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Geneva show: Bugatti dials up Chiron sportiness

Sporty spice: About 18 kilograms has been trimmed from the Chiron’s kerb weight, with carbon-fibre windscreen wiper arms – a world first for a production car – contributing to the weight loss.

Less weight and better handling helps Bugatti Chiron hypercar earn Sport moniker

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Bugatti logo7 Mar 2018

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

NOT content with its standing among the hypercar elite, Bugatti has ushered in the Chiron Sport, a lighter and more dynamically capable version of the ‘regular’ record-breaking Chiron.

The first examples of the Chiron Sport are set to be delivered to owners by the end of this year, with each to wear a sticker price of $US3.26 million ($A4.18 million) before on-road costs and options.

According to Bugatti Automobiles president Stephan Winkelmann, the Chiron Sport was created for hypercar buyers that want more sporting intent in their vehicles.

“We have developed the Chiron Sport for customers wanting an even sportier driving experience with their Chiron, with improved lateral dynamics on winding roads,” he said.

“What was important for us was to leave unchanged the unique character of the Chiron, its combination of ultimate performance, longitudinal acceleration and maximum speed with luxury, comfort and everyday usability.

“The Chiron Sport has become perceptibly more nimble, and its new agility, especially in tight corners, makes for a much more emotional experience for the driver on winding roads and handling circuits.”

Specifically, about 18 kilograms has been trimmed from the Chiron’s kerb weight partly thanks to the addition of several new parts, including new-look lightweight Course alloy wheels, a carbon-fibre stabiliser and intercooler, and a lighter exhaust deflector and rear window glass.

Furthermore, the inclusion of carbon-fibre windscreen wiper arms – a world first for a production car – and 3D-printed aluminium windscreen wiper arm tips contribute towards 1.4kg of the weight loss. The windscreen wiper arms also now have a more aerodynamically friendly shape.

A dynamic handling package has been added, including a tweaked suspension set-up that means the shock absorbers now react 10 per cent more stiffly on average. Steering has also been modified, but specific changes have not been detailed yet.

These new suspension and steering settings are only active in the Handling driving mode, providing a greater point of differentiation from the EB driving mode.

Additionally, the rear-axle differential has been optimised, while a new dynamic torque vectoring function helps distribute torque individually to the wheels on each side, “significantly improving the steering behaviour and agility of the vehicle, especially in tight curves”, according to Bugatti.

The result of these efforts is a five-second faster lap time around the handling course of the Nardo test circuit in Southern Italy, including cornering speeds of more than 200km/h.

Improving weight and handling was prioritised over straight-line performance, meaning the Chiron’s 8.0-litre quad-turbocharged W16 petrol engine carries over to the Chiron Sport, producing 1103kW of power at 6700rpm and 1600Nm of torque from 2000 to 6000rpm.

Thus, the Chiron Sport sprints from standstill to 100km/h in 2.4 seconds, while its top speed is electronically limited to 420km/h, but rumours suggest a terminal velocity of 463km/h is possible.

An all-wheel-drive system sends the aforementioned outputs to the ground via a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Lucky owners will be able to visually distinguish the Chiron Sport from the regular Chiron by looking at its four round exhaust tips, anodised-black engine starter button, driving mode selector knob and marketing plate, while a ‘Sport’ logo graces the scuff plates and centre console.

To commemorate the Chiron Sport’s imminent launch, Bugatti is allowing buyers to customise their vehicles with several new paint colour and trim options.

An even more potent version of the Chiron, dubbed Super Sport, is still believed to be on the cards, but timing for its reveal remains up in the air.

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