Bugatti Chiron | PH Used Buying Guide

Bugatti Chiron | PH Used Buying Guide

Key considerations

  • Available for £2.5 million
  • 8.0-litre W16 petrol quad-turbo, all-wheel drive
  • Warp-drive pickup, insane dry-roads traction
  • Quicker than the Veyron in the key 100mph-300mph range
  • So much beauty in both detail and core design
  • You no longer have to throw away the wheels
  • Last of the W16s, so buy now while they’re still cheap  

As it’s Easter we thought we’d present you with the 21st century motoring equivalent of a Fabergé egg, namely Bugatti’s Chiron. Launched in the early spring of 2016, the Chiron had the hardest of hard acts to follow. Some said that its predecessor the Veyron was a bit ‘meh’, or even a bit ugly, but whatever you thought about the way it looked you couldn’t argue with the quality and extremism of its engineering. Not just the design and build but everything about the Veyron had to be extraordinary in order to meet VW hardman Ferdinand Piech’s uncompromising mission statement for it, which was to build the world’s fastest, most exclusive, most luxurious and most powerful production super sports car. 

The original idea was to give the Veyron a W18 engine but in the end they settled for the far less spectacular solution of an 8.0 litre W16 with four turbochargers, hmm. On the Veyron’s launch in 2005 this unit produced 1,001hp and slightly more than 920lb ft of torque, enough with Haldex all-wheel drive to give the Veyron a 0-62mph time in the mid two-second bracket and a top speed of over 250mph, mad figures even now but double-take outlandish nearly twenty years ago. 

Chris Harris drove a Veyron on the German autobahn one night in 2007. He didn’t have the second speed key to deploy the big wing, lower the car and unshackle it from its pathetic 236mph limit, so the video footage looked disarmingly normal as the car casually ambled along at just short of 230mph. ‘I don’t want to drive a fast car again because I don’t see how it can compare with this,’ Harris contemplated in a quiet lay-by after the event. ‘There’s nothing else that performs like that.’

Bugatti lore is littered with cor-blimey stories, stats and costs. You’ll find a few of them here in our Veyron buying guide. Today we’re going to assume you’ve read all the headlines and absorbed all the madness and are ready to move on to the Chiron, the next chapter in an astonishing story of utterly driven, cost-no-object perfectionism.  

By 2015, the Veyron’s power had increased to 1,200hp and the Gran Sport Vitesse had bagged the fastest roadster in the world record at an accredited two-way average of 254mph, so the bar facing the Chiron was high. It needed to set new and even more spectacular benchmarks. The first production vehicle to exceed 300mph was an obvious target, but saying that number was one thing and attaining it was something else because extreme speed is a funny thing. At surreally high rates, air resistance means that even small increments demand exponentially more power. The first street-legal car to do 200mph was the Ferrari F40 in 1987. Going from there to 300mph took more than 30 years and demanded more than double the energy.

Other firms like Koenigsegg and Hennessey were chasing 300mph hard with engines producing nearly 2,000hp, but it was Bugatti who got there first with considerably less than that. The Chiron Super Sport 300+ had 1,600hp and some new bodywork at the back to optimise its aero performance. The actual figure hit by Le Mans winner Andy Wallace at VW’s Ehra-Lessien track in 2019 was 304.77mph.

The truly mindboggling things about Wallace’s run were a) the fact that acceleration was still happening, and b) how relatively calm it all seemed to be. Try to imagine it though. In your car, 100mph requires more than a modicum of concentration. Now imagine doing another 100mph on top of that. Irrespective of what car you’re in, your whole being will be locked into life at 200mph. Your entire focus will be on keeping things under control. 

Now imagine adding another 100mph to that. It’s a brain-scrambler. We don’t know if Bugatti had 300mph in mind when they started designing the W16 in the 1990s, but fortunately the engine – and, crucially, the basic aero design – turned out to have more than enough design headroom to meet the objective. 

Let’s go back to the start of the Chiron in 2016. Revisions to the block and heads, a new ECU map and 69 per cent bigger (!) two-stage turbochargers lifted the W16’s power to 1,500hp, nearly 500hp more than the original Veyron’s output. On its own, that’s the power of a serious car. Torque was increased by 257lb ft to a new figure of 1,179lb ft, its peak starting at a growly 2,000rpm and not letting up until 6,000rpm. The Chiron was over 100kg heavier than the Veyron but the power and torque hikes rendered that irrelevant. The 0-62mph time was marginally shorter at 2.4 seconds and the top speed was a few mph higher at 261mph. 200 of these base models were built. 

A £2.5 million Sport version made its debut at the 2018 Geneva show. It had the same engine outputs as the first car but 18kg less mass through the extended use of carbon fibre. Damping rates were stiffened by 10 per cent and there was torque vectoring to go with a revised rear differential. The Sport was claimed to be around a tenth faster than the straight Chiron over 0-62mph, but the top speed was unchanged at 261mph. 

Twenty Sports were set aside in 2019 to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Ettore Bugatti’s founding of the company in 1909. The Chiron Sport 110 Ans had black and blue bodywork festooned with French tricolore flags and plaques. Inside you got blue leather and plenty of French racing blue accents.  

2019 was the year for the record-breaking Super Sport 300+. Thirty 300+ Special Edition customer cars were produced at £3m each. They came with the record-breaking car’s 1,600hp and its modded bodywork but the limit was set at 273mph. Buyers who wanted to attempt 300mph around Ehra-Lessien in one of these could have had the limit lifted but first they had to sign a disclaimer, pay to have a roll cage installed, and promise to keep the noise down for the neighbours. 

In March 2020 Bugatti released the Chiron Pur Sport, a handling-focused model limited to 60 units at £2.8 million a pop. It had a 65 per cent firmer front end and a 33 per cent firmer rear, new carbon-fibre anti-roll bars, a 3D-printed titanium exhaust, new wheels that were 35 per cent lighter than the Sport’s and gearing that was 15 per cent shorter. Its top speed was limited to 217mph, emphasising its racetrack purpose. 

Later in 2020, the Chiron Sport Les Légendes Du Ciel evoked the memory of Bugatti racers like Roland Garros, Albert Divo, and Louis Blériot, all of whom also flew for the French Air Force. Its Gris Serpent body colour with centre stripe was meant to emulate the metallic finish of those early aircraft. Given the advances in aerodynamic research since then, we’re wondering just how close the LLDC’s front wing actually was to the wing shape of the WW1 Nieuport 17 biplane which it supposedly copied. Inside you had gaucho brown leather and polished metal trim with a Les Légendes du Ciel emblem showing the unit number. The LLDC roof could be all glass for that authentic WW1 fighter pilot view of the heavens. Bugatti might well have thrown in a leather flying helmet and a Basildon Bond-style starched white silk scarf, but we can’t confirm that.

The £2.7m Super Sport version arrived in 2021 with the 300+’s 1,600hp, the 273mph limiter, a launch control function that would allow a little bit of slip to let the car get going and the 300+’s extended bodywork. 

There was no problem selling the Chiron. The problems were all on the buyer’s side. You had to be seriously pre-qualified to even have a shot at getting one. If you only had one aircraft you almost certainly wouldn’t be up for consideration. Typical buyers owned three private jets plus a yacht and about 80 other cars. Successful buyers would see the Chiron delivered to their volcanic lairs with a presentation box containing the speed key, a USB stick full of images detailing the car’s build, and a car cover.

Although the Chiron order book was filled up by January 2022, the last car didn’t officially leave the Molsheim line until October 2023, seven years after the run began. However, other cars have appeared since then because quite a few buyers ordered two cars, the second one to come through later in the run when it was expected that more personalisation options would be available. Maybe there was also some sort of silent competition going on among the super-rich to get the very last Chiron delivery. That was supposed to be the one that went to Canadian oil and gas exec and self-described risk-taker Bilal Hydrie, who placed the order for his Nocturne and Copper-hued car in late 2021 and who took delivery in early 2024 – but even that isn’t going to be the last Chiron. It’s thought that there are still some Pur Sports to come. 

The final number of Chirons built will (or should) be five hundred. That will make it slightly less exclusive than the Veyron, of which there were 450, but the value in a Chiron will come as much from what it is, in what its nuts and bolts add up to on the road, as much as from what investors might be willing to pay for its rarity. Remember, this was a car that literally redefined road car performance. In a drag race against a Ford Focus ST, the Ford – not a slow car by any normal measure  – would be hitting 62mph from rest at the same time as the Chiron was passing the 125mph mark. ‘There is nothing made by any mainstream car maker that could hold a candle to the Chiron,’ said J Clarkson. ‘A McLaren P1 doesn’t even get close.’

It’s hard to be accurate about the prices of new Chirons as each one was effectively custom-built, but the nominal price in 2016 was £2.1 million, plus whatever taxes were applicable in the country you chose for minimising them. That’s more than twice what was being asked for the first Veyrons when they were new. Industry insiders have estimated that Bugatti – or Volkswagen, as the owner – was losing over £5 million on every Veyron sold. That might be an over-estimate, but with many or most Chirons probably being nearer to £3 million than £2 million once all the extras and custom work has been added in, and with most of the hard R&D yards having already been covered, Volkswagen might have made some money on them. Having said that, they did have to design and build a new test bed that was capable of handling a 1,500hp engine. Profit was never in Piech’s mind for this project anyway. One VW spokesbod reckoned that the Veyron did a reputational job that would never have been achieved by (say) running an F1 team.

There will be a successor to the Chiron. It’s due to appear sometime in 2024, with production likely to start in 2026. As Bugatti recently confirmed, this will feature an all-new V16 engine and it’s probably safe to assume that will carry on where Bugatti’s previous hypercar left off. But it will be a hybrid, so perhaps there’s still some truth in the idea (as we often find ourselves saying in these buying guides) that the current version will be the last ‘real’ one. 

SPECIFICATION | Bugatti Chiron (2016-23)

Engine: 7,993cc W16 64v quad-turbocharged petrol
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 1,500@6,700rpm
Torque (lb ft): 1,179@2,000-6,000rpm
0-62mph (secs): 2.4
Top speed (mph): 261
Weight (kg): 1,995
MPG: under 12, or 1.7 if you have the space and courage 
Wheels (in): 20 (f), 21 (r)
Tyres: 285/30 (f), 355/24 (r)
On sale: 2016 – now
Price new: 21p, sorry, that should be £2.1m (base 2016-18 model
Price now: from £2.5m

Note for reference: car weight and power data is hard to pin down with absolute certainty. For consistency, we use the same source for all our guides. We hope the data we use is right more often than it’s wrong. Our advice is to treat it as relative rather than definitive.


Again we would refer you to the Veyron guide for the skinny on the Chiron’s drivetrain. Although there have been many developmental changes – by 2021 some 80 per cent of the W16’s engine internals had been changed from those in the first Veyron – the salient facts about the overall design and construction of this frankly magnificent powertrain cross over pretty much intact from the Veyron to the Chiron. 

See the engine and gearbox mounted on a plinth and it’s hard to work out how such a massive unit could fit into the Chiron, which is not as big in reality as it sometimes looks in pictures. Part of the solution was in the positioning of the Ricardo-built 7-speed DSG automatic – slightly larger here than in the Veyron – ahead of the engine to help create a 45/55 front/rear weight distribution. 

The engine’s lazy gurgle at idle managed to be both refined and deeply threatening at the same time, which was absolutely correct as the reality of the Chiron experience usually far exceeded even the most cynical driver’s highest expectations. Explaining the complex functioning of the four monster turbos and their manifolds would take too much space here. Suffice it to say that you only experience full boost when all four of them are working together from 3,800rpm. It’s conceivable that there are Chiron owners out there who will have never enjoyed that sensation, having been cowed into submission by the low-rpm torque thrust and resolving never to go anywhere near that ever again. Full power is delivered at 6,700rpm. Good luck with that on the North Circular.  

The Chiron’s full v-max (261mph in the regular car) was accessed through a secondary key inserted into the driver’s door sill. If you put more than a few degrees of lock into the steering however it would default back to the feeble 236mph limit. If your tyres were more than two years old the car would simply refuse to engage the speed mode at all. If the rubber was deemed to be all right by the key your eyes would need to reset their perception of the horizon, which suddenly seemed to be arriving much more quickly than before. 

Despite the bonkers numbers surrounding it, the Chiron was just as easy to drive at normal speeds as the Veyron had been. At 100mph it was barely ticking over. The clutch in the gearbox was reputedly the largest in automotive production. It provided syrupy-smooth and near-instant changes.  

If you had a problem with your Chiron, Bugatti’s aftersales team would take calls at any hour of the day or night and if necessary deploy a team of specialist ‘flying doctors’ to look into it. Bugatti likened it to the concierge service at a six-star hotel. We’re not sure if you had to pay for that service. Seems doubtful, but we don’t suppose that crude concepts like ‘payment’ were much of an issue for either Bugatti or client. 

Not that you’ll be interested but your Chiron’s annual service costs will be something between £10k and £20k. When the Veyron was new, cars had to return to the factory in France for any repairs, but the establishment of a proper global Bugatti dealership network since then means that you can have it picked up and fettled in your own country (depending on the country of course).  

With high-speed fuel consumption of more than one gallon a minute, the 22-gallon tank might be considered too small for limit-free touring on German autobahns. 


Again to avoid repetition you can get all the basic chassis info from the Veyron guide. The Chiron’s new carbon fibre chassis was claimed to be stiffer than that of an LMP1 Le Mans racer, and yet there were no vibrations coming through to the driver at any point in the rev range, a minor miracle which was only partly explained by the sublimely beautiful engine mounts. You had five driving modes including Autobahn, which lifted the back end of the car to add 20 degrees to the front/rear rake angle, Track which gave you four degrees more rear wing angle at the back and firmed up the suspension, and for the first time the ‘Handling’ mode gave you drift capability. 

Outside of that mode – which seemed a bit wrong for such a majestic vehicle but which it would execute perfectly if you were brave/rich enough – the grip and traction from the all-wheel drive chassis were predictably peerless. Ben ‘The Stig’ Collins likened the Chiron’s practically magnetic corner-clampery to flying a fighter jet at ground level. Unless you were driving across the Painted Desert or the Nullarbor Plain, straights more or less ceased to exist. You were either firing out of a corner or going into the next one. In either case the Chiron would blow your mind with the absolute certainty of its grip and handling, in the dry at least, while you were ensconced in exquisite Italian leather listening to Faure’s In Paradisum.

Stopping a Chiron was as impressive an experience as running it up through the gears. Nought to 249mph in 32.6sec was mad enough, but it went from 249mph to nought in under ten seconds, thereby securing the world record for the 0-400-0km/h test. To achieve that, you had the airbrake plus a carbon ceramic braking system with heatshields over the front discs that, possibly uniquely in the production auto world, generated a small amount of downforce. Diverting heat away from the front tyres in this way cut the rate of rubber wear significantly compared to the Veyron, whose rear tyres were actually slightly wider than the Chiron’s (though its fronts were narrower). 

The effects of gravity on the Chiron at Chiron speeds were interesting. One tyre valve cap on a Super Sport weighed 2.5g, which was hardly anything at 0mph, but at 300mph the effect of 3,000G at that distance from the axle line raised each cap’s weight to 7kg. A Chiron tyre pressure and temp sensor grew from 44g stationary to 131kg at 300mph. Alien stuff, and a small insight into the difference between slapping some go-faster bits onto your Type R and properly designing something to go really, really fast. 

The Chiron’s pared-down AP calipers had eight pistons at the front and six at the rear, all of them different diameters and all made from titanium. Have a look at this video of a caliper undergoing extreme testing. With 1.5G of decel easily available you can understand why Bugatti didn’t bother to include a self-packing parachute in the braking package (although in typical belt and braces fashion the handbrake has had its own ABS circuit since Veyron days). 

There have been a small number of Chiron recalls, two of them affecting just one car. Not the same one, mind. A single March 2023-built Super Sport managed to leave the factory with the wrong-sized wheels, and a 2018 car had to be brought in for inspection and tightening of one of the screws used to secure the front frame support. Another recall was carried out on the Pur Sport cars when it was found that they could suffer from cracking to their Pilot Sport Cup 2 rear tyres. As a result of this Bugatti set a new maximum lifespan of 2,500 miles for the rear tyres, requesting owners to bring their cars in for new rears on a free-of-charge basis at 3,000km (1,875 miles) or 1.5 years after the tyres’ construction date. It’s fair enough when you realise that at 300mph tyres are having to resist 7 tonnes of tearing, shape-changing forces. 

To keep tyre weights and stresses manageable, Michelin used carbon-fibre sheeting for the final reinforcing layer instead of the usual steel threads. Tests on specialised NASA equipment revealed that the carbon tyres could run at 318mph without warping. Even so, Michelin could only get the tyres rated for 15 minutes of top-speed running, which sounded scary until you realised that the fuel tank would have emptied itself after ten minutes anyway. Call it a safety feature. If you drove a Veyron at 248mph everywhere its tyres would be knackered after 37 miles, again with timeouts for fuel fills.

One bit of good news for those trying to run a Chiron on a budget (ha ha) was that the Veyron’s murderously expensive regime of wheel changing no longer applied to the Chiron. Its rims were designed to last the lifetime of the car, one of the few features that this Bugatti has in common with the conventional rubbish most of us have to schlepp around in. There was a recall for a faulty stability control system wherein the ECS didn’t automatically return to full-function original mode if the Handling mode was selected. 


Not everyone had been a fan of the Veyron’s interior design. The use of leather and aluminium could seem a little blingy compared to the cool scientific efficiency of (say) a McLaren, but it was very difficult to question the Bugatti’s quality or the comfort. For the Chiron, Bugatti slimmed down the gear selector to shift the ambience from burly to, well, not exactly delicate but something more along those lines. The mix of leather, aluminium and carbon fibre was still impossibly rich but somehow more purposeful. The little knobs with the integral readouts were fabulous pieces of jewellery. 

There was more luggage space in a Chiron than a Veyron, but 44 litres was still only the size of a carry-on bag for a commercial aircraft. Still, you could hang a couple of jackets up on two ‘high-quality’ hooks behind the seats. Bugatti issued a recall to correct defective welds in the seat recliner brackets on 47 early production cars, and another one for (we think) all Chirons to carry out software updates on non-functioning ‘seatbelt not secured’ chimes.


The main features distinguishing the Chiron from the Veyron were its octet of headlights and the rather beautiful decreasing-radius ‘C’ (for Chiron) scallop in the side elevation, echoed on the inside by a cabin-separating swoosh of leather and aluminium.  

After a few complaints from Veyron owners about the prangability of the aluminium grille Bugatti switched to titanium for the Chiron’s one, which was tested for animal hits at 250mph. We don’t have the gory details on that. The ‘Macaron’ emblem on the Chiron grille weighed 150g, 140g of which was pure silver. 


To the average bod in the street, the Chiron didn’t look all that different to the Veyron so it was never going to have the same earth-shattering impact as that car had in 2005. Some of the regular headline performance numbers weren’t that different either, the 0-62mph for example, but according to those fortunate and skilled enough to have driven both of these Bugattis, the Chiron just felt, well, better. Not only was it a beautifully considered evolution of an already revolutionary vehicle, it was faster than an already ridiculously fast vehicle. 

Andy Wallace was staggered by how much faster the Chiron was than the Veyron in the area between 100mph and 300mph. He noted that in the Veyron you needed to enter Ehra-Lessien’s main 9km straight at a considerable rate of knots off the banked bend in order to hit v-max before the next bend. In the Chiron however, you could come off the first bend, stop the car completely, start off again from scratch and still hit 300mph with plenty of room to spare. It’s a niche point, admittedly, but worth making to demonstrate the thoroughness of the re-engineering that went into the Chiron. 

It’s a grown up’s car too, one that doesn’t rely on exhaust bangs and pops or irrelevant 0-62 times to impress you. Instead, it will do your head in with the relentlessness of its acceleration taking you up to and beyond the kind of numbers normally only seen on aircraft instruments. Almost more impressive than the effortless gathering of speed was the absolute security of its handling at any end of the performance envelope, not just at 300mph but also at 30mph. 

Rivals? Hmm. The Rimac Nivera was even faster than the Chiron, and for those who could tell the difference it felt more agile, but when travelling at the very high speeds explored by cars like this quite a few of us would probably happily trade in a bit of Nivera agility for a reassuring dollop of Chiron stability. Aston’s Valkyrie is an entirely different animal. More, well, animal-y. The remarkable thing about the Chiron was the density of its baked-in excellence in any aspect of motoring performance you could think of. 

Of course, choosing between a Chiron and its rivals, if you believe it has any, is a moot point because the average Chiron buyer does not have to make such tiresome choices. They just buy everything. 

Which brings us to values. At one point Veyrons had dropped to £650,000 (bet you wish you’d bought one then) but with the mighty W16 now making its exit from the scene we can’t see similar troughing ever affecting the Chiron. Of the three cars for sale on PH Classifieds at the time of writing in March 2024, two were predictably marked up as ‘POA’, but the other one – a 2017 in Bugatti light blue with Beluga black leather and 2,400 miles – did have a price tag on it: £2,650,000. That might seem like crazy money until you go to the Molsheim factory and look at the static exhibits they have there. Everything about the Chiron, even the parts you will never see, is a work of pure engineering art. 

If we take that admittedly hopelessly small sample as our guide we can see that Chirons are slightly more expensive now than when they were new. For comparison, a Netherlands-based 2007 Veyron that was also on PH Classifieds in March 2024 was priced at 1.625 million euros (£1.39m), quite a difference from the £650k days but again not too far off what it would have cost new. 

Bugatti routinely recorded everything that went on with every Veyron that left the factory, so on the assumption they’re still doing that it should be possible for the dealer to supply you with a nice background picture of any Chiron you’re thinking of buying. Enjoy it, you jammy bugger.