Veyron. The name itself almost synonymous with speed. Arguably THE quintessential hypercar of the 21st century. With a price-tag in excess of $1.5 million and a top speed of over 400km/h- how could it not be? When it exploded onto the market in 2005, it completely rewrote the supercar rulebook. Now in 2016, it’s spiritual successor the Chiron, has been designed to rewrite it again. Well, not if Koenigsegg have anything to say about it. Welcome everyone, the Regera, the car hungry for Bugatti’s blood. Place your bets.
Powered by a similar unit to the original Veyron, the Chiron’s propulsion comes from a fire breathing quad-turbocharged (yes, 4) W16 monster. The beast within is said to produce a mind-warping 1,119 kw and 1,600Nm, big numbers certainly, but numbers which are necessary to shift the monumental mass of 1,996 kg.
Despite giving away 8 cylinders and two-turbochargers to the Chiron’s engine, the Regera is still claimed to produce (coincidentally) 1,119kw of power and an extraordinary 2,000Nm+ of torque. How? Batteries. 3 of them to be precise. See, the Regera is a hybrid, just not as we know it. Not only do the batteries result in a better fuel economy, they are able to produce up to 521 kw and 900Nm on their own. This is combined with the already considerable 820kw and 1250Nm developed from the twin-turbocharged V8. And yet, despite the batteries, and the tangles of tech, the Regera weighs in on the scales at 1,470kg (dry).
Thanks to its all-wheel drive system (the Regera is RWD) the Bugatti can rocket from 0-100km/h time in less than 2.5 seconds. All the while the Regera struggles to overcome a battle between the bitumen and its tires, to achieve a still highly commendable 2.8. Top tip: if you have a Chiron and plan on drag racing it against your mate’s Regera, make sure the strip is shorter than 400m, otherwise the Regera will catch up on you like a greyhound on a rabbit.
Bugatti’s claim of 13.6 seconds for the 0-300km/h sprint for the Chiron may not seem slow, but compared to the Regera, is practically pedestrian. The time for the Regera? 10.9. Yes, you read that correctly. 10.9-faster than a Toyota Hilux takes to get to 100km/h. If you have dentures, you may want to pick them up off the ground right now.
However, straights are one thing, and corners are most obviously another. And despite being a ‘luxury Megacar’ (their words not ours) Koenigsegg has employed the genius of active aerodynamics, with the headline act being the huge foldable active rear wing. At 250km/h it produces a sumo-besting 450 kg of downforce. Bugatti too use a similar set-up, with the wing on Chiron generating many, many kg of downforce also… well we assume so, since Bugatti haven’t actually released a claim yet (well not that we know of anyway)…not that it actually NEEDS downforce. With a weight that’d rival the Taj Mahal, it’d take a category 5 hurricane to peel it off the tarmac at speed.
It must be said, the Bugatti looks menacingly sinister in the dark hue of what we’re calling night blue. That colour perfectly highlights the Chiron’s sweeping silhouette, perfectly bringing into light its brutal proportions. It's low-yet-wide girth looks to be the new face of the Mafia. And that rear horizontal LED strip has more than a whiff of millennium falcon about it. Brilliant.
The Regera’s design meanwhile has had us on a rollercoaster ride ever since its first reveal. At first we loved it- the aggressive front and fluid side silhouette had us hooked like Ben Cousins on ice (sorry Cuz, jus sayin’), but then we came to the back… and oh dear. A slash here, a curve there-it’s the automotive equivalent of a Picasso, and not in a good way.
Thankfully, the interior in the Regera is excellent. A center, Tesla-like, screen dominates the dashboard, with polished metals and carbon fiber a common theme, all the while encompassed with dashes of the finest leather. Koenigsegg have also used what appears to be a similar system to Audi’s ‘virtual cockpit’, for the dials behind the steering wheel. The quality is of the highest standard (as you’d expect when paying around $2 million), and more than a match for any of the greatest hypercar interiors on the market at the moment.
The Chiron’s interior is equally superb, despite the apparent lack of gadgets and buttons. No, the Chiron is about more than sheer technological ambitions, it’s more focused on first-class French craftsmanship. Don’t let the smothering of red leather in the car pictured put you off, the interior is second-to-none in terms of pure quality and ambience. The center LED strip light, the steering wheel and the seats are all primary examples of what ‘class’ is. And just like I said before in regard to the Regera’s interior, you’d expect nothing less from a multi-million dollar car.
The Chiron is part of a dying breed of performance cars. Yes, it uses turbochargers in the bid to ‘save petrol’ (yeah right), but in the wake of ever tightening emission regulations, we can’t help but get the sense, that such a car won’t exist for much longer. Fool throttle in the Chiron and a cry of rage erupts from the rear exhausts. It’s a furious noise, as if knowing that it’s destined for the history books soon. It’s a dinosaur, a beast out of time. The Regera too, is a beast out of time, except it appears to be one from the future. The seamless integration of the twin-turbo V8 with the 3 electric motors is phenomenal, especially when considering that despite the addition of the batteries, it weighs 526kg less than the Bugatti.
Don’t get us wrong, we love the Chiron. We really do. In fact, if you handed us the keys to one of these incredible devices for a sound thrashing, we'd choose the Bugatti, simply because it’s the final song of the traditional hypercar. However, hypercars aren't just about how they drive. No. They're about the technology, about how far they push the boundaries of the automobile. They're supposed to be the pinnacle of automobile engineering, to which all lesser machines aspire to. And it's the Koenigsegg that moves the goalposts the furthest.