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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

We take a look inside Bugatti's Molsheim factory to see how one of the world's best hypercars is made.

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Andrew Lanxon

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

With an engine capable of producing almost 1,500 horsepower, a top speed somewhere north of 261 miles per hour, and a price tag of around $3 million, the Bugatti Chiron is unquestionably one of the most elite vehicles ever seen on this planet.

Join us, then, as we take a look inside Bugatti's production facility in Molsheim, France, to see some of what goes into building this incredible machine. 

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

Bugatti calls its factory "The Atelier". The shiny floor is "made from epoxy and is conductive, ensuring the dissipation of any electrostatic charges," and its glossy look is intended to be reminiscent of a fashion house. 

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

It takes around six months from first ordering for a Chiron to be completed. Most of the major pieces, including the carbon fibre monocoque seen here, are produced off-site and are brought to Bugatti's Atelier to be pieced together. 

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

The enormous W16, quad turbo-charged engine is produced off-site as well at a Volkswagen Group centre built specifically to produce this engine. 

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

Bugatti calls the process of joining the monocoque front end and the powertrain a "marriage". The sections are held together by 14 titanium bolts, chosen to reduce weight -- they weigh only 34g each. 

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

Engineers use only one electric tool -- an 'EC nutrunner'. This tool measures the amount of torque being used allowing engineers to use precisely the right amount of pressure on every single bolt in each car. Clever stuff.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

The mechanical supports for the rear wing. The pistons allow the wing to move up and down to generate just the right amount of drag to help the handling and braking.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

Every part has its place.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

You'll find no automated robots or conveyor belts here -- everything is done by hand by highly-trained engineers. Rather than learning to build just one part of the car, each engineer is trained to work on any of the 12 building stations in the Atelier.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

A close look at the Chiron's impressive suspension. 

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

The paintwork on the panels is an extremely time-consuming process, as it requires up to eight layers, each applied by hand, with each layer needing sanding and polishing before the next can be applied. 

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

A Chiron is hoisted into the air to allow engineers to work on the underneath.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

A door, freshly painted and ready to be attached.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

Even without any panels on, it's easy to tell this is the front end of a Bugatti just by the iconic horseshoe shape of the front radiator.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

The front grille, ready to be fixed into position.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

The Chiron's tyres are absolutely immense -- here's an iPhone X for scale.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

The carbon ceramic brake disks are enormous -- but then they'd have to be to stop something hurtling along at 261mph.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

Molsheim has been the home of Bugatti since 1909 and Chateu St. Jean remains an impressive bit of office space.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

The most mechanised part of the whole facility is this machine, which acts as a library for tiny components. When an engineer needs a particular piece, this giant library will spin its shelves to make that piece easier to find.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

When the wheels are eventually fitted, the car is filled with coolant, engine oil and various other fluids, which are pumped round in a vacuum for 10 minutes to check for any leaks. 

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

Here's where the steering wheel will go, eventually. That's an important bit.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

Some of the coolant pipes for the car. Bugatti says the water pipes have the same diameter as a firefighter's water jet, with a "correspondingly high" flow rate. Nice.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

The Chiron's rear bumper.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

The steering wheel, now attached.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

One of the last tests a Chiron will do is to take a trip on the dynamometer -- a sort of rolling road test. Bugatti explained that the whole test had to be updated from the previous Veyron car as the amount of power generated by the Chiron was too much.

Thicker power cables had to be installed and the process generates so much excess power that Bugatti feeds it back into the neighbouring town of Molsheim, France.

The rolling tests measure numerous facets of a car's performance. A Chiron will have effectively driven over 60km during the three hour test. 

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

A close look at one of the Chiron's wheels, with the immense brake disc behind.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

The cars are carefully wrapped in protective film throughout various stages of production to ensure the paint remains pristine. 

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

A stack of enormous tyres.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

Getting a polish.

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How the Bugatti Chiron is made

The finished car, hitting the road.

Each Chiron will be tested in the real world before it's finally handed over to the customer. The car will be driven 300km to an airport in Colmar, France, where, in between landings of planes, Bugatti has permission to do speed runs up and down the runway. 

If the test driver is happy with the car's performance, it'll be given its final customer wheels before being delivered to one very happy, very rich person.

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