About the Contest
As part of OCD’s objective of highlighting niche communities on the Hive Blockchain, this week, the focus is on the Planetauto Community. The community is all about cars and the fun around cars. We can find many motorheads there, and chances are you will love it as much as I.
If you fancy participating, you can do so here.
My Favorite Car
I love cars. I love speed.
Hold on to that thought, and I will explain why my favorite car ticks both the boxes. I have two sites on which I write exclusively about the fastest things in the world while on the other about Formula 1 (F1) car. F1 cars are the fastest cars that can turn on corners at high speed for those who don't know. The only other type of car which comes close is Indy cars. They are comparable with F1 in every way. Anyway, coming back to my point, I love cars, and I love speed. So, my ultimate dream car is an amalgamation of these two areas of love.
Let me not make you guess too much. My favorite car is the coolest looking fastest car in the world. I am talking about the Bugatti Chiron. For those that don’t know, here is a picture of the Bugatti Chiron.
For those that aren’t aware, at the time of writing this article, the Bugatti Chiron was the only production car to have broken the 300 [482.8 kmph] mph barrier. There is no other car "yet" that can go faster than 300 mph or rather 304.77 [490.48 kmph], which is the speed that the Chiron achieved in the speed test. But why do I say, “yet”. Ah, that’s an interesting story which we will look at in a moment. But before that, you would want to know what the Bugatti costs and how much would I have to shell out to buy one in my country.
I will touch upon the cost part and why it is, therefore, still a dream car. Hopefully, sooner than later, the dream shall come true. 😊
Bugatti Chiron | Costs A Ton | And Twice That!
The Chiron, much like any hyper sports car, is made in limited numbers and meant for connoisseurs. That means it will be north of the million-dollar mark. Not only that, the Chiron is the diamond standard when it comes to cars, so yeah, it’s going to cost way more.
The Chiron in the U.S. would cost about $3 million. But it becomes way more costly in my country. You see, India has 110% customs duty on automobiles coming in as a Completely Built Unit (CBU). Since there are no Bugatti manufacturers or assemblers in India, it can come only in the CBU mode. So, what is the cost in India?
Here is one of the local sites listing the Chiron.
As you can see, it is yet to be available in India. Not only that, the price may be a bit off. That is because of two things – the dollar-to-INR conversion at the time of the article listing and the fact that the cost is not for the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport. The Super Sport is what went beyond 300 mph. So, let’s figure out what the cost would be in India.
The current dollar to INR rate is: 1 $ = 73.86. For computation, we will take it as 73. So, on simple conversion, a $3 million Chiron would cost INR 219 million in India. That is 21.9 crores. However, that is not the only thing. The 110% customs will also apply since it will be imported as a CBU. So, the final cost would be 2.1 times. Therefore, the final cost is INR 459.9 million or 45.99 crores.
That’s like double the cost of the actual price of the car in the U.S. But like I said, the Bugatti is built for the connoisseur, and they wouldn’t bother to see the price tag twice. How else do we see the Bugatti Veyron, the Chiron’s older cousin, on Indian roads?
So, that explains the cost part. Now, let’s look at the history and why I say “yet” when pointing out that no other car has gone faster than the Bugatti Chiron. And you would love the story.
Bugatti | A Historical Perspective
The Bugatti was founded in 1909 and had its genesis in Germany. Like most engineering marvels, the Bugatti too had some ideation from pre-world-war Germany. The Bugatti vehicles won many of the races in the early 1920s when there were no regulations of equal spec engines. As such, Bugatti could make faster engines and put every other car behind.
That was not all. The obsession with speed was always there with the brand. Even in the 1940s, when cars considered 100 kmph as their outer speed limit, the Bugatti went and created cars that could do twice that speed without breaking a sweat. The company did have its ups and downs but in the 90s is when it started looking better.
The Bugatti EB110, one of the earlier speed demons, was owned by Michael Schumacher, the F1 legend, back in 1994. That gave the brand some recognition among personal car buyers.
That was the start of what would be Bugatti’s speed domination of road-legal cars. But the EB110 was not the fastest. That crown belonged to the McLaren F1, which was the fastest car in the world back in 1993. So, the EB110 came a distant second. The F1 could do 240 mph top speed, but no other car had crossed the 250 mph barrier.
That probably gave the Bugattis some ideas. And here’s what happened since then.
Bugatti Vs. The World | Clash of the Titans
The McLaren’s reign as the fastest car remained for more than a decade and would have been one of the longest. In 2005, that was about to change. The Bugatti came up with the Bugatti Veyron, which trumped the McLaren F1 and was also the first to break the 250 mph [402.34 kmph] barrier. It did a 253 mph [407.16 kmp] and thus put the McLaren F1 behind. Have a look.
The McLaren still had a wild acceleration at the start, though. Here is where the mantle was passed. But the speed world would not stop.
The Americans came up with the Shelby Super Car (SSC) Ultimate Aero which did 256 mph [411.99 kmph] and put the Veyron behind. The Bugatti team was not happy, and they responded with the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, which did a 267 mph [429.69 kmph] and took back the crown.
Interestingly, the Super Sport remained unchallenged for the next three years, until the Hennessey Venom GT briefly took the top spot for a couple of weeks. It had to relinquish the top spot because of some modifications on the speed run car. Remember, to prove you are the fastest, you had to run the production car and not a modified one. So, Veyron continued to remain at the top. But come 2017, another challenger emerged.
The Koenigsegg Agera RS came forth and delivered a mind-boggling speed of 277.9 mph [447.42 kmph]. That was a massive leap, and to add salt to injury, Koenigsegg did the top speed on an existing customer’s car instead of a newly minted one. But that was not it. The Koenigsegg took the reins in 2017 and, from then, kept teasing the Bugattis.
Whatever the Bugatti’s did, they came out and did better.
The Bugatti Chiron Era | The Bugatti’s Comeback
By 2018, the Bugatti’s phased out the Veyron and brought in the Chiron. Immediately, they went on to make a video of the Chiron starting from a standstill, going all the way to 400 kmph, and then coming to a complete stop in 42 seconds. Former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya drove the car.
Here is the run which was a record back then:
Remember I said that the Koenigsegg’s kept teasing everything that the Bugattis did at this point? Yeah, so that’s what the Koenigseggs did. They did the 0-400-0 in 37.28 seconds. It was no surprise, as the Chiron weighted like 4 tons while the Agera was like one-fifth the weight. It had to be the case.
Here is the Agera RS breaking Chiron’s 0-400-0 record. Also, remember, even at this point, the Agera RS is the fastest car. It was the Chiron doing the run and not the Chiron Super Sport. The Super Sport was yet to be launched.
Note: The run starts at the 1:55 minute mark.
If this was not enough, the Koenigsegg went faster still at doing the 0-400-0 in 36.6 seconds. But you’ve got to admit that the weight gave the Chiron the stability. Juan Pablo Montoya did not have to wear a helmet for the run, unlike the Koenigsegg driver.
Anyway, the Agera RS was the undisputed champ at this point. The reign at the top was from 2017 to 2019.
Bugatti Chiron Super Sport | The King of Kings
In 2019, the Bugattis hit back with the Chiron Super Sport. And here’s where it smashed the 300 mph [482.8 kmph] barrier.
Note: Run starts at the 1:30 minute mark.
And there it is—the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport smashing the speed record to become the fastest car in the world. Without a doubt, the Hennessey Venom F5, the Koenigsegg, the SSC, and others are waiting to challenge the Bugatti. But until then, Bugatti is at the very top. Now, you know why I said "yet" at the beginning. :)
However, the Bugattis seem to be content with what they have achieved so far. The race for the top, which they started about a decade and a half back, is something they are giving up now. The CEO mentioned that they would not be fighting for the top spot anymore and would like to focus on the other developments in the car. So, we may not see a Bugatti fight anymore.
But make a note of this. The Bugatti Chiron is the first to break the 300 mph [482.8 kmph] barrier. That part of history cannot be taken away from it. Besides, if sufficiently challenged, you never know they may come back at a future date to fight for the top spot. Who knows!!
Side Note | A Touch of Science of Speed
We would all know that the air gets denser as it reaches sea level as compared to a higher altitude. So, a plane may find it easier to fly faster than a car driving fast. Why? Because the air is dense.
One of the Top Gear shows, where the Top Gear team also got to drive the Veyron, mentioned that driving in excess of 250 mph [402.34 kmph] is like driving the car through a fruit cake. That's how difficult it is. So, even a 1 mph [1.609 kmph] gain above 250 needs a lot of power. Now, you can imagine speeds over 300 mph [482.8 kmph].
Not only this, there are other technical issues too. The most prominent one is the tire. There aren't many tire manufacturers who can make tires that can manage speeds over 300 mph [482.8 kmph] due to the excessive heat generated. And there are many more technicalities involved when speeds higher than 300 mph are planned. So, at least, for now, there may not be many competitors for the top speed record. Though, Koenigsegg, Hennessey and SSC are all there.
My point is, in the next 3-5 years, we wouldn't see much of a change at the top. However, with technology catching up, things can become more explosive and faster. Until then, the Chiron rules the roost. :)
That’s Why My Favorite Car
Now, tell me. Is there any reason for me to have any other dream car other than the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport? I guess not. So, that’s my dream car, and I love the fact that it has met all the challenges to reach the pinnacle.
It’s not just about the speed but everything else that went into making the Chiron a world-beating car!!
Image Courtesy: Line Dividers: Base image from Pixabay | Bugatti.com | Wikimedia commons