How Bugatti finished the Chiron Pur Sport's development on the racetrack

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic hasn’t stopped Bugatti from continuing development work on the Chiron Pur Sport, a track-focused version of the world’s fastest production car. After weeks in lockdown, engineers returned to the test track to put the finishing touches on the Pur Sport.

“The laps on the test tracks are incredibly important here,” Stefan Ellrott, head of development at Bugatti, said Tuesday. “They are essential for fine-tuning the chassis, handling, damper control, steering, tire wear, and gearbox, as well as for testing all new engine components on the way to series production.”

Earlier this month, the Pur Sport development team spent three days at the Bilster Berg circuit, located in Germany’s Teutoburg Forest. The track features 19 turns and significant elevation changes, making it perfect for development work, according to Bugatti. Local coronavirus restrictions meant only eight people could accompany the two prototype cars at the track. Social distancing was maintained, and personnel also wore fire-resistant racing overalls per local rules.

Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport testing

Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport testing

Pit stops involved not only tire changes, but changes to software as engineers looked to fine-tune new settings for the engine and driver aids. Unlike the standard Chiron, the Pur Sport will allow the driver to back off electronic stability control enough to allow drifting. That might make the Pur Sport the most expensive drift machine ever. It’s priced at $3.35 million, and production is limited to 60 units.

Unveiled earlier this year, the Pur Sport was designed to emphasize handling as well as straight-line speed. Bugatti gave the car improved aerodynamics, a sportier suspension setup, and cut 110 pounds of weight. The automaker also reworked the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, bringing gear ratios 15-percent closer together. As in the standard Chiron, the engine is coupled to an 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W-16 making 1,480 horsepower.

Further testing at the Nürburgring is still planned, with production scheduled for the second half of the year. Note that the Pur Sport is Bugatti’s second attempt at building a hypercar focused on handling, after the $5.8 million Divo. Unveiled in 2018, customer deliveries of the coach-built special began last month.

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