Bugatti Chiron hits 490km/h, first hypercar to pass 300mph (video)

Bugatti has done it. Set the new record for the fastest car in the world. Well, sort of. It’s not technically a production car record. However, a near-production prototype based on the Chiron Sport has helped Bugatti become the first manufacturer to crack the 300mph mark.

The car is based on a Bugatti Chiron Sport and it’s been modified specifically to surpass the 300mph barrier. You might notice the body features a longer tail (250mm) than the Chiron, and the hydraulic rear wing is removed and replaced by a sleeker yet fixed item.

Inside, a full roll cage is installed to provide some level of enhanced safety, although, we’re not sure if it’d help during a crash at near-500km/h. The passenger seat is also removed and in its place is a variety of computer gear. Some luxuries have been removed for the sake of weight reduction.

Bugatti spent around six months to prepare the car for the high-speed run, and worked directly with Michelin to come up with some tyres that could handle such crazy speeds. Lastly, the suspension system was revised to lower the Chiron and manage the ride height for optimum drag reduction.

Using Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessien test facility, which features a whopping 8.7km dead-straight strip, racing car driver Andy Wallace took the Chiron to a speed of 304.773mph (490.484km/h). This was verified by TÜV (the Technical Inspection Association in Germany). Speaking about the run, Stephan Winkelmann, president of Bugatti, said in a statement:

“What a record! We’re overjoyed to be the first manufacturer ever to have achieved a speed of more than 300 miles per hour. It’s a milestone for eternity. I would like to thank the whole team and driver Andy Wallace for this outstanding performance.”

As for a record? Since the car isn’t technically a production-spec vehicle, it doesn’t take the crown as the fastest production car in the world. However, Bugatti becomes the first car manufacturer to surpass 300mph.

Since it is a prototype, it probably gives us some clues of what to expect from the upcoming Chiron Super Sport. Even the colour scheme seems to be inspired by the old Veyron Super Sport predecessor. Check out the video below to see how it went.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.