It’s no secret that the 1,480HP Bugatti Chiron Sport is one of the most ridiculous vehicles on the planet, but we’ve hardly caught a glimpse at just what the hypercar is capable of. More to the point, the USD$3.5 million limited-edition Les Légendes du Ciel version takes the mystery to a whole new level, however, in an insane new stunt to plug the performance car, Bugatti has let fly. Figuring that no streetcar is a match for the new vehicle, Bugatti has pitted the Chiron Les Légendes du Ciel against a Dassault Rafale Marine fighter jet in the ultimate speed showdown.
“Precision and preparation are everything. Everything happens very quickly in the Rafale Marine and every move you make has to be right. And the same goes for the Chiron Sport at high speeds,” explained Navy pilot, Etienne. “At high speeds, everything has to go perfectly both in the Chiron Sport and the Rafale Marine. Because the runway isn’t all that long or terribly wide for the both of us. This comparison will be a challenge for everyone,” added Pierre-Henri Raphanel, Bugatti’s pilote officiel.
Much like the iconic drag race between the Veyron 16.4 and Eurofighter Typhoon in 2007, the latest battle saw the Bugatti Chiron Sport and the Dassault Rafale Marine measure up in disciplines like acceleration, torque and braking behaviour. This time around, the €2.88 million Chiron Sport ‘Les Légendes du Ciel’ took centre stage.
A tribute to French aviation and the former Bugatti drivers of the golden age who also piloted aeroplanes, the ultra-rare performance car is limited to just 20 units worldwide. It features attributes reminscent of the aircraft, such as the Gris Serpent matte grey paintwork and the blue, white, and red Tricolor, which adorns the front of the side skirts made from black visible carbon fibre. Similarly, the bars of the radiator grille are made from laser-cut, deep-drawn aluminium, with a brushed aluminium door sill panel emblazoned with the lettering ‘Les Légendes du Ciel’ identifies the edition.
But design aside, it was power that the Chiron Sport needed to best the Navy jet. Under the hood, the releases powered by an 8.0-litre W16 engine with 1,500 PS and torque of 1,600 newton meters. A seven-gear dual-clutch transmission transfers the power to all four tires, giving the car a much-need acceleration boost, one major advantage over its much larger competitor.
When the race finally kicked off, the Bugatti Chiron Sport took the lead thanks to its eye-popping acceleration, rocketing from 0 to 62 mph in just 2.4 seconds. After several hundred feet the jet took off, leaving the Chiron Sport still on the runway, though gamely keeping pace.
“The Chiron Sport has incredible acceleration force which comes very close to that of the Rafale,” noted Bugatti’s test driver. “It’s a very extreme sensation as if you were driving into a wall or like a controlled fall,” he says, describing the maneuver. The Chiron Sport, meanwhile, brakes powerfully, but more softly. “With the air brake at the rear, the Bugatti remains incredibly directionally stable, even during abrupt braking maneuvers down from high speeds.”
All in all, the battle was neck and neck, proving that both vehicles are incredible machines built for speed. You can watch the full video of the Bugatti Chiron Sport taking on the Navy jet above.