Bugatti Chiron Super Sport Test Drive: Ex-Stig/James Bond Stunt Double ‘Gives It The Beans’
The Bugatti Chiron’s run is drawing to a close. But the legendary brand is going out in style. The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport merges the capability of the Bugatti’s stripped-down race cars with the refinement of its grand tourers. Drive Tribe sent Ex-Stig and stunt driver Ben Collins to test this “absolute beast.”
Ben Collins, Ex-Stig and James Bond stunt double, loves Bugatti
Ben Collins has an impressive resume. First, he was a Formula 3 and Le Mans driver. Then he became Daniel Craig’s stunt driver for the James Bond films. He has also worked on the Fast and Furious movies and Ford Vs. Ferrari. In 2010, he revealed that he had secretly been the ‘Stig’ test driver on the Top Gear show.
Though Collins has driven most exotic cars, Bugattis have a special place in his heart. Collins says, “the first hypercar was the Bugatti EB110.” It could reach 60 MPH in an unprecedented three seconds. He thought the 250 MPH Veyron “totally unprecedented, like the invention of supersonic air travel in the Concorde.” Then Bugatti rolled out the Chiron.
The Chiron supercar even faster than the Bugatti Veyron. During his test drive, Collins explained why.
The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport
According to Collins, the Veyron was a fast car in a straight line. But the Chiron Super Sport is even faster. Though the two share an engine block, “80 percent of the internals (were) revised from the Veyron to the Chiron.” The result is 492 more horsepower than the Veyron. This beast is capable of “demolishing stretches of road.”
In addition, the Chiron improved on the Veyron’s greatest weakness. Collins recalls that the Veyron was a bit “wooden” in corners.
The Chiron, on the other hand, corners beautifully. Collins says you can feel the front of AWD supercar “clawing at the tarmac” as it enters the corner. Then, in the corner, the back end “does hug the corners.” Finally, exiting the corner, “you can really feel it tucking in.”
The Bugatti company launched the Chiron in 2016. Since then, it has offered numerous special editions. In 2019, Bugatti test driver Andy Wallace set the top speed record for a production car in a Chiron. He reached 304.77 MPH in a Super Sport 300+. The company then sold 30 300s to the public. Bugatti also offered the W16 engine in a limited run of the beautiful Bolide hypercar, illegal for street use.
Not Bugatti’s first Super Sport
Ettore Bugatti’s first cars were nimble race cars. Later, he pioneered selling Grand Touring cars for street use equipped with race-car-caliber engines and suspension.
The 1931-35 Type 55 Super Sport featured a straight-eight engine with 2.4-liters of displacement and a supercharger. Bugatti pioneered lightweight materials such as aluminum and magnesium. The company offered the Type 55 Super Sport with one of the most luxurious interiors of its time.
Later, Bugatti would offer a Super Sport edition of its EB110. The street car featured the same aluminum and magnesium V12 as Bugatti’s Le Mans racer. It also had a manual transmission and all-wheel-drive.
To break the production car record, Bugatti elongated the Chiron by 25 centimeters to improve aerodynamics. The company also increased the quad-turbocharged W16 to 1,589 horsepower. Finally, engineers increased the gear ratios to attain an incredible maximum speed.
The new Bugatti Chiron Super Sport shares the record-setting drivetrain of the 300. But it is a much more refined machine. According to Collins, “The cabin is a wonderful place to be.” In addition, the slender, extruded aluminum controls “give a sense of agility.” Overall he says Bugatti the Chiron Super Sport shows Bugatti mastered “delivering hyper-performance in the form of a simple tool that anybody could use for cruising around.”