Bugatti Chiron can’t reach 300 mph due to its tires

A leap in tire tech is needed to make it possible

Bugatti’s new Chiron has a speedometer graded all the way up to 500 km/h or 310 mph and is probably geared to get close to that figure, yet it’s limited to 261 mph / 420 km/h. But it’s not necessarily aero or power output that’s forced engineers to peg it back from achieving its full potential, but rather its tires.

That is so according to Popular Mecahnics, which got a chance to ride in the car and learn more about it from Bugatti test driver and Le Mans winner, Andy Wallace. He says there’s currently no street tire capable of withstanding speeds of 300+ mph, but that things may soon change.

Wallace has insider knowledge that Michelin is working on just such a tire at the moment, one that can safely surpass the 280 mph mark.

The source also suggests Bugatti may in 2018 stage a top speed run attempt for the Chiron, but that we shouldn’t expect to see it hit or exceed 300 mph just yet. For that we’ll probably need to wait for the slew of uprated special editions just like the ones the Veyron got back in the day.

If these ultra high speed tires are indeed currently in development, then they’ll also benefit a number of other boutique manufacturers of hypercars - Koenigsegg springs to mind, and even Hennessey is making big claims about its all-new upcoming projectile on wheels, the F5.

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