Why Are Bugattis Illegal in the U.S.?

Bugattis are among the most exclusive rides to ever hit the streets.  This French luxury brand makes supercars for those when money is no object. Bugatti models boast insane elegance and illegal speed. But they’re not illegal, just ultra-rare. 

Why do some people think Bugattis aren’t street legal?

While Bugatti’s are street legal in the U.S., the models we get don’t have the same physical characteristics as the ones sold in Europe. All cars sold in the U.S. must comply with government regulations and guidelines, and sometimes carmakers like Bugatti don’t initially meet them.

Some of the confusion surrounding the legality of the Buggatis in the U.S. likely has to do with the Bugatti Chiron which was introduced in 2017. The newly designed Chiron for the European market didn’t meet U.S. bumper standards. Instead of completely redesigning the Chiron to appease the U.S. federal government, they just made a slight modification.

Bugatti decided to just tack on some bumpers to meet the necessary U.S. requirements. The carmaker’s best solution was to slap on some rubber wedges on the Chiron’s rear bumpers and call it a day. The tacked-on bumpers were pretty ugly but not detrimental to the car’s overall design.

How did the Chiron’s rubber bumpers impact U.S. sales in 2017?

Even though the U.S. Chiron’s bumpers looked like door stoppers, they didn’t hurt sales.  Bugatti still made its U.S. sales quota with the hypercar. Which is pretty impressive considering that the car costs about $3M. The Chiron symbolized a new era for Bugatti by replacing the Veyron supercar. The 2017 Chiron boasts an incredible 1,479 horsepower and can reach almost 300 mph.            

It’s worth mentioning that it is possible for the Chiron’s rubber bumpers to be removed. But, doing so isn’t recommended. It’s probably best to just leave the bumpers as is, even with the exposed screws. 

The Bugatti Chiron in 2020

The 2020 Chiron base model starts just under $3M and is powered by an 8.0-liter 16-cylinder engine. Bugatti also introduced new trim levels for the Chiron for 2020, with the most notable one being the top-tier Super Sport 300+. The Super Sport 300+ can hit just over 300 mph and features an astounding 1578-hp engine. There’s also another Chiron variant to get excited about which is the Pur Sport model that will be hitting the streets soon.

As you can probably imagine, the insane engines featured in the Chiron are not eco-friendly. The 2020 Chiron gets a combined 11 mpg. It also doesn’t come with advanced in-car electronics like an infotainment system or driver-assist features. The Chiron is truly made for a high-performing driver experience only and not much else. But it’s still comfortable enough for daily driving. 

What’s the most affordable Bugatti?

They are some cheap copycats of the Bugatti Chiron available but that’s obviously not the same. Buying an older Bugatti, like the 2010 Veyron is a viable option, but still costs over $1M. Technically the most affordable Bugatti made recently was its battery-powered car made especially for kids. Only 500 of these kiddie cars were made, so you would have to buy used, which would cost around $30K.