DREAM DRIVE

The ul­ti­mate mo­tor­way needs a suit­able set of wheels to match. The dream com­bi­na­tion…

Evo India - - CONTENTS -

The ul­ti­mate su­per­car for the ul­ti­mate road with no speed lim­its. The mighty Bu­gatti Ch­i­ron and das Au­to­bahn, this is a match made in heaven

STILL 100 RUNS SHORT AND ONLY three wick­ets re­main­ing. Canute had about as much chance when he tried to im­prove his beach hol­i­day. Never mind, it’s just nice to hear the sound of wil­low on leather and have the sun beat­ing down. And even as a cry of ‘catch!’ goes up from the slips you find you’re doz­ing off…

Bowl­ing along the mo­tor­way some­thing feels dif­fer­ent. You move a thin piece of ma­chined alu­minium and in­di­cate to over­take the lorry in front. The steer­ing ac­tion has a de­li­cious smooth­ness as you add a few de­grees and move to the mid­dle lane. Squeeze the throt­tle gen­tly and an easy surge adds speed in tens, not ones.

An­other glance in the mir­ror and a set of lights in the out­side lane that weren’t there a few se­conds ago are about to flash past your left shoul­der. You no­tice you’re do­ing a re­laxed 200kmph as a non­de­script BMW 5-se­ries thun­ders past, gen­tly head­but­ting a 250kmph lim­iter. Wel­come to the au­to­bahn.

As its tail lights re­cede, you re­alise that two of the three lanes in front are now empty. The bot­tom-left seg­ment of the steer­ing wheel has a small ro­tary switch. A smooth quar­ter turn clock­wise re­minds you of an old work­bench vice in its weight­ily slick ac­tion. It also moves the car from EB mode to Au­to­bahn mode, re­duc­ing the ride height, adding some rake and rais­ing the rear wing.

The temp­ta­tion is to drop a few gears, but in­stead you hold it in sev­enth and en­joy the sen­sa­tion of that W16 en­gine gath­er­ing mo­men­tum, swelling in stature with first two, then, at 3800rpm, four tur­bocharg­ers forc­ing air into the 8-litre leviathan be­hind you and load­ing the drive­shafts with more and more en­ergy un­til… you hit an elec­tronic wall. 380kmph. No more. Un­less…

You pull into the next ser­vice area, brim the tank and smile as the at­ten­dant says there’s no need to pay. You also note the tyres, that clearly have ‘Miche­lin Ex­per­i­men­tal’ printed on the shal­low side­walls with Biben­dum look­ing as smi­ley as ever. At the top of the slip road you stop, re­move the sec­ond, small, sil­ver key from its rest­ing place be­tween seat and sill and then ac­ti­vate the Ch­i­ron’s Top Speed mode. The rear wing re­cedes, flaps in the front dif­fuser de­ploy and the ride height drops even more.

With the tyres still warm the Bu­gatti will take full throt­tle, even in first gear, and this time you give it ev­ery­thing. The pol­ter­geist of ac­cel­er­a­tive G pushes you into the bucket seat as the Armco and white lines of the mirac­u­lously empty au­to­bahn rapidly blur. Wind noise in­creases. The in­stinc­tive ner­vous­ness builds. You pass three miles a minute, then a mile ev­ery 15 se­conds. The cen­tral speedo in­di­cates 420kmph. V-max.

But the Ch­i­ron isn’t done yet: 450 as you flash un­der a bridge. Time and fuel must be run­ning out by now: 467 as you rip past a junc­tion. Even with 1479bhp it’s now like wad­ing through trea­cle and the wheels must surely be about to ex­plode…

‘And that’s the 480, my dear old thing. Who would have thought it about half an hour ago? A splen­did in­nings and a re­mark­able part­ner­ship for the last wicket…’ You blink. There is gen­tle ap­plause all around. Just a dream. ⌧

‘THE POL­TER­GEIST OF AC­CEL­ER­A­TIVE G PUSHES YOU INTO THE BUCKET SEAT AS THE WHITE LINES RAPIDLY BLUR’

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