Bugatti Didn’t Need to Sandbag the 1600 HP Chiron’s 0-6 but Did Anyway

  • Bugatti flubbed the numbers on the Chiron’s 0-60 time
  • The Chiron takes a tenth off it’ 60 mph dash, taking only 2.3 seconds
  • The Rimac/Bugatti merger will only make the brand’s cars faster

Everyone tells a little white lie from time to time. I told my boss I’d have this article written yesterday, for example. Automakers do it too, often to be competitive with other OEMs. Apparently, this even happens at the very top of the hypercar hierarchy. Remember the SSC Tuatara? They lied about speed a bit, and it appears the Bugatti Chiron did too.

A blue-on-blue Bugatti Chiron, one of the fastest cars in the world, shot from the 3/4 angle among trees
The Chiron needs special tires to reach its top speed | Martyn Lucy via Getty Images

What does sandbagging mean?

Now, to be clear, what Bugatti, or rather Rimac did is say the Chiron is slower than it really is. Matt Watson from Carwow discovered this during his time with the world’s fastest car in the video below. In the industry, this is known as “sandbagging.” Porsche is famous for it. The boys from Stuttgart will drop a new 911 Turbo S and tell everyone it makes 600 hp and goes to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. In reality, it makes 680 and does 0-60 in 3.1 seconds, for example.

Even Honda does it. The 2022 Honda Civic Si makes a whopping 5hp more than advertised. So, it’s really no surprise Bugatti may have flubbed the numbers a little, leading to the result of Matt’s test below. Per the spec sheets, the Bugatti Chiron, the world’s fastest car, does the 0-60 sprint in a mere 2.4 seconds. In reality, it knocks a tenth of a second off that time.

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The Bugatti Chiron is one of the fastest cars in the world

To be fair to Bugatti, it’s very possible no one at the French company intended to sandbag the nearly $3 million hypercar. It’s extremely difficult to make a car with 10 radiators and four turbos do anything down to the tenth of the second. Moreover, it’s even harder to make a car as complex as the Chiron consistently hit that 2.4-second dash to 60 on any surface, in any country, in any climate.

Pretty much any of these factors can throw off the 0-60 time of any car, especially something like the Chiron with 1,600 hp. However, the fact that even the mighty Chiron has to “Keep Up with the Joneses” is a far more entertaining argument. Can’t go charging $3 million for a car that isn’t at the top of every spec sheet comparison out there now, can you?

Rimac wants to bring new life to Bugatti

A profile shot of a Chiron in front of an English manor
The Chiron is about status and bragging rights above all | Martyn Lucy via Getty Images

Whether the Chiron’s real 0-60 time is subject to sandbaggery or differing physics factors is still up for debate. What we do know is that with Rimac’s recent merger, we can only expect future Bugatti models to get faster. It could be in the form of a hybrid powertrain or a full-on EV. The Chiron platform has plenty of life, and 0-60 runs, left in it, and we won’t be seeing either of those alternative powerplants for some time.

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