One of the few places in the world where a driver is able to reach 400 kilometers per hour (248 mph) in a Bugatti hypercar is at the Kennedy Space Center’s Space Florida Launch and Landing Facility in Florida. The 3-mile stretch of tarmac is hallowed and historic, showing the different spots where various Shuttle missions stopped on their return. In a similar sense, Bugatti’s hypercars push boundaries and cross the frontier of performance. Few Bugatti customers get the privilege of driving a Bugatti at full speed, and the drive requires intense preparation.
It started with an information session with a Bugatti Pilote Officiel, who explains that at nearly 250 mph, each driver will be traveling the distance of 1.25 football fields in a single second, with over 1G of longitudinal force exerted on their bodies. A safety measure that Bugatti implements is the Top Speed Key, which is the only way to access the full potential of the car, and it can only be used if the car detects that its conditions are optimal. Then, the ride height is lowered, the rear wing is lowered, and two front-mounted flaps are adjusted to reduce front downforce.
Once the moment arrives, launching is done with the left foot on the brake and the right foot all the way down on the accelerator, allowing the launch control system to stay at the perfect revs for the car to leap into action when the brakes are released. Just 11 seconds later, the driver is already beginning to approach 200 mph, and it continues from there. The peak speed of the run is 250 mph, after which the runway space dwindles and the driver has to stop even though the car is capable of even more. Carbon Ceramic brakes bring the car to a stop, and the euphoric, irreplaceable experience is over. After the drive, each driver was given a tailored Bugatti race suit with their name embroidered, as well as a helmet to remind them of their already-unforgettable experience.
Bugatti was performing Straight Line Aerodynamic Testing with JBPG at Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility, located in Kennedy Space Center, Florida.