The ladies and gents at Bugatti love to shout about superlatives and crazy facts. And who can blame them: they build one of the most expensive cars mankind has ever seen, a car that’s essentially designed to win every game of top trumps going.
Also, they know full well that people like us lap up bonkers details, like the Chiron having the longest light conductor ever fitted to a car, and the biggest clutch ever seen in a road-going motor. So, Bugatti is at it again, this time releasing a tonne of information about its Molsheim facility and the production process of the Chiron, which is now underway. Here are some of the details that caught our attention…
As you’d expect, Molsheim isn’t churning out cars at a ridiculous rate. Instead just 70 Chirons will be built in 2017, with a small team of just 20 people assembling each one. There are six months between the beginning of production to customer delivery, and each car is made up of over 1800 individual parts.
The ‘Atelier’ part of the Bugatti factory - where the Chiron is assembled - has a floor space of 1000 square metres, and is finished in gloss white which Bugatti says “creates an atmosphere comparable with the catwalk of a fashion house.” Erm, right. To us, it’s more reminiscent of McLaren’s factory floor, where gloss white floor tiles make it nice and easy to locate and sort out spillages, promoting an ultra-clean manufacturing atmosphere.
At the Bugatti facility, the floor is made from epoxy, and is conductive “ensuring the dissipation of any electrostatic charges”.
OK, so this isn’t exactly a fascinating fact, but we want to talk about it simply because the image above is pure engineering filth. It shows ‘the marriage’, where the partially completed rear end is pushed together with the monocoque. After that, it’s attached with 14 massive titanium bolts, each of which weighs just 34g.
You don’t create an 8.0-litre, quad-turbo W16 without ending up with something that weighs quite a lot. And by quite a lot, we mean 628kg. To put that in context, the old BMW S65 4.0-litre V8 weighs just 202kg, although that didn’t put out 1478bhp. Bugatti is also keen to point out that the W16 is no heavier than the older version found in the Veyron.
The Chiron’s bodywork includes one massive side panel that stretches all the way from the A pillar right to the car’s shapely rear. According to Bugatti, it’s “the largest single exterior carbon fibre part in the car industry.”
Bugatti had to significantly upgrade the dynamometer it used for the Veyron in order to cope with all the extra power. During testing, a whopping 1200 amps of electricity are generated, which is fed back into the grid.
If someone spends €2.4 million on a car, they expect the paintwork to be top notch. As such, each Chiron takes around three weeks to paint. The painted cars then spend six hours in a light tunnel with a very thorough chap inspecting every little bit of the finish, rectifying any defects spotted.
To make sure there aren’t any nasty interior leaks, each Chiron is drenched for 30 minutes, in a test that’s supposed to simulate the intensity of a monsoon. So in other words, if it passes that test, it should be fine with a drizzly day in Surrey.