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Bugatti goes ballistic at Cape Canaveral

NASA astronaut Jon McBride with a Bugatti Chrion

NASA astronaut Jon McBride has tested a Bugatti Chiron on the very same runway where he landed a space shuttle at the famous Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

McBride got the high-speed drive opportunity while the Bugatti Engineering team were conducting routine straight-line aerodynamic testing, with the focus on acceleration.

“I’ve been on as many craft as you can think of at sea. I’ve flown in space. But the ride in this Bugatti today was one of the highlights of my entire life,” said McBride. “It was a real pleasure.”

Bugatti Chiron goes ballistic at Cape Canaveral

Such aerodynamic testing requires precision, length and good weather, which is why the team chose the Shuttle Landing Facility. Not only is it impeccably maintained to meet NASA and Bugatti standards, it is also one of the most level runways in the world. Additionally, the mild Florida winter contributed to the ideal testing conditions.

The results from the Chiron acceleration tests met the engineering team’s high expectations. The team used a production vehicle with a two-tone exterior of maroon and black exposed carbon fibre and a complementary red and black interior. The 1,500hp Chiron can reach 0-100 km/h (62mph) in just 2.4 seconds.

McBride added: “I think compared to what I’ve flown the Chiron is probably as good or out-performs them. I mean I’ve felt some good acceleration in my life, but I don’t think anything better than what I experienced today.”

One of the few men to spend time in space, he called the Chiron “a man’s dream” and the Bugatti engineering team’s test results confirmed his depiction.

As part of Bugatti’s 110th anniversary year, the French hyper sports car manufacturer will be offered several opportunities to join the festivities in special ways. Among them, the possibility to experience the same breathtaking acceleration that impressed astronaut Jon McBride so much. Details of this offer will be disclosed in the upcoming weeks.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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