Bugatti builds fast cars. While no one can deny the attributes of the Veyron and Chiron, you might not realize that Bugatti’s Speedline is a history of breaking records. Their latest press release is a chronology of raising the bar. Forcing everyone else to scramble in an attempt to keep up is the best way to show the world what you are capable of. While it would be impractical to list every Bugatti Speed Record, we would like to share the most significant speeds with you.
In 1903, Ettore Bugatti achieved a speed of over 100 km/h in a vehicle he developed himself, the De Dietrich 60 CV Course Bugatti Type 5. The vehicle was powered by a four-cylinder engine with a 12.86-litre capacity, one ignition coil per combustion chamber, overhead valves and hopper cooling. The 60 PS two-seater was even able to achieve a top speed of 120 km/h. Only two of the racing cars were produced within two years.
Bugatti showcased a brand new racing car with the Type 35. Its eight-cylinder engine with a capacity of two litres initially delivered 95 PS and powered the vehicle at speeds up to 190 km/h. With the Type 35 B, the capacity increased to 2.3 litres and a compressor helped to deliver even more power. With 140 PS, the racing car achieved speeds of over 215 km/h. Bugatti won around 2,000 races in the Type 35 in the years that followed. This makes the vehicle the most successful racing car of all time. With its Type 57 S, the Bugatti surpassed the 200 km/h mark in 1934 in a car that was intended exclusively for road use.
Over 300 km/h
Ettore Bugatti first came up with some ideas for a roadworthy high-speed car that travels over 300 km/h in 1929. Technical drawings and sketches indicated that the eight-cylinder in-line engine from the Type 41 Royale in combination with a Type 50 gearbox would theoretically have achieved the targeted speed. But he did not pursue the project for economic reasons. Bugatti kept the magic number in mind for decades, before Romano Artioli later took on the mission. The Italian, who purchased the Bugatti trademark in 1987 and built the super sports car of the 1990s in the form of the EB110, broke the 300 km/h mark in 1992 and set a new speed record at 342 km/h. The EB110 featured a 3.5-liter V12 mid-engine with five valves per combustion chamber. Depending on the model and development stage, the output generated was between 560 PS in the GT and 610 PS in the Supersport (SS).
Over 400 km/h
In 2005, the Bugatti Veyron became the first hyper sports car of the 2000s to achieve speeds of over 408.47 km/h. This made the Veyron, with the 8.0-liter 16-cylinder engine and a power output of 1,001 PS, the fastest series-production sports car in the world. A second key, known as the Speed Key, had to be activated in order to reach the speed of more than 400 km/h. On 26 June 2010, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport broke the world speed record for road-approved super sports cars. Under the supervision of Guinness World Records™ and the German TÜV, the SuperSport reached a top speed of 431.072 km/h, making it the fastest series-production sports car in the world.
In 2013, the open-top Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse set yet another record: reaching 408.84 km/h, it became the world’s fastest road-approved roadster.
490 km/h / 304 mph
In summer 2019, the Chiron Super Sport 300+ raised the bar to a level that has yet to be matched. With its 8.0-liter W16 engine and 1,600 PS power output, the hyper sports car from Molsheim became the first-ever series-production car to reach more than 300 mph: it achieved an exactly measured speed of 304.773 mph, which corresponds to 490.484 km/h.
“In recent decades, Bugatti has shown that we build the fastest and most exclusive vehicles in the world. We are very proud of our history. However, we don’t just define ourselves by records or maximum speeds,” says Stephan Winkelmann. Hyper sports cars from Bugatti offer more than just top speeds: unimagined dimensions of performance, luxury, exclusivity, design and automotive hand craftsmanship. And Bugatti will continue to focus on this in the future.