What words come to mind when you hear Bugatti? Speed? Sheer acceleration? Stunning aesthetics? Even terrify and insane, perhaps? For over a century now, Bugatti have been known as one of the most daring and innovative car manufacturers in the world, persistently striving to break records and reach new heights of lightning-fast pace and power. Their cars are wide, heavy, and ultimately, supremely, astonishingly quick.
Most recognisable of all the Bugatti’s is perhaps the Veyron: the 253 mile an hour, 1,838-kilogram, all-wheel drive machine. The first edition of the Veyron was released in 2005, and since then the Grand Sport, Super Sport, and Grand Sport Vitesse have all followed. Across all four renditions, only 450 were ever made. The original Veyron was named as the ‘Car of the Decade’ for 2000-2009 by Top Gear, and will forever be world-renowned. The bodywork is immaculate, with sharp edges and flawless curves in all the right places. Not only are the aesthetics simply breath-taking, but it has the performance to match. Its legacy is irrevocable, and for years it held the title of being the fastest street-legal production car on the planet.
To reflect the Bugatti Veyron’s incredible feats of speed, Top Gear even conducted a race between a Veyron, and a Euro Fighter Typhoon. For reference, that’s a fighter jet that can reach a top speed of 1,550 miles per hour. Now of course, the Typhoon won the race, but that wasn’t the point. For a solid few seconds, the Veyron actually managed to best the plane in terms of acceleration, from a standstill position. The drag race established the Veyron’s utterly insane level of thrust, and the outlandish video cemented its place as one of the world’s most desirable cars.
Before the Bugatti Veyron, a car called the EB 110 was tearing up tarmac and swallowing entire miles whole. The EB 110 was Bugatti’s only production car made by Bugatti Automobili S.p.A, and 139 of them were produced between 1991 and 1995. It was an odd sports car, not conventional in the slightest. The body was shaped differently to other popular sports and super cars at the time. It was more boxy, less sleek, and quite frankly, not nearly as good-looking. Next to classics like a Lamborghini Countach, or a Ferrari Testarossa, the EB 110 could arguably be considered the ‘Ugly Duckling.’ The headlights were closely set, with a long and low body that didn’t really match. Romano Artioli, the Bugatti President at the time, was displeased with the styling when he was shown the prototype, and labelled it as ‘far too angular.’ He also disapproved of the shovel nose, flared rear wheel arches and the aluminium honeycomb chassis.
Extensive work went into restyling the EB 100, and really, that itself is a testament to its beauty. The brilliance of the EB 110 lies underneath, and then once the driver appreciates the machine itself, they begin to realise that the EB 110 does in fact have the aesthetics to match the performance. It had an aircraft-style cockpit with a rounded glass front, as well as scissor doors which were and still are a rarity. Another fantastic feature was the inclusion of a glass engine-cover, which is symbolic in a way, as it shows that Bugatti focus on performance as well as purity-of-looks, and that’s what they pride themselves on. It was powered by a 3.5-litre Bugatti quad-turbocharged V12, capable of producing 553 horsepower and reaching an astonishing 220.6 miles per hour!
Where the EB 110 particularly excels is its heritage, and the plethora of doors it unlocked for Bugatti for the future. It is so named the EB 110, as it was introduced in Paris and Versailles on the 15th September 1991, exactly 110 years after the birth of Ettore Bugatti. The car is a love-letter to the great automobile designer, and is a testament of the journey Bugatti as an entity has had to endure on their way to success.
Now, onto the Chiron. This is Bugatti’s perfect recipe: the immense performance and power of the Veyron mixed in with the wonderfully rich heritage of the EB 110, creating a machine capable of producing 1,479 horsepower, and reaching a top speed of 304.773 miles per hour exactly. It instantaneously became the first ever production vehicle to surpass the threshold of 300 miles per hour, and that is still the case today. This is achievable through nothing short of perfection. Each measurement is calculated precisely to ensure the car has the ultimate power-to-weight ratio, retaining all the thrust it can manage without relinquishing any control. The engine is an 8.0-litre quad-turbocharged W16, and through the heavy utilisation of carbon fibre, the car weighs just 1,996-kilograms. That may sound like a lot, but for a car that has to accommodate an engine that is essentially two V8s bolted together (in a far more intricate and technical manner, of course), it’s nothing.
Then there is the Chiron 42. The Chiron itself managed to reach 249 miles per hour (400 km/h), and then brake again to a complete halt, in just forty-two seconds. Therefore, Bugatti felt it was appropriate that they make a special edition Chiron to pay homage to that incredible feat. Performance-wise, the 42 isn’t any different from a regular Chiron. For ‘safety-reasons,’ the top speed of the road production car is limited to 261 miles per hour, because that speed is perfectly fine. It has the same engine as a regular Chiron, weighs the same, puts out the same horsepower. It’s simply a cosmetic change. The car is adorned with an almost ‘Vantablack’ paint scheme, accented by bright blue lining the front bumper, interior and brake callipers. It looks like something out of a science-fiction movie, and is a masterful tribute to the company, through all of its highs and lows.
Our model of the 42 is a faithful replication, complete with every intricacy imaginable. The matte black finish expertly complements the bright blue trim, much like the real-life counterpart, and thus is a fantastic addition to any car enthusiast’s collection! Encapsulated in the model is Bugatti’s legacy, and the lengthy journey they’ve endured to reach the pinnacle of the motoring industry that is the Chiron 42.