Bugatti has raced a Chiron Sport against a fighter jet | Top Gear
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Bugatti has raced a Chiron Sport against a fighter jet

Limited edition ‘Ciel’ takes on a Dassault Rafale. Wonder where that idea came from

Published: 20 May 2021
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Remember 2007? Heady days. Ford launched the third generation Mondeo (RIP) in 2007. Mitsubishi launched the Evo X in 2007, while in the world of motorsport, a young Mr Hamilton was making waves in a Formula One car.

Oh, and Something Fast Raced Something Really Truly Fast.

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In unrelated news, Bugatti has just revealed these images and a film of a limited edition Chiron Sport ‘Les Legends du Ciel’ racing a Dassault Rafale Marine jet.

No idea where they got the idea for this one, but be honest: it’s never uncool to race a hypercar against a ruddy Navy fighter jet. “In the current match-up,” says Bugatti, “the Chiron Sport and Dassault Rafale Marine are seeing how they measure up against one another in disciplines like acceleration, torque and braking behaviour.”

Gotcha. Just so we’re all clear, the Chiron packs 1,500PS versus the jet’s 5,727PS. The Bugatti can hit a top speed of 261mph. The jet? An infinitely cooler-sounding 1.6 Mach, which is a little over 1,200mph. What you’d call ‘not slow’.

There’s a bit of a link between the two: the jet’s brakes were developed by a company that traces its roots to Bugatti. It uses lots of lightweight materials in its construction… just like the Chiron Sport. And the Bugatti deploys lots of aero tech, while the jet… well the jet is aero.

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So, the race. We’re told the Chiron Sport “takes the lead soon after setting off”. It does 0-62mph in 2.4secs, 124mph in 6.1secs and 186mph in 13.1secs. The jet? After 450 metres it takes off at 162mph.

”I pulled away from the Rafale over the first few hundred metres,” explains Bugatti pilot Pierre-Henri Raphanel, “but after a few hundred metres more it was around 20 metres above and alongside me in the air. An incredible and fantastic sight.”

You can watch the race - which Bugatti declares a draw - here. Back in 2007, the result was a little more clear cut

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