With nearly 1,500 horsepower emanating from its 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W-16 engine, the Bugatti Chiron isn’t what you’d call slow. The French hypercar can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 2.4-seconds and is electronically limited to 261 mph. Those are certainly eye-popping numbers, but they just might pale in comparison to a future version of the Chiron.
In a Thursday interview with Automobile, Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann said an “extreme” version of the Chiron with a top speed in excess of 310 mph is a “possibility.” However, such a model is far from a slam dunk. Winkelmann noted that two factors that would have to be met for an extreme model to happen.
“But there are quite a few ifs involved, like if someone is willing to supply suitable tires, or if the return on investment meets the target,” he said.
If Bugatti does decide to make a 310 mph version of the Chiron, it won’t do so with the help of electric power. Winkelmann says the technology simply doesn’t exist to make a battery cell small and light enough for such an application. So instead, a 300+mph Chiron would rely solely on an upgraded internal-combustion engine.
Even though the Bugatti brand has always been about all-out speed, the possibility of an even faster Chiron model is out of step with recent comments from Winkelmann. Bugatti has never officially tested the Chiron’s top speed, and in April 2018 Winkelmann said a top speed test “is not my priority.”
Winkelmann never gave a reason for why the speed test was such a low priority, but it could have to do with the fact that Koenigsegg set a world speed record for a production car at 277.9 mph, besting the previous king, Bugatti’s own Veyron, by 10 mph. It’s possible the current Chiron simply can’t top the Koenigsegg and Bugatti is saving face by not conducting a top speed test.
However, a 310-mph version of the Chiron would certainly be enough to topple the Swede speed king. That in itself might be enough motivation for Bugatti to build it.
Winkelmann also commented on the Chiron's future, saying the brand may stretch the car's lifecycle with an update or use the engine in a replacement car. That car could be engineered to offer a convertible top, as Winkelmann noted buyers have repeatedly asked for an open-top version.
Let's hope Bugatti goes for all of it: a 310-mph top speed, a longer run of the Chiron, and a replacement car with an available convertible top.