First 8 Bugatti Super Sport 300+ hypercars built, ready for delivery

Bugatti stunned the automotive world in the fall of 2019 when a new version of the Chiron cracked the 300-mph barrier, making it the fastest production car in the world by a significant margin.

The car, known as the Chiron Super Sport 300+, reached an official top speed of 304.773 mph, though this isn’t counted as a world record as Bugatti didn’t make the required runs in opposite directions to account for gradient and wind direction. As a result, the 282.9 mph set by the SSC Tuatara in January is currently acknowledged as the world record.

Regardless, the Chiron Super Sport 300+ is plenty fast, and could potentially go even faster still. Andy Wallace, who set the official top speed, said the car was still accelerating when he finally lifted off the gas. Bugatti, too, is confident of at least another 15 mph if the car is run on the famous stretch of Highway 160 just outside of Pahrump, Nevada, due to the lower air density compared to Volkswagen Group’s Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany, where the Bugatti was run. However, the automaker is satisfied with being the first to crack 300 mph and in future will focus on other aspects of performance.

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ world record car

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ world record car

Bugatti started accepting orders for the car following a reveal at the 2019 Frankfurt International Motor Show, and it’s safe to assume all build slots, 30 in total, are gone, even though we’re talking about a car costing 3.5 million euros (approximately $4.1 million).

Production recently got underway at Bugatti’s plant in Molsheim, France, after some two years of development and testing, and on Thursday Bugatti announced that the first eight of the 30 customer examples had been built and are ready for delivery.

Power in the Chiron Super Sport 300+ comes from the Chiron’s familiar 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W-16, though output has been dialed up to 1,577 hp instead of the standard 1,480-hp rating. The Chiron Super Sport 300+ also rides on a bespoke set of Michelin tires rated at 317 mph, and has uprated cooling systems as well as a longer, more streamlined body compared to the Chiron.

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+

Customer examples of the Chiron Super Sport 300+ differ from the top speed car, though. For example, they don’t feature a roll cage and safety harness. Their ride height is also slightly higher, and they have a front passenger seat which in the top speed car was replaced by GPS data-logging equipment and other hardware.

Crucially, the customer cars are speed limited for safety reasons. Bugatti hasn’t said what the limit is but it should either match or exceed the 273 mph of the more comfort oriented Chiron Super Sport unveiled in June. There are rumors Bugatti may provide owners of the Chiron Super Sport 300+ with an option to remove the speed limit for official visits to the Ehra-Lessien test track, though the automaker is yet to comment on this.

We should point out that there are other companies promising cars capable of cracking the 300-mph mark. Others include Hennessey with the Venom F5, Koenigsegg with the Jesko Absolut, and SSC with the aforementioned Tuatara.

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FORD ESCORT QUATTRO: VORSPRUNG ‘DIRK’ TECHNIK

His name’s Dirk, he’s German, he’s built a Ford Escort Quattro, and by that we mean underneath that Escort is an Audi 4×4 system. Oh, and it can outrun a Bugatti Veyron!

Feature from Fast Ford. Words: Ben Birch. Photos: Ade Brannan

It’s not often we’re thrown a complete and utter curve-ball feature car here. Over the years we’ve seen all manner of unconventional builds, from rear-engined rear-wheel-drive RS Turbos, to four-wheel-drive converted RS500’s, and from turbocharged Endura engines to supercharged Zetecs. But when we found a Mk4 Escort sporting a rarely tuned engine, running four-wheel drive, and rocking an old school ‘Bad Boy’ bonnet, we were intrigued. Intrigue soon turned to complete awe, when we discovered it also runs 9-second quarter miles at over 140mph!

The Ford Escort Quattro you see here represents twenty five long years of constant development and dedication, courtesy of owner Dirk Hecht. Dirk bought the car way back in 1995, as a fresh-faced 23 year old – it actually started off in life as an XR3i, bought cheap due to an insurance write-off which had left it with body damage, but a sound structure. Perfect for the German mechanic to unleash his skills on, and turn it into a unique extension of his personality.

Ford Escort Quattro

In those days, the German and European scene was mostly about loud bodywork, small deep dish rollerskate wheels and not much in the way of tuning. Older readers will remember this trend being dubbed the ‘Euro-look’, which was really started mainly by the VW guys but quickly adopted across all manner of Fords and also French cars to varying degrees of success! Dirk repaired the bodywork of the Escort and painted it purple – back in the late ‘90s, whereas the UK was full of Citrine Yellow or peppermint green builds rolling on TSW rims, the Europeans tended to go for deep metallics and purple was a popular colour. Resplendent in its new hue, the Escort was driven proudly to various Show and Shine events across Germany, and Dirk made many friends in the scene including with ‘Escort Team Grimma’, which has now disbanded but were once the coolest bunch in central Germany.

A few years of fun cruising to shows, and Dirk was hankering after more power. He found a Mk5 Escort RS2000 which donated its 2.0-litre 16V engine, as well as its power steering and rear disc setup. The RS2000 ‘I4’ engine isn’t commonly tuned in the Ford scene, which is a shame as it’s a robust unit that can kick out over 200bhp when a pair of carbs, cams and a decent exhaust are added to the equation. Dirk had slightly bigger ideas though, and soon had a decompression plate fitted between the head and block to lower compression, in order to handle the turbo that was now sat on a home-made exhaust manifold. The turbo boosted through a home made intercooler and inlet manifold, and was tuned on DTA standalone management. Dirk admits that not only the end result, but his enjoyment of the development process, was the tipping point into an ever-increasing lust for power and speed. His attention had been well and truly turned away from the show scene, and onto the drag racing scene.

As the engine evolved from street blaster to quarter mile racer, the bodywork and interior also evolved from show car to something more serious, with all of the design and build crafted by Dirk’s own fair hands. The engine was forged, the bodywork received wide arches to take fat rubber and the interior was switched from luxurious beige leather to the Alcantara-clad Clubsport style cockpit you see in the pictures today, complete with bucket seats and a plethora of gauges.

Ford Escort Quattro

Some of you may love the looks, some of you may not, but one thing you can’t argue with is the level of workmanship and effort that has gone into it. Some of you may also agree that this kind of old school styling is currently making something of a comeback to the show scene – who remembers the wide arched Reiger Escorts and Astras, or the Dimma Renault 5 Turbos and 205‘s? Well, we’ve seen a few of these ‘nostalgia builds’ coming back and really blowing up the scene in the last couple of years so we have a feeling that Dirk’s Escort is so far back, that it’s way ahead!

Back to the story, and over time Dirk tweaked his Escort and driving style to end up running a best quarter mile time of 12.6 seconds. Even by 2020 standards that’s quick for a front wheel drive car, but back in 2015 it was really fast. However, it seemed that the potential of the I4 engine far outstripped that of the chassis. “The turbo was getting bigger and bigger, and the tuning was getting more and more effective,“ Dirk remembers, “we were on a Garrett GTX3076 by then and the traction was severely beginning to hold us back”. A long, cold German winter gave Dirk the time and space to hatch a plan, which centred around installing 4×4 running gear into the car… but the drivetrain came from an unsuspected source. “I researched lots of options, including Ford,” explains Dirk, “but the Ford ones weren’t very robust – lots of big power VWs and Audis were using the VAG four-wheel drive systems to good effect, so I decided on S3 parts”.

Ford Escort Quattro

Unsurprisingly it took Dirk a lot of fabrication to mount the Audi beams, diffs and gearbox underneath the car, but for a man whose motto is, “it won’t work, does not exist”, it was only a matter of time before the whole lot was working, and working well. He ended up with what is a bulletproof drivetrain straight out of the factory, and enabled Dirk to make the most of an even bigger GTX3582 turbo and turn up the boost. “It is making over 620bhp and 550lb/ft now“ he smiles, “and last year I ran my best time of 9.836 seconds at a terminal speed of 144.9mph!”

That is a seriously impressive achievement, so it’s no surprise that Dirk’s spannering skills are being put to use not only by customers through his business HTS Racing Parts (on Facebook), but by his own family too. “My wife Doreen is also interested in tuning,” exclaims Dirk, “she has a tuned Escort convertible with RS2000 turbo power and my fourteen-year-old son Justin is building up a Honda Civic for drag racing at the moment…we are a car fanatic family so to say!” Indeed, the whole family travels to car shows and drag racing events with Dirk and they give him amazing support – he even proposed to Doreen at a Ford meeting on the event stage (and they say romance is dead!). In these days of online car parts and chequebook builds, it’s great that we still have such ingenuity, passion and individuality being passed down through the generations. It‘s lovely to see there are still mad Ford professors, beavering away in their garages and sheds and turning out completely one-off projects with ideas that are not only unique, but are devastatingly effective. All this, in what is still a streetable car which you don’t expect for one minute to have the ‘go’ to match the ‘show’! So if you’re a Veyron, P1, or LaFerrari driver and you pull up against a purple Escort with a ‘Bad Boy’ bonnet and M3 door mirrors don’t be fooled – as all is not always as it may seem…!

Ford Escort Quattro

Tech Spec: Ford Escort Quattro

Engine:

RS2000 1998cc N7A/I4 engine, JE Pistons, K1 forged con-rods, billet Cat-Cams camshafts, billet head studs by HFT-Parts, HTS Racing Parts exhaust manifold, Garrett GTX3582 Gen2 turbo, charge-cooler with Garrett core, 3.5in bore aluminium exhaust

Power:

618bhp and 545lb/ft @ 2.2-bar on Dynojet, estimated 640bhp and 560lb/ft @ 2.5-bar

Transmission:

Audi S3 02M gearbox with 4 speed dog gears, billet flywheel by PTB Racing, Sachs RCS200 clutch

Suspension:

Self-made adjustable coil-overs

Brakes:

Wilwood 4-pot front calipers and discs, Mk5 Escort RS2000 2-pot rear calipers and discs

Wheels & tyres:

Kerscher New-Star 9.5x17in ET10 front and 10.5x17in ET27 rear wheels with 225/35R17 front and 245/35R17 rear tyres (street), Schmidt Revolution 8x15in ET10 front and 8x15in ET0 rear wheels with 23×8.5×15 drag slicks all round (drag racing)

Exterior:

Self-made wide bodykit, polycarbonate windows, BMW E30 twin headlights with Xenon, ‘Bad Boy’ bonnet, custom rear wing, Catalunya Splash paint

Interior:

Weichers roll-cage

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British firms imagine the roadster of the future

The days of spritely, adequately powered roadsters that can be maintained on a shoestring budget may be a thing of the past, but a consortium of firms in the U.K. are out to show that it doesn’t have to be this way.

They worked together to produce the Aura concept, a modern take on the classic British roadster that’s just begging to be built. It’s a lightweight electric roadster with a claimed 400 miles of range. No horsepower rating has been mentioned but outright performance isn’t the main focus here. Instead, the team focused on efficiency and sustainability.

The project was backed by a British government initiative aimed at challenging local firms from the automotive industry with developing solutions and innovations for electric vehicles. The companies involved were design firm Astheimer Design, materials expert BAMD Composites, EV powertrain company Potenza Technology, and software developer Conjure.

Aura concept

Aura concept

Key elements of the design include a body shaped to reduce drag as much as possible, as well as lightweight construction to offset the weight of the batteries. The lightweight construction is made possible thanks to composite body panels that rely on natural fibers. The panels are not only light but their production also reduces the impact on the environment compared to using traditional materials.

The battery has a capacity of 88 kilowatt-hours. It actually consists of two separate units of equal capacity. One is under the front hood and the other in the vehicle floor. This positioning results in a car with a driving sensation similar to a front-engine internal-combustion car. It also helps with the overall balance, according to the designers.

One final element worth mentioning is the user interface. There’s the normal infotainment screen in the center of the dash, plus a second screen in the hub of the steering wheel. This second screen features self-leveling technology to make it easy to read regardless of how much the steering wheel is being turned. Part of the interface is software that finds the quickest, easiest charging locations, and presents real-world remaining range accurate to within 0.5 of a percent.

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