Hey look, there’s a new Bugatti here, the Bugatti Chiron Sport. I’m sure a lot of people will be excited by this news. I, however, am not one of them. There’s a new Bugatti Chiron Sport? So what.
Yes, yes, I know. The Bugatti Chiron Sport, like the “normal” Chiron or even the Veyron before it, is a technical marvel. There’s about as much technological sorcery and power packed into these things as an ICBM. The engine is a purposefully weird layout with enough forced induction blowers, coolers, intercoolers, and radiators to seem like something from an WWII fighter.
And all that power is put to the ground through a very sophisticated all-wheel drive system and tires the size of oil drums.
But again: So what? Bugattis are all wonderful, technical exercises, but why does that really matter? Would I be as impressed if someone built a steam car as fast as a Ferrari? Sure, but I wouldn’t care all that much. You built a prop plane that can break the sound barrier? Cool . . . but, so what? Who’s going to buy the thing? None of the world’s air forces, I can tell you that. So Bugatti does all this cool stuff and gets monstrous levels of performance. But they don’t race. And if you don’t race, it doesn’t count. Period.
Bugatti, the old man himself, even for all his affectations of a third rate maitre d’ from Leon, and being picky for pickiness sake, at least he Raced. These new guys, Volkswagen, essentially, they bought the Bugatti name and slapped it onto an Audi/VW/Porsche-drawing board and made a very good road car. But for me and my money, if you don’t race it, you don’t count.
Handling & Torque Tech
Curiously, what differentiates the Bugatti Chiron Sport from the normal Chiron is weight. The Chiron Sport is supposed to be all about handling performance, but you don’t have to look very deep to see it’s mainly a trim package with some new wheels and a few bits and bobs here and there. You think this thing is going to handle? At more than two tons, 4,400 pounds actually, I’d bet any one of the new Lotus special editions would chew this thing up and spit out the pieces on a tight mountain road.
The new Chiron Sport, which has the same power output and performance data as the other Chirons, does come with a dynamic handling package, a stiffer suspension, and the new Dynamic Torque Vectoring function. Nice. Torque vectoring is important, and it really transformed the first road car its inventor, Ferrari, put it on more than a decade ago. Thanks for joining the party.
The Chiron Sport also gets a new wheel design and four-pipe exhaust deflector. And by deflector, I’m guessing they mean diffusor. Which means Bugatti focused on blowing the underbody, and sticking the thing down on high-speed corners. And that’s all well and good, but it’s also a gimme. Of course they’re going to maximize high-speed grip. All they got is speed. Trying to get more handling at lower speeds would reap little rewards for a Holstein of a car.
Which explains this little tidbit from Bugatti: “Chiron Sport corners significantly faster: lap times on Nardò handling circuit five seconds better than with Chiron.” Have you seen a map of the Nardò handling circuit? I count one long straight, two high-speed wiggly bits, and more than a few very high-speed sweepers. Put this thing on a course where you need Handling and not just “handling,” and you’ll get what I’m on about.
To further understand this, clock to this: The weight has been reduced 18 kilograms, or around 36 lbs. That’s it. After all this, it’s dropped the weight of a bag full of groceries. If you dropped that much weight from oh, a Miata, you’d notice it, but on this tank, shedding less than one percent of the all up weight ain’t going to get you bupkis. Oh, and before I forget, the Chiron Sport is the first production vehicle in the automotive industry with carbon fiber windscreen wipers. Really. Talk about gilding the lily.
Pricing & Availability
The base price of the new Bugatti Chiron Sport is €2.65 million net, or $3.26 million for the U.S. market, including transport, customs duties, taxes, and fees. And for that amount of yenom, the filthy rich customers can choose individual color and trim options to “give their car an even sportier appearance.” Larf. For that amount of money, I could choose several cars that would be more fun up a mountainside and back, and none of them would take the automotive equivalent of a papal bull to get serviced.
First deliveries are planned for the end of the year. I’d say get in line, but you already are if this is your sort of car. It’s obviously not to my tastes.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.