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Bugatti Pulls Plug On Open-Air Chiron, Land Speed Record Attempt

In a wide-ranging interview, Stephen Winkelmann, honcho of Bugatti, put to rest the idea that the hypercar manufacturer was going to attempt a run at the land speed record for production models. He also noted there would be no drop-top Chiron Divo, as well.

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At one time, not too long ago, it seemed that the Bugatti Chiron was going to add a drop-top version. However, the Volkswagen subsidiary has dropped that plan.

That was the word from Bugatti honcho Stephen Winkelmann who recently told Motor Trend that they “decided to in the Chiron project not to do an open-top version.” Winkelmann commented in an interview published this week.

There Was Some Cause For Hope

Until that comment, there was some hope that the hypercar might have a spyder like the Veyron. The Bugatti Veyron has two open-top versions, the Grand Sport And Grand Sport Vitesse models.

Winkelman took over this year from Wolfgang Duerheimer earlier this year. He was the former chief of Audi Sport and Lamborghini. And though he didn’t explain the reason,, speculated that a drop-top could compromise the strength and rigidity of the model’s spine, an essential part of the entire Chiron structure.

The Bugatti chief did mention that he had hoped those who wanted a drop-top might gain a bit of comfort from the Sky View option. The option replaces the solid roof with a pair of non-removable glass panels. The panels are the only “open-air” alternative that is likely. Though there have been rumors of a T-Top version, Winkelmann’s interview put them to rest.

The M-T interview also brought up the issue of the land speed record which had been the subject of some reporting earlier this year. Bugatti was reportedly readying a specially prepared Divo for an attempt at a new land speed record for a production model. However, Winkelmann told M-T, that Bugatti was no longer attempting the record – Duerheimer had indicated the attempt would be sometime this year.

Many Aspects To Performance Besides Speed

Winkelmann noted that performance has many facets:

  • Acceleration
  • Braking
  • Handling

Winkelmann indicated that to highlight the Divo’s performance the automaker had to cut weight and increase downforce “to showcase that top speed is important, but not everything.”

Also, Hennessey Performance Engineering and SSC North America are aiming for 300-mph-plus top speeds with their hypercars.

Are Other Changes Coming At Bugatti?

He concluded by hinting that there were more changes likely coming from Bugatti. For example, he said, neither the Chiron Sport nor the Divo isn’t the true successor to the Veyron Super Sport, a holder of the land speed record. He seemed to be suggesting that a more extreme Chiron could be in the offing.

He also noted the Bugatti is continuing its research and development and that electrification may have a place.

Source: The Motor Authority

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