What is it like on the inside?
Slacken the dampers and the ride is pleasantly supple, the hifi is strong and the cabin is so, so special. The Veyron was noisy at speed, but some extra sound-deadening materials and, most importantly, double-glazed glass make the Chiron much quieter at a cruise. The glazing is so effective that when you drop the window the turbochargers’ whooshing and chattering is quite alarming. And quite gratifying – windows down, this thing sounds very naughty.
Although the wheelbase is a scant 1mm longer than the Veyron, the Chiron is actually 14mm wider and 6mm taller – tiny increments for you or I, but a world of difference to a designer. The main benefit is an extra 12mm of headroom – meaning you can drive it with a helmet on and not get a stiff neck.
For the Super Sport, the bodywork is extended by 250mm to help keep the laminar flow attached for longer and reduce aerodynamic stall by 40 per cent. Translated into TG: to make it as slippery as a bowl of noodles in baby oil. Gone is the horizontal stack of four-exhausts, replaced with two wide-set double stacks leaving space for a much larger central diffuser. That allows the car to stay stuck to the road even with the wing fully retracted in Top Speed mode. Remember, any downforce created under the car is done so without a drag penalty, unlike sticking something into the airflow on the top surface of the car, which plays perfectly into this car’s high-speed aspirations.
The rest of the interior is an exercise in minimising driver distraction. An analogue speedo (running all the way to 310mph or the magical 500km/h) is surrounded by digital TFT screens offering various entertainment and driving information. As the speed increases, the amount of info on the screens thins out, leaving the driver to concentrate on keeping the car on the road.
A narrow centre console, designed to echo the exterior Bugatti Line, houses the gear lever and four circular air-con dials, each beautifully machined – a jewel in its own right. The real jewels, though, are in the speakers – a one-carat diamond membrane on each of the four tweeters (insert joke about crystal-clear sound quality here), while the new 3D bonnet emblem or “Macaron” is made from enamel and solid silver. Don’t sell the Bentley Bentayga just yet, but there’s even a modicum of practicality shoehorned in. A cooled glove box is perfect for keeping the Bolli’ on ice, suit bags and jackets can be hung behind the seats and a weekend bag can be stuffed under the front bonnet.