Sunday, June 3, 2018

How the Bugatti Chiron Gets to 260 MPH Safely

By: Sebastien Bell
Making cars go fast really isn’t that difficult. Drop it from a great height and even the Beetle can outrun a Porsche. But doing so that everything ends in smiles instead of tears isn’t quite so easy.
It takes a lot of planning and the sort of attention to detail that Freud would have a lot to say about. In Carfection’s latest video, Henry Catchpole speaks to the fastest driver on earth, Andy Wallace, about the fastest production car on earth, the Bugatti Chiron.

The top speed of the Chiron is something of a mystery because Bugatti won’t actually let it off the leash completely. That may be annoying, but Wallace gives you an idea of the forces being applied to the car that make achieving more speed so difficult.
Rumor has it that tire technology is what’s preventing the Chiron from hitting 300 mph right now. That sounds odd until you consider the fact that despite only weighing 2.5 grams, the dust cap at the edge of the rim spins up to 3,000 G at the car’s limited top speed of 420 kph (260 mph). That means that at speed, the 2.5 g (0.08 ounces) dust cap ends up weighing more like 5 kg (11 lbs).
At speed, the car’s diffuser also flattens at the back to reduce drag and ease the car’s progress. Even still, though, the car has enough downforce to keep locked in its lane, unlike the 250 mph McLaren F1, whose small skips, Wallace reports, were enough to stop your heart.
And it’s not just in the pursuit of straight-line speed that Bugatti has been clever. Around a track, too, the Chiron uses the air intelligently, not just deploying a rising spoiler at the back, but increase rake (making the lower at the front) to help increase front downforce, too—ensuring that the handling is still balanced front to rear.
Speaking of air, at 260 mph, the engine consumes 1,000 liters of air per second, which is why the Chiron’s 16 cylinder engine now has four turbochargers. Chugging along up to 4,000 rpm, two turbos is enough to feed the massive engine’s appetites, but 6,700 rpm, the volume of air required to make 1,500 hp means that the third and fourth turbos are essential.
The video covers a whole lot more besides. It really helps you understand why the Chiron isn’t just a hot rod, but a carefully crafted machine that functions with an incredible harmony.

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