Known for its automotive missiles, Bugatti has increased the caliber of its already ballistic Chiron with a more maneuverable variant, the Chiron Pur Sport. The car was made public as the world began sheltering in place due to the pandemic, forcing the French marque to hold a video debut from its headquarters in Molsheim on March 3. But it didn’t diminish the moment.
“Bugatti customers are excited for another take on the Chiron, especially a version focused on cornering and agility,” says Cedric Davy, chief operating officer for Bugatti of the Americas. “This has driven a high demand for the car in the U.S. despite the fact we have only been able to present the Chiron Pur Sport virtually. Bugatti customers and prospects are eager to see and experience it for themselves at the end of the Summer.”
That timeline might seem rather optimistic considering the virus-related delays. As with many of Europe’s high-performance automakers, however, Bugatti has cautiously reopened and, on Tuesday, announced that one of its first orders of business was to put the Pur Sport through its paces at Germany’s Blister Berg circuit.
Over the course of three days, two prototypes—wearing custom Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires over innovatively designed magnesium wheels—attacked the 2.6-mile racetrack’s 19 turns. Far from flat, the course rises and falls 44 times with climbs and descents of 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively, and a total elevation change of almost 230 feet.
The Pur Sport was designed for this type of testing ground. Compared to the original Chiron, premiered in 2016, this version’s athleticism has been improved with, among other enhancements, a 110.2-pound weight reduction, a stiffer chassis, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with a 15 percent shorter gear ration than its predecessor, and an additional drive mode. The latter, designated ESC Sport+, allows skilled pilots to drift the hypercar—as if its 1,500 hp and 218 mph top speed won’t induce enough adrenaline.
Throughout the lap sessions, a team of eight engineers and three mechanics—all adhering to current health protocols—crunched the numbers and made requisite adjustments to the 16-cylinder power train. And there’s more track time in store, including upcoming orbits around the infamous Nürburgring circuit.
Priced at nearly $3.6 million, the extremely-limited-edition Chiron Pur Sport is the first new offering from the marque in 2020. It follows last year’s premiere of the Centodieci, Divo and, of course, the Chiron Super Sport 300+, a model based on the vehicle that set a new production-car speed record of 304.7 mph on August 2, 2019.
Where does the latest release fit in this illustrious pantheon? “Ettore Bugatti produced race cars, luxurious cars and moving pieces of art, such as the Type 57S Atlantic. All with different purposes, but all built with the same attention to detail and dedication to perfection,” notes Davy. “The Chiron Pur Sport will definitely hold a special place in history as it ties back to this heritage, offering a very different driving experience focused more on cornering and lateral acceleration. The fact it is limited to only 60 units worldwide will also make it a prized possession for collectors.”