The journey to 1500 HP began with a phone call; However, this was no ordinary call. Privilege is a word that pales in comparison to the experience offered by Nahwasharq Co. Ltd., the official importer of Bugatti in Bahrain & Saudi Arabia. We found ourselves in Manama, surrounded by exceptional luxurious traits of the French ultra-luxury brand: The Ritz-Carlton. A secluded villa branded “La Maison Bugatti” would serve as an opulent base camp for the duration of the stay. Here began the Chiron Experience.
On the first day, I was greeted by former Le Mans champion and now official driver for the brand, Mr. Andy Wallace. Having driven the Veyron a few years back, I knew what to expect, or at least that’s what I thought. After a long chat and a good cup of coffee, we headed out to the desert, to a remote, closed location to unravel the car’s bestial nature.
Nothing can prepare you to what happened next, the sheer linear acceleration (on a closed road) reaching 331km/h in seconds felt surreal, and the braking phenomenal; With its 420mm disks with 8 pistons, 4 pads per caliper and the air brakes which deploy over 180km/h, the car reaches its full stop in seconds. We joined the 300 club and back to a dead stop in seconds. Thankfully, the Chiron comes equipped with custom made tires for it, labeled as Pilot Sport Cup 2″ BG”. These tires follow a peculiar installation where they are glued to the rims using a special adhesive since 1,600nm of pure torque would shred any other rubber.
After this impressive display, it was my turn to get into the hot seat. In traffic, the car handles itself like a luxurious sedan, without any clunks, gearbox noise or slippery clutches. Being one of the rarest cars on earth, it is sure to attract more than your share of attention. After spending hours between rush hour traffic and open roads, the Chiron felt as nimble as David, and as fierce as Goliath. Truly an engineering masterpiece. As comfortable and at home on the track as it is in bumper to bumper traffic.
The interior is not complicated, it has class, distinction; it is simple. It is a ménage of futuristic and elegance. From the highest quality leather, to the center console, every inch of it is carefully crafted to meet the highest standards. A stand out and unique feature of the Chiron is the presence of a “top speed key”. The super car is limited to 380 km/h in all modes. The top speed key allows you to drive faster, up to 420 km/h actually, the top speed of the Chiron, limited for road-use. Slide it into the left console next to the driver’s seat, and you’ll have uncaged the car’s full potential; this key assists and controls drag reduction and safety check ins.
Let’s get technical: since the Veyron, computing power has massively evolved; so has engine performance. 32.6 seconds for acceleration from a standstill to four hundred kilometers per hour and braking to a standstill in 41.96 seconds is a world breaking record. The wide torque band and low revving nature of the engine is achieved by the new Bugatti two-stage turbocharging, that was developed for the Chiron. At low RPM the engine closes off two of the four turbochargers. This forces the two active turbochargers to “spin up” quickly to provide the necessary boost to achieve maximum torque at only 2000 RPM. Then at 3800 RPM the other two turbochargers are activated to ensure sufficient volume of combustion air to continue the maximum torque band all the way to 6000 RPM. Resulting in 1600 Nm from 2000 – 6000 RPM, which is the reason the Chiron can accelerate so quickly. The result is 1500 HP at only 6700 RPM with very little load on the engine.
The Bugatti Chiron experience was a dream, from the event location to the meet & greet with Andy Wallace, to the car itself. This Brilliant piece of engineering is like nothing I’ve driven before. It defies the laws of physics as we know it and it might be the last pure combustion engine supercar. Its acceleration is beyond orgasmic, and the symphony it makes is perpetually engraved in my heart and mind. Bugatti has managed to truly create an avant-guarde, elite supercar that will endure through mundane traffic and still entertain you on track for hours in ways you can’t fathom. All while turning heads. The team from Chateau St-Jean have truly delivered the unexpected, a designer spaceship with the mobility and finesse of a ballerina, and I wait in anticipation for whatever Mad Scientist creation they pump out next. One thing is guaranteed; we are not ready for it.
Bien Joué Bugatti!
Thank you Nahwasharq
BUGATTI Saudi Arabia & Bahrain – Nahwasharq Co. Ltd
Prince Abdulaziz Bin Mousaed Bin Jalawi St.
Alsulaimanyh district, P.O. Box 19115,
Riyadh 11435, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Written by: Patrick Karam