Watch: Bugatti’s aviation-inspired Chiron Sport special edition takes on a fighter jet

Wonder where that idea came from...
by Vijay Pattni | May 22, 2021
PHOTO: Bugatti
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Remember 2007? Heady days. Mitsubishi launched the Evo X in 2007, while in the world of motorsports, a young Mr. Hamilton was making waves in a Formula 1 car.

Oh, and something fast raced something really, truly fast.

In unrelated news, Bugatti has just revealed these images and a film of a limited-edition Chiron Sport ‘Les Légends du Ciel’ racing a Dassault Rafale Marine jet.

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No idea where they got the idea for this one, but be honest, it’s never uncool to race a hypercar against a ruddy Navy fighter jet. “In the current matchup,” says Bugatti, “the Chiron Sport and Dassault Rafale Marine are seeing how they measure up against one another in disciplines like acceleration, torque, and braking behavior.”

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Gotcha. Just so we’re all clear, the Chiron packs 1,479hp versus the jet’s 5,649hp. The Bugatti can hit a top speed of 420kph. The jet? An infinitely cooler-sounding 1.6 Mach, which is a little over 1,930kph. What you’d call ‘not slow.’

There’s a bit of a link between the two: The jet’s brakes were developed by a company that traces its roots to Bugatti. It uses lots of lightweight materials in its construction...just like the Chiron Sport. And the Bugatti deploys lots of aero tech, while the jet...well, the jet is aero.

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So, the race. We’re told the Chiron Sport “takes the lead soon after setting off.” It does 0-100kph in 2.4sec, 200kph in 6.1sec, and 300kph in 13.1sec. The jet? After 450 meters, it takes off at 260kph.

“I pulled away from the Rafale over the first few hundred meters,” explains Bugatti pilot Pierre-Henri Raphanel, “but after a few hundred meters more, it was around 20 meters above and alongside me in the air. An incredible and fantastic sight.”

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You can watch the race—which Bugatti declares a draw—below. Back in 2007, the result was a little more clear-cut...

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NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: Bugatti
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