The prospect of taking a car beyond 300mph is downright terrifying. At that speed, you’re covering more than the length of a football pitch every second, and if something goes wrong, the consequences are almost certainly going to be very smashy.
With that in mind, Bugatti’s test driver Andy Wallace - who took a prototype Chiron Super Sport 300+ to 304mph - must be wired very differently to ordinary folk. Particularly given that the car had a habit of briefly taking off when approaching the 300mph mark.
Talking to Which Car, Wallace explained that a surface change at VW’s Ehra Lessien test track - where the facility switches to an older, rougher tarmac - was causing the hypercar to briefly take off. “I was calling it a ramp and jump, and everyone was wondering why I was calling it that…That was until they looked at the data, and they realised that it actually is a jump,” he said, adding, “This occurs at 447kmh [278mph] on that fast run.”
Check out the footage above, and you can see the switch in surface and the resulting bump Wallace talks about. The solution? There wasn’t one - lifting off would shift the balance of the car and cause further risk. Instead, Bugatti’s chief helmsmith merely had to keep his foot pinned, in the knowledge that all would be fine so long as the car landed straight and true.
It seems he wasn’t awfully worried. “The Chiron has always been really good when I have been on the road and gone over something where I have left the ground,” he explained. How’s that for useful consumer information?