Montoya breaks 400kph world record in a Bugatti Chiron

2017 F1 season

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Bugatti enlisted former Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya to set a a new speed record in its $2.7 million Chiron hypercar.

Montoya, a seven-times grand prix winner and two-times winner of the Indianapolis 500, set a new world record by accelerating from a standstill up to 400kph and back to a stop again in 41.96 seconds, covering 3.1 kilometres.

The car carried the number 42 which was the number used by Montoya during most of his time in NASCAR after leaving F1.

“It really was incredible to see that you didn’t need the complex preparations we have to make in racing for the 0-400-0 drive,” said Montoya. “With the Chiron, it was all quite easy. Just get in and drive off. Incredible.” The 41-year-old also revealed he did not use a HANS device for the record-breaking run.

Bugatti has not announced which driver will be chosen for its attempts to break the record top speed for a production vehicle which is the 431.072kph it recorded with the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport in 2010. “I’m saving the date in my calendar,” said Montoya.

The Bugatti Chiron uses an quad-turbo, eight-litre, 16-cylinder engine in a W-configuration and produces up to 1,500bhp. It took 32.6 seconds to accelerate to 400kph on Montoya’s run.

“Bugatti is the first car brand that not only calculates how fast a car can go from zero to 400 to zero on a computer, we actually drove it,” said Bugatti president Wolfgang Durheimer.

“Where others are satisfied with theory, we validate our data with real-life values. Just like we did with the Chiron.”

Gallery: Juan Pablo Montoya in the Bugatti Chiron

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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68 comments on “Montoya breaks 400kph world record in a Bugatti Chiron”

  1. Good for him. Impressive car. Really cool to see a contemporary engine built in a 1930s config.

    1. I think they first used this engine on a Bentley, but I think it goes way back, at least my Gran Turismo knowledge tells me there was a VW W12 back in the early 2000’s, anyway really characterful. Merging 2 v8’s kind sounds like brm’s H16, thing, obviously much better engineered.

      1. Yeah, you’re right, there’re more cars from recent decades using something like this or some unsual config. The 1997 VW W12 is one example, then it’s the 1998 Bugatti EB 118, 1999 Bugatti EB 218 and 1999 Bugatti 18/3 Chiron, all 3 concepts using a W18 engine from VW. They used it again for the 1999 Veyron 18/4 Concept. Then, in 2000, they went for the W16 Veyron.

  2. Incredible engineering and undoubtedly one of the last of its kind.

    1. @offdutyrockstar That’s what we said about the last Bugatti, and the last V8 Vantage, truth be told the P1 and the 918 are the real hightech pieces to wonder at.

      1. @flatsix I think you’re just objecting for the sake of objecting here mate, as usual.

        When the last Bugatti was released there was no legislation in place to remove internal combustion engines from the roads, now there are firm deadlines by world governments, VW has pledged to make its entire range electric by 2022 and emissions regulations are becoming ever more stringent, you can’t possibly compare the landscape at the launch of the chiron to how it was when the Veyron was released.

        Noone is disputing the P1 and 918 are the pinnacle of modern engineering, but they are very different prospect to a no compromise 16 cylinder beast which will not be legally permissible to be sold in most countries worldwide within the next two decades.

        And where on earth did the V8 Vantage come into this? 😂

        1. @offdutyrockstar To begin with it is a forum and one typically finds people of different opinions there, apparently something quite a few people seem puzzled by on occasion.

          So, I absolutely believe the world is going all electric but I cannot believe all the engineers suddenly will step out of this wonderful world of petrol engines, otherwise not even this one would’ve seen daylight. I mean there’s countless organisations and companies who spend millions on restoring old Porsches, Ferraris, even rebuilding some from blueprints.

          I feel the petrol engine as we know it will be around much longer than we think. And if not in the common folks their car, it will in exotic ones like the Chiron.

  3. I thought the Chiron was a quad-turbo car

    1. From the article:

      “The Bugatti Chiron uses an quad-turbo, eight-litre, 16-cylinder engine in a W-configuration and produces up to 1,500bhp”

  4. Can someone show a video?

  5. Back in mid-July I spotted a Chiron not 5 minutes from my house. Just sitting there at a quiet intersection on some back roads in farm country north of Toronto. My guess is it was the new owner behind the wheel with a rep beside him instructing him about the car.

  6. Ouch. Mr Koenigsegg is not pleased.

  7. “The Bugatti Chiron uses an quad-turbo, eight-litre, 16-cylinder engine in a W-configuration and produces up to 1,500bhp”

    Hmm, I thought only electric hybrids were “road relevant”.

    1. The Chiron is about as far from road relevant as you can get!

      These cars impress me a great deal in their engineering etc. However I have no understanding as to why anyone would pay so much for something they can’t really use…

      1. The money is pocket change for many. It’s about ego and status.

        1. Sad but true

        2. Or it’s just really really cool and you appreciate the art and engineering of it

      2. I’d go for one if it were also gold plated.

        1. I’d go for one if *I* were gold plated ;-).

    2. A Bugatti Chiron to be road relevant? We obviously do not live in the same world…

    3. You know of a road on which you can drive 400 kph?

        1. @Macleod Yeh good luck with that..

          1. Ok, i didn’t say it will be easy but you have some times it is quiet enough like in the night. Last time i showed some american friends how fast you can drive legally on the road. (just about 170 mph) they were suprised about that but that was with 4 persons in the car.

  8. Just wondering where this was done. Anyone know?

    1. Volkswagen’s test track
      Location : Ehra-Lessien
      It’s a 13 mile banked oval and it includes a 5.5 mile straight .

      1. it’s in Germany.

      2. Thanks. Was wondering the same myself.

  9. Montoya has driven a less expensive car before that can go to 400kmh faster..a 1999 Champcar with 900hp, with super speedway spec aero. I dont see the point of this bugatti at all, its just for ‘bragging rights’ and nothing else, id rather watch drag racing, where more power = fast also.

    1. I dont see the point of this bugatti at all, its just for ‘bragging rights’

      don’t see the problem with that personally

    2. id rather watch drag racing

      I don’t think people are suggesting watching Chirons accelerate for sport.

    3. I’d rather pick up the groceries with the Bugatti than with the Champcar.

  10. No helmet and racing overall?

    1. It is a road legal car. Not made for racing exactly. So unless you use it for this, these things are not necessary. James May did 407KPH in the original Bugatti Veyron on top gear over 10 years ago with no racing overalls or helmet too.

      1. I’m pretty sure James May was wearing a helmet

      2. Now I look it up, I was totally wrong! I was wearing both what I said he wasn’t.

    2. The 41-year-old also revealed he did not use a HANS device for the record-breaking run.

      @melthom I am actually very surprised. This shouldn’t have been allowed. If he had crashed, which is something that is not so farfetched to be deemed unrealistic, the motorsportworld would be on fire because of him not wearing the appropriate gearing. We talk about Vettel giving a bad sign to youngster racers, well this is a bad example to even more stupid people, youngster road going people.

      1. @flatsix oh dear, what an incredibly nonsensical comment. As above this is a road car. It has airbags and a safety cell and harnesses that adhere to road safety legislation. Montoya is no more to blame for setting a bad example to youngsters than VW Group are for building the thing. Vettel demonstrated he couldn’t keep a cool head, of course his bump wasn’t dangerous per se but an impressionable youngster is more likely to copy his ‘nudge’ than to strap himself into his Ford Fiesta and attempt to go 249mph. 😂

        1. @offdutyrockstar Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t knew it had airbags. I’m fairly sure that guarantees survival at a 400kph crash. Youtube is full of people driving sport- or supercars and crashing them about, even at very low speeds so Montoya is indeed setting an example or did you think rich people bought the Chiron to go the grocery store?

    3. I believe there is no point in wearing helmet/hans in a road car that has no roll cage. And after all you could buy one and legally drive even faster on German autobahns while overtaking lorries, listening music and scratching your nose.

      1. @sederman

        I was just about to add that you could go at whatever speed you wanted on the autobahn in Germany. So if it is a road car that in places could possibly reach close to it’s top speed anyway, what is the point of wearing anything extra when the car already has a seatbelt and air bags? Hopefully not many people would be stupid enough to go this fast though unless it was specifically to see how fast it can go on a track, not a public road.

    4. Wearing a helmet and racing overalls would suggest that what Montoya was doing was on the dangerous side of safe. Considering this was a publicity stunt to promote the accessibility of the cars’ performance, that wouldn’t be very good marketing for VW/Bugatti would it?

    5. Not needed. Crashing at 400 kph a helmet isn’t going to help much.

      Overalls might help keep most of the bits together in a convenient bag to pick up though.

  11. What was the old 0-400-0 record?

  12. I see Vw is not yet ready for F1. 1500hp out of a w16, quad turbo 8 liter. Compare it to the 1 turbo, hybrid v6, 1.5l 1200hp, with limited fuel flow. F1s are beastly. Now make a w16, quad turbo hybrid f1 please, it’s road relevant now.

    1. Road-legal vs. prototype racer? The Veyron is between 3-4 times heavier than an F1 car.

    2. 1200hp? Maybe with UNLIMITED fuel flow and re mapping the engine to use it’s full 15000rpm.

    3. It’s a road car, above performance there’s realiability and maintenance factors. An F1 engine would require almost daily maintenance and limited kilometrage.

    4. A Chiron doesn’t require 4 engines a season.

      1. Push an Chiron like you do the F1 engines and you would have to swap more than the engine every race.

  13. That’s awfully slow considering the Koenisegg Regera can reach 402.3 kph in under 25 sec. while the chiron took 32.6 sec. Imagine the difference those 7 seconds make, especially at those speeds!

    1. A world record is not based on what cars “can” do

  14. I’d like to be impressed but I’d need to know those speeds in English.

    1. 30 nautical leagues per ghurry.

      1. Which in the us means “about tree fiddy”.

    2. Around 250mph.

    3. Astronaut Michael Collins (of Apollo 11 fame) wrote in his autobiography that the choice of feet/sec in Apollo was an entirely random thing and suggested that “Furlongs per Fortnight” would have been an equally good one. Still waiting for that to catch on…

  15. @philipgb
    28.8, actually. But yeah, who on earth uses kph?

    1. Lol we do in Canada.

    2. Actually most of the world uses the metric system, it’s more modern, simple and standardized. At some point almost no one will use imperial system anymore.

    3. @robbie @asanator @ Miane
      I know ^^
      Looks like I’ve spoiled my own joke by clicking in the wrong place. The 28.8 figure I mentioned was the conversion of 400 kph into nautical leagues per ghurry, suggested by @tiya. Which, of course, would be THE most practical system.

  16. How do they decide it is a world record? Is there any authority who controls it? I mean, the ground speed record is way above that. This is more a marketing stunt rather than a record broken, like the titles they give nowadays on beauty contests, a bucket of them.

    1. The ground speed record aint a roadlegal car and its not 0-400-0 on shortest possible time. Its completly different things.

  17. Let me fix that title for you “Montoya breaks 400kph world record while wearing cufflinks”

  18. I’m wondering how they filmed this thing? Seems like the car filming was going faster!!!

  19. Richard Burton Avila
    13th September 2017, 2:43

    Que alegria felicitaciones a la marca y a Juan Pablo Montoya por ser Colombiano

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