Remember that 304-mph Bugatti Chiron from last week? It apparently went airborne during its record-breaking run, which sounds kinda terrifying.
By now, we've all heard the story. Back in August, Bugatti sent a tweaked Chiron to the Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany and made history. Thanks to some aerodynamic tweaks, adjusted suspension, and an engine that now produced 1,578 horsepower, Bugatti became the first can manufacturer to break the 300-mph barrier, achieving a maximum velocity of 304.77 mph.
Bugatti didn't announce the Super Sport 300+ Chiron until the week after, but as soon as they did, it officially became the first production car to break 300 mph.
And now we're being told that test driver Andy Wallace actually went airborne during the attempt.
Speaking to Wheels, Wallace said that there's a rise on the test track that's high enough to send a speeding car into the air if only for a brief second.
“There is a surface change [on the straight], and I was calling it a ramp and jump, and everyone was wondering why I was calling it that,” he said. "That was until they looked at the data, and they realized that it actually is a jump. This occurs at 447km/h [277 mph] on that fast run.
“It goes from a nice smooth surface, to an older surface. It felt to me inside the cabin that it was all coming off the ground and then coming down. You know that surface change is there, and after you have fired yourself off the banking, and the numbers are coming up, you kind of brace yourself for going over this jump."
At 277 mph, if anything goes wrong there's no time to correct. You're just a red smear on the asphalt while the car is a burning wreck somewhere a mile away. Wallace has some extreme cajones to pull off this jump on a top-speed run.
Even more amazing is the fact that this isn’t the first time he’s hopped a Chiron at extreme speeds. Later on in the interview, he says he’s jumped a Bugatti before and it always lands squarely on all four wheels.