The engine heat rises from the ventilation grilles, making the air shimmer. The brake discs crackle, the exhaust clicks rhythmically. After the last test lap, Andy Wallace gets out of the car and grins. Today he has driven the new Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport1 for the first time. “I tried to develop a vague idea of what I might expect. It is unbelievable how the Chiron Pur Sport devours the bends on the handling track,” he says. “I am really impressed by the precise balance of the running gear, the extremely high grip level, the exact steering response and the way in which the Chiron Pur Sport accelerates so quickly and safely out of the corners. This car has exceeded my expectations by far,” explains Andy Wallace.
Shortly before the start of production of the new hyper sports car, the engineers are on the finishing straight of development on the proving ground Pista di Nardò (Nardò Technical Center) in the Italian region of Apulia. They are now changing only nuances and working on fine-tuning the engine control system, running gear, brakes and gearbox. The laps on the handling track in Nardò are the final check before development is completed. Also there: Andy Wallace, Bugatti test driver, instructor, long-time racing driver, Le Mans winner, and multiple winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona. Wallace knows the finer points of many different race cars and hyper sports cars, and is therefore familiar with the subtleties and special characteristics of the engine and running gear at all speeds. Last year, he broke the speed record with a Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+*, and now holds this with a speed of 304.773 mph (490.484 km/h).
“Even though I have already been doing this job for a few years, I am actually in Nardò for the first time. I like the proving ground very much, above all the handling track with its many varied corners,” explains Andy Wallace. “The fast right-left-right combinations on the demanding 6.2-kilometre long track are great fun in the Chiron Pur Sport. The shorter-ratio gearbox results in even more brutal acceleration out of the bends. The lateral acceleration potential is incredible. The Chiron Pur Sport gives the driver super direct feedback, which makes driving easier,” adds a delighted Andy Wallace. Because the Chiron Pur Sport is still a luxurious hyper sports car with road approval and not an uncompromising race car. “The Chiron Pur Sport is extremely agile for driving on public roads, but it still offers enough comfort. The engineers have set up the running gear perfectly. Firm and direct, but not too hard,” he says.
From autumn 2020, Bugatti will produce 60 Chiron Pur Sport vehicles in Molsheim, Alsace. Priced at 3 million euros (net), these cars are for customers who are excited by the possibility of cornering in the lateral dynamics limit range. The first customer vehicles will be delivered before the end of the year.
1 CHIRON PUR SPORT: This model is not subject to Directive 1999/94/EC, as type approval has not yet been granted.