A car that can accelerate from 0 to 249 mph in 32.6 seconds needs to have strong brakes. Naturally, the Bugatti Chiron's are world-class. Amazingly its front brakes are capable of generating a small, but genuine amount of downforce, which no other road car to our knowledge can do.
Bugatti's chief chassis engineer Jachin Schwalbe broke it down for us in an exhaustive tech presentation today at the Frankfurt Motor Show. We've got a lot more neat details to parse through, but we couldn't wait to share this tidbit.
The Chiron's big carbon-ceramic front brakes receive cool air courtesy three intakes in the car's front fascia, but they still generate a ton of heat. To help dissipate that heat Bugatti fit a heat shield to the top of the front brakes (seen above). That heat shield unintentionally created a sort of ground effect, where hot air is pushed outside of the wheel into a so-called "air curtain" that virtually wraps the car.
Schwalbe didn't have the exact amount of downforce these heat shields generate off hand, but he said it's been measured and it's fairly small. The heat shield is patented by Bugatti and also helps keep hot air away from the Chiron's wheels and tires. That means that the front tires wear out a lot less quickly than they did on the Veyron, heping reduce running costs.
Other neat brake details: the calipers are built by AP racing and feature eight pistons at the front and six at the rear. Each piston measures a different diameter, and unlike every other road car in existence, they're made from titanium.
These incredible brakes bring the Chiron from 249 mph to a stop in under 10 seconds. They're also a perfect representation of the sheer amount of innovative engineering that goes into this car. It's like nothing else we've ever seen.