Advertisement
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Subscribe to Top Gear magazine
Sign up to our Top Gear Magazine
Subscribe
Supercars

The one-off Bugatti Chiron SS Hommage T50S celebrates a 5.0-litre Le Mans car

Chiron Super Sport gets decked out by Sur Mesure in 1931 Le Mans outfit

Published: 27 Feb 2024

This is yet another customised, one-off Bugatti Chiron Super Sport. Fittingly, it is a massively over-engined speed machine modified to pay homage to a massively over-engined speed machine.

Specifically, the Bugatti Type 50S that entered the 1931 Le Mans 24hr race. You may have heard of this race. It’s a race held in Le Mans and takes place over the course of 24 hours. Bugatti entered three cars in 1931, finished entirely in black and sporting a new 5.0-litre supercharged eight-cylinder engine.

Advertisement - Page continues below

This engine, says Bugatti, featured a dual overhead camshaft and was good for around 250bhp. It was at the time a herculean unit, able to allow the three Type 50S racers to deploy “thunderous speed down the long straights”. Victory was in sights, apparently, until one car suffered a tyre blowout and crashed. The remaining pair of cars were immediately retired to avoid any more accidents.

And it is one of those two retirees – chassis number 501777 racing under the number ‘5’ – that provides the inspiration behind this Chiron. As you can see, there is a racing number 5 applied to the Chiron’s flanks and to its grille, along with subtle ‘Le Mans 1931’ script ahead of the rear wheel arch.

In a cool, even more subtle touch, the entire Circuit de la Sarthe is drawn out on the underside of the rear spoiler, while the real magic is reserved for the engine bay. The 1931 car’s showpiece was of course its five-point-oh, so to celebrate, this Chiron features a circular pattern to recreate that ‘engine-turned’ look.

Elsewhere there’s more ‘Le Mans 1931’ stitching inside, a glass roof, and recreations of the original car on each of the door panels. Oh, and the small matter of a massively over-engined lump nestled behind your head, arranged in a W16 formation and comprising 8.0-litres. Bit powerful, that.

Advertisement - Page continues below

“The Type 50S – and particularly chassis 501777 – are core parts of our history,” said Jascha Straub, Sur Mesure’s lead designer. “Having a customer so passionate in his desire to pay homage to this racing legend is a real privilege. He and I spoke for hours, over many months, about the ways that we could create an authentic tribute, obsessing over every detail to ensure it was consistent with the Type 50S story.”

What would be even more consistent with the Type 50S story would be to run a Chiron Super Sport at Le Mans, now...

Top Gear
Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

More from Top Gear

Loading
See more on Supercars

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

subscribe