Koenigsegg set the industry ablaze when it used an owner's car to set a 277.9 mph top speed world record for street legal production cars. Since then, all eyes have been on a handful of rivals, including Bugatti, which held the production-car record for years. Now, the French supercar brand says the Chiron could hit 280 mph.
But, there are no plans to exercise such a claim.
"I think it could easily go 440km/h or 450km/h (274 mph or 280 mph)," Stefan Winkelmann, Bugatti CEO, told Car Advice in a Monday report. He added, "We've not made the test. If you do it then it's not something that needs to be done only once, but all the cars need to be built in a certain way."
Winkelmann is essentially throwing a bucket of cold water on the Koenigsegg Agera RS. The supercar managed to clock its combined 277.9 mph top speed but the feat hasn't been repeated since. In fact, shooting for the top-speed record was the owner's idea, not Koenigsegg's. The Swedish company supported the endeavor along the way.
As for Bugatti, it's easy to claim something, and it seems unlikely the company has any intentions to back up its CEO's words. Instead, it plans to focus on a different kind of performance element with the newly revealed Divo.
"Top speed is one slice of the performance cake, but being so far at the edge in terms of performance brings penalties," Winkelmann said. "If you want to look more into lateral acceleration you have to compromise on longitudinal acceleration."
While Bugatti moves in a different direction, plenty of rivals will gladly try to fill the void. The race to 300 mph is alive and well as two rivals, Hennessey Performance Engineering and SSC, continue development on their own speed machines: the Venom F5 and Tuatara supercars. Both companies believe they have the engineering to crack into the 300 mph territory, but only one company can be first.