chiron SportEnlarge Photo
They say a submarine captain never truly knows how deep his vessel can go. Similarly, Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann doesn't know how fast his Chiron can go. According to a report published by CNBC last Thursday, he doesn't care to find out.
When Bugatti launched the Chiron back in 2016, the automotive world was quite curious to learn the top speed of this new French hypercar. After all, the worldview of speed shifted significantly when Bugatti brought its predecessor, the Veyron, to life. A Veyron Super Sport eventually hit 267.8 mph, setting a new speed record in the process. It would make sense that the Chiron could top that figure.
In fact, when Bugatti unveiled the 1,480-horsepower Chiron, the automaker stated that a top-speed test would be conducted at some point in the near future. That point appears to be vanishing, as Winkelmann told CNBC, "I have a lot on my plate. The speed test is not my priority." He added: "I don't even know how fast our car can go."
It's fair to assume that Bugatti has hit many speed-related goals along the way during the Chiron's development. But it doesn't make sense that Bugatti no longer cares about being the fastest production car on the road.
At the moment, Koenigsegg is king. As soon as Bugatti made a 0-248-0 mph speed proclamation for its Chiron, Koenigsegg quickly bested it. Then Koenigsegg kept going and smashed some more speed records. Bugatti was no doubt paying attention and was perhaps in awe of what the Swedish car maker achieved.
Our theory? The Chiron can't keep up with Koenigsegg's monsters right now. Perhaps a Super Sport model is in the works that will bring Bugatti back to the speed-record table. For now, the automaker can claim it's no longer interested in such pursuits, but that's like taking your ball and going home.
Except you can't take this ball...because Koenigsegg is holding on to it tightly.