The Bugatti Engineering team recently conducted routine straight-line aerodynamic testing of the Bugatti Chiron at a very special location: NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. While acceleration was the focus at with Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds – the Shuttle Landing Facility operated by Space Florida –, the team also treated legendary astronaut Jon A. McBride to a high-speed drive on the very same runway where he landed a space shuttle.
“I’ve been on as many craft as you can think of at sea. I’ve flown in space. But the ride in this Bugatti today was one of the highlights of my entire life,” said Jon McBride. “It was a real pleasure.”
Such aerodynamic testing requires precision, length and good weather, which is why the team chose the Shuttle Landing Facility. Not only is it impeccably maintained to meet NASA and Bugatti standards, it is also one of the most level runways in the world. Additionally, the mild Florida winter contributed to the ideal testing conditions.
The results from the Chiron acceleration tests met the engineering team’s high expectations. The team used a production vehicle with a two-tone exterior of maroon and black exposed carbon fiber and a complementary red and black interior. The 1,500-hp Chiron is capable of extraordinary acceleration, as it can reach 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.4 seconds.
Jon McBride said of the Chiron’s acceleration: “I think compared to what I’ve flown the Chiron is probably as good or out-performs them. I mean I’ve felt some good acceleration in my life, but I don’t think anything better than what I experienced today.” One of the few men to spend time in space, he called the Chiron “a man’s dream” and the Bugatti engineering team’s test results confirmed his depiction.
In this special year of 2019, as Bugatti celebrates the 110th anniversary of its creation, customers of the French hyper sports car manufacturer will be offered several opportunities to join the festivities in special ways. Among them, the possibility to experience the same breathtaking acceleration that impressed astronaut Jon McBride so much. Details of this offer will be disclosed in the upcoming weeks.
1 Fuel consumption, l/100km: urban 35.2 /extra urban 15.2 /combined 22.5; CO2 emissions combined, g/km: 516; efficiency class: G