As a follow-up to the legendary Veyron, the 2021 Chiron takes the brand’s heritage and its predecessor’s performance and melds them together into one stunning—and stunningly capable—machine. The Chiron’s nearly $3 million price tag matches its extreme persona, but even for that kind of money, it’s almost a performance bargain. It’s powered by a massive 16-cylinder engine that is a marvel of modern engineering, capable of propelling this hypercar to 300 mph and beyond. Besides performance that can alter time, the Chiron looks like nothing else on the road—save for maybe a Veyron—and its interior is lined with fine materials worthy of its price tag. No, this beauty doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or a semi-autonomous driving mode but really, who cares? The Chiron is simply not weighed down by the same practical expectations and requirements as something as plebian as a Lamborghini or a McLaren—which allows it to be all of autodom’s halo car.
What’s New for 2021?
Bugatti has added the Pur Sport model to the Chiron lineup for 2021. This handling-focused trim will set buyers back a whopping $3.6-million but it boasts suspension upgrades, a 110-pound lower curb weight, and a rear spoiler that generates extra downforce. The Pur Sport is a limited-edition model and only 60 will be built.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All Chiron models are motivated by an 8.0-liter 16-cylinder powerplant. This beast of an engine employs four turbochargers to generate a mighty 1500 horsepower and 1180 lb-ft of torque. Bugatti claims that the Chiron makes the dash from zero to 60 mph in a mere 2.3 seconds, and it has a top speed of 261 mph. If the Chiron’s standard engine doesn’t quench your thirst for speed, step up to the Chiron Super Sport 300+. This model is equipped with a slightly more potent version of the base powerplant, and it produces 1578 horsepower. Piloted by factory test driver Andy Wallace, a model with specs almost identical to those of the Chiron Super Sport 300+ logged a record-setting 304.773 mph test-track run. With every model in the Chiron lineup, power is sent to all four wheels by a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
As one would expect from a car with a 1500-hp engine, the Chiron won’t win any points for being eco-friendly. According to the EPA, the 2021 Chiron achieves mileage (we hesitate to use the words “fuel economy”) of up to 9 mpg city and 14 mpg highway. The Pur Sport sees both figures drop by 1 mpg. We haven’t run the Chiron on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, so we can’t evaluate its real-world mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Chiron’s exterior features a C-shaped design cue carved into its side panels, and this element is also present within the car’s cabin. It’s reflected in the graceful curve of a partition that separates driver and passenger. Bugatti has dressed the Chiron’s cabin in top-of-the-line materials, and the interior bears space-age styling elements that add whimsical charm. A flat-bottomed steering wheel greets the driver, and Bugatti claims the glossy center console is made from a single piece of solid aluminum. With the Chiron, it’s best to pack light. The trunk provides just two cubic feet of cargo space.