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Bugatti Stops Chasing Speed Records After Passing 300mph Milestone

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Bugatti said it will stop chasing speed records and focus on "other areas" after one of its supercars exceeded a speed of 300 miles per hour on a German test track. Bugatti, along with Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini, are owned by the Volkswagen Group.

On August 2, a pre-production vehicle of a Bugatti Chiron derivative became the first hyper sports car to break the speed barrier of 300 miles per hour, or 482.80 kilometers per hour.

The modified supercar, optimized for aerodynamics, was driven by Le Mans winner and Bugatti test driver Andy Wallace. It reached a top speed of 490.48 km per hour, or 304.77 miles per hour, on the test track at Ehra-Lessien in Lower Saxony, Germany.

"Our goal was to be the first manufacturer ever to reach the magic 300-mile-per-hour mark...In future we will focus on other areas," said Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti.

For the world record, a team of engineers from various disciplines, under the direction of Bugatti's Head of Development Stefan Ellrott prepared a pre-production vehicle of a Chiron derivative.

As part of the focus on safety, driver Andy Wallace was held in place by six-point belts and protected by an additional safety cell.

The Bugatti team were supported by Italian race car manufacturer Dallara as well as tire manufacturer Michelin, which makes the tires for the regular Chiron cars too.

While still remaining legal for road use, the Michelin tires were again reinforced to withstand the extremely high speeds. In particular, the belts were bolstered to handle the 5300 G and the tires rotated up to 4,100 times in one minute.

"It's inconceivable that a car would be capable of this. But the Chiron was well prepared and I felt very safe - even in these high speed ranges," said Andy Wallace.

The Ehra-Lessien test track has very high safety standards for high-speed tests. The 21-kilometer three-lane highway is lined with crash barriers and rescue services are available at the north as well a south ends.

Ahead of the speed test, the carriageway was cleaned with special mats in order to pick up stones and grit.

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