Michelin accompanies Bugatti beyond 300 mph
Last month, a Bugatti Chiron became the first near production car in the world to break the 300 mph barrier, after reaching an independently verified speed of 304.773 mph (490.484 km/h) at Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany. The Chiron wore Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 – the world’s fastest street legal tyre – for the speed record attempt.
The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres used for the record were very similar to the car’s regular original equipment tyres. They bear the marking ‘BG’ on the sidewall, meaning they can only be fitted to the Bugatti, and they are completely street legal. Michelin says the only difference to the regular tyres is that the casing belts of the tyres used on the record-breaking Chiron were reinforced, specifically to handle the 5,300 g that the tyres needed to withstand at these very high speeds.
Development work on the Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres that were designed specifically for the Chiron took place at Michelin’s Technology Center in Ladoux, France, and its site in Charlotte, USA, where specialist machinery was employed to carry out the most extreme tests on the tyres. In order to test the tyres at the extreme speeds the Bugatti is capable of, Michelin used a test machine that was designed to test tyres fitted to the Space Shuttle, and can test at up to 510km/h or 317 mph.
Commenting on the record, Pierre Chandezon, Bugatti tyre design team leader at Michelin, said: “Michelin is very proud to have been an integral part of this record and it is the fruit of the relationship between us and Bugatti which stretches back almost 20 years. With this in mind, it was the trust built up over this time that gave Bugatti the confidence to allow Michelin to develop the sole original equipment fitment tyres for the Chiron.”
Michelin and Bugatti engineers collaborated on the joint development of the Chiron’s tyres and its chassis, making the most of cutting-edge casing designs, materials and the latest production techniques. Michelin believes this simultaneous co-development of the tyre and the car “brought together the optimum levels of tyre performance for the Bugatti Chiron.”
The Chiron wears Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres in size 285/30 R20 (99Y) on the front axle, and size 355/25 R21 (107Y) on the rear.