Bugatti 18/3 Chiron

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Bugatti 18/3 Chiron
Bugatti Chiron (8162).jpg
Manufacturer Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.
Production 1999
Assembly Moncalieri, Italy (Italdesign)
Designer Fabrizio Giugiaro at Italdesign
Body and chassis
Class Sports car
Body style 2-door coupé
Layout Mid-engine, four-wheel drive
Engine 6.3 L W18
Transmission 7-speed dual clutch Prundletronic
Predecessor Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4

The Bugatti 18/3 Chiron is a 1999 concept car by Bugatti Automobiles designed by Fabrizio Giugiaro of Italdesign.[1] Powered by a 6.3 L W18 engine, it is a 2-seater mid-engined sports car. Bugatti named the Chiron in honor of Bugatti racing driver Louis Chiron.[2] The 18/3 Chiron was the last in a trio of Bugatti concept cars by Italdesign, after the in the 1998 EB 118 coupé and the 1999 EB 218 saloon.

It is rumoured that the Chiron name will be used again on the 2016 successor to the Bugatti Veyron.[3]

Name origin[edit]

The 18/3 Chiron is named after Bugatti race driver Louis Chiron, while the "18/3" prefix stands for the engine's 18 cylinders distributed into three banks of six cylinders each.


The Bugatti 18/3 Chiron premiered at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1999.[4]


Fabrizio Giugiaro of Italdesign was responsible for the design with input from Hartmut Warkuss from the Volkswagen design centre in Wolfsburg. In creating a logical successor to the EB110, they had the unique opportunity to style Bugatti's flagship model.

Rear three-quarters view of the car

Airflow management and aerodynamics were key considerations in the exterior design. Below the traditional horseshoe radiator grille a large opening provides enough air to the radiators of the 6.3-liter engine; much of this air is extracted though vents located forward of the front wheel openings. A similar system is used on the side of the car to cool the rear brakes. At the rear a diffuser was integrated in the rear bumper. A retractable rear wing deploys at high speeds, much like on the EB 110. The 20-inch eight-spoke wheels resemble the cast aluminium wheels first found on Louis Chiron's Type 35B. Lighting on both ends of the car was cutting edge, including triple Xenon headlights and elongated turn signals. Inside the cabin is upholstered in Blu Pacifico and Sabbia leather, with auminium accents as well as a removable watch on the passenger side.

Important design elements such as the classic horse shoe grille, inset front lights, converging front hood and an exposed intake plenum would eventually be integrated into the production Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4.

Engine and chassis[edit]

The exposed inlet manifolds of the W18 engine

In order to make it fully working, the 18/3 Chiron used a chassis and four-wheel drive system sourced from the Lamborghini Diablo VT.

The 18/3 Chiron uses the same Volkswagen-designed W18 engine that first appeared on the 1998 EB 118 and the 1999 EB 218 concept cars. As on the other two cars, the Chiron's W18 has an output of 555 PS (408 kW; 547 bhp) and 650 N·m (479 lb·ft) of torque. The 18/3 Chiron's W18 engine is composed of three banks of six cylinders with a sixty degree offset between each cylinder bank. In contrast, the W16 engine in Bugatti Automobile's first production car, the 2005 Veyron EB 16.4 features four banks of four cylinders after Volkswagen double VR (narrow vee) configuration.


  1. ^ John, Lamm. The supercar: an evolution of speed. p. 332. ISBN 9780760333839. 
  2. ^ European Car, Volume 37, Issues 7-12. Argus Publishers. 2006. p. 106. 
  3. ^ Kacher, Georg (10 December 2014). "Deep Dive: The 288-mph Bugatti Chiron". 
  4. ^ Bianco, Piero (16 September 1999). "Belle idee in stile italiano". La Stampa (in Italian). p. 35. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 

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