Bugatti likes to keep in close contact with its customers, often through exclusive driving events held all over the globe. The events are organized by the automaker, which handles all of the logistics for the customers' cars and ensures each is running at optimal condition.
The latest of these events was the Bugatti 400 Drive 2023 held recently at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds, located at the Kennedy Space Center on Florida's Merritt Island. The site is actually the original landing strip for the Space Shuttle program, and it consists of a three-mile-long straight. Bugatti released a short video from the event on Monday.
In 2018, a Chiron owner drove to the car's governed top speed of 261 mph during the proving ground's Straight Line Aerodynamic Testing event, which is open to the public. For Bugatti's own event, the targeted top speed was 400 kph, or roughly 248 mph.
The 400-kph speed was picked by Bugatti for its event in recognition of Ferdinand Piëch, whose original challenge for a supercar that could “drive 400 kph in the morning and accompany its owner to the opera in the evening” led to the development of the Veyron. According to Bugatti, at such speeds the wheels are rotating so fast that a sensor that weighs just 44 grams weighs the equivalent of 132 kg, or 291 pounds.
A variety of Bugatti models were present, including a Divo as well as a Chiron Super Sport 300+, the customer example of the car that reached a top speed of 304.773 mph in 2019. Every modern Bugatti is powered by the same turbocharged 8.0-liter W-16 engine, with an output that reaches 1,577 hp in models like the Super Sport 300+ and 1,480 hp in the standard Chiron.
Before they took to the runway, the customers were given instruction on what to expect and how to handle the car at such high speeds. One curious rule is letting the car wander at high speeds rather than trying to steer it.
One of the participants wasn't a customer but a dealer from Bugatti Greenwich (Connecticut). He was invited as an award for his strong sales performance in 2022, Bugatti said.