- Image: Bugatti Newsroom

Have We Completely Lost It?

A Bugatti breaks the 300mph barrier and nobody seems to care...?

6w ago

I'm 21-years-old, and to save you from the maths, that makes me younger than the Ferrari F40 and the McLaren F1. I can only imagine that based off those cars' respective legacies, the idea of a road car being capable of 200mph and 240mph was simply ridiculous.

However, I do remember catching onto the sheer hype, love and astonishment of the legendary Bugatti Veyron.

1,000bhp, £1 million, 10 radiators which surpasses the amount in my house, indicator stalks that cost £4,500 each! But of course, it could power onto a top speed of 253mph.

If you're under about 18-ish, I don't think you'll ever understand just how much of a stir the Veyron caused. For years, everyone was talking about it in school. It was the trump card to have while having your face smashed while sitting near the football pitch. If you had a hot wheels version (which were impossible to find back then), you were bloody cool!

The sheer speed of the Veyron is why everyone was so mesmerised by it. It caught people's imagination like no other car before it, and the thought of anything reaching the next milestone of 300mph was all but an impossible dream.

Except... it really did happen. But why is everyone so 'meh' about it??

Image: Bugatti Newsroom

Image: Bugatti Newsroom

This is the Bugatti Chiron Supersports 300+. Not the catchiest of names, but nevertheless it clocked a jaw-collapsing 304.7mph at their top secret test track near the former East German boarder.

304mph. Sorry, can we just let that sink in? Because that was back in 2019 and despite two years of that record being published, nobody seems to give a horse's arse!

I'm not the only one who thinks this either: in an issue of Octane Magazine I read many moons ago, Jay Leno also expressed that despite this simply unbelievable achievement by Bugatti, there was so little noise. Only a few whispers of fuss that ever said 'wow, this is a huge deal!'

Why has everybody suddenly gone all straight-faced when the mystic 300mph barrier has been broken? What damaging aspects of what I believed was our car community caused everyone to not be bothered? If the 200mph and 250mph top speed targets were highly anticipated, what reason is there not to be hyped about a car smashing through the 300mph milestone?

Whether you care or not, the Chiron Supersports will eventually go down in history as one of the all-time great cars. A legend that broke the motorcar's most significant speed record... that somehow flew over everyone's heads.

Get in the comments

Image: Bugatti Newsroom

Image: Bugatti Newsroom

I'm interested in why on earth the 304mph speed record went so quietly. Why do you think this has been the case - especially for the best part of two years? Are you even bothered yourself??

Get writing and feel free to share your thoughts.

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Comments (95)

  • I remember when the Veyron was first announced, having 1000 hp I wasn't terribly impressed with the 16 second acceleration time... And then I did a double take, and re-read the figures, to realize it was a 0-300 km/h sprint rather than a "standard" 0-100 acceleration time. That honestly blew my mind.

    And yes. We have lost it. Totally and completely lost it. Cars and engines perform beyond what we can reasonably understand, there is no more real world connection to be found.

    In the eighties (when I grew up), some people would define a sports car as "A car that will do a 0-100 km/h sprint in under ten seconds". Now I've never agreed with that particular definition, but at least it is something you can wrap your head around.

    A Golf I GTI had 110 hp, where many current supercars have at least roughly five times that. Hypercars may have eight to ten times that figure, if not more. EVs have perhaps twenty times the torque an eighties supercar delivered. Ever improving specs have become a goal, rather than a result. They no longer have any real world connection, application or meaning.

    It's like saying: "My computer is capable of twenty-five million calculations per second". That's so immeasurable... And you never use it, because you will type an email, scroll through your Instagram feed and look at cat videos, while arguing with strangers online. The tech is impressive, but is so far beyond what the average person can use (or can comprehend) that it no longer matters.

    Just like a car being able to achieve a certain top speed when all controlled circumstances are 100% right, but it simply doesn't happen in the real world.

      1 month ago
    • You make a damn good point. Thanks for sharing!

        1 month ago
    • I completely agree.

      We completely lost the plot, power and performance figures of modern supercars are reaching the point that it becomes silly.

      And I don’t care anymore which car has the highest top speed or the fastest acceleration,...

      Read more
        1 month ago
  • Because a 300mph road car is no more relevant than a 250mph one. Unless you’ve got access to VAG’s test track, there is nowhere on the planet where you can actually unleash it. It’s a pointless pissing contest.

      1 month ago
  • I think it was quiet because when they did it, it wasn’t in a “Chiron”. It was in a “modified” Chiron (which didn’t go down well) which was later dubbed the super sport 300+ after people have them shit about it not being a production Chiron etc etc. and even then the customer Chiron SS cannot do 300MPH anyways and was/is limited to the same speed as the standard Chiron (273mph). I’m very impressed by the 300MPH figure don’t get me wrong and not to take anything away from Bugatti. They just did it in a sorta shady way which didn’t help well with publicity, and with the hype with the other manufacturers starting to attempt that speed (koenigsegg, Hennessy, SSC, If they achieved it is another story), it was more of an arms race to see who can do it more than who can do it FIRST. I think also lately it seems to be a HP figure race rather than a KPH/MPH race. EV performance also became more of a highlight.

    The Chiron SS 300+ executed its job very well at the wrong time maybe

      1 month ago
    • The prototypes/test platforms of cars usually tend to be the record breakers in general though.

        1 month ago
    • Yea agreed. And that’s half the problem maybe, people didn’t take it too seriously because it was just a prototype/test car at the time and wasn’t said to be a production car until a couple months after they record achieved. If they did it with...

      Read more
        1 month ago
  • I suspect that there are multiple contributing factors.

    Speeds that are next to impossible to achieve - even on the autobahn - are somewhat irrelevant … even with a massive runway, very few people will ever achieve it - and I doubt most of the punters who can afford such a vehicle would ever try it.

    The old Top Gear played a big part in hyping the old Veyron - they did three separate bits on it.

    Most petrol heads enjoy twisty stuff more. Not to mention everyday drivability.

    The green-lobby (#JealousScum), have got everyone hating cars, drivers, petrol and all that they represent. Few media outlets will celebrate such an achievement.

    The last ten years have seen loads of incremental records from Koenigsegg and the American company I can’t recall the name of… I think (for some of the reasons above), people are bored of it.

    It’s an _incredible_ engineering achievement (as was the Veyron); and that should be celebrated … but as a vehicle, it is somewhat pointless …

      1 month ago
    • I believe that American company is called ssc tautara

        1 month ago
    • Yes I agree: the old TG certainly had a big effect on the Veyron's success because its capabilities were more than highly covered - and tested.

        1 month ago
  • Nobody cares because it’s not that big of a deal anymore

      1 month ago