Is a 1,500-HP Bugatti Chiron Faster Than a Formula 1 Car?

by Gabrielle DeSantis

The Bugatti Chiron is a true feat of modern engineering, making it one of the fastest and most expensive production cars ever made. However, given its price-point and outrageous performance figures, it can be difficult to contextualize just how fast this car truly is. Let’s see how this hand-built Bugatti stacks up to the latest Formula 1 cars for a bit of fun.

The major differentiators here will be weight and aerodynamic elements. While a Chiron weighs several times what a Formula 1 car does, it has a significant advantage in one other key area.

How fast is a Bugatti Chiron?

Bugatti Chiron | Bugatti

Let’s set the stage by looking at just how fast a Bugatti Chiron actually is. To make things as simple as possible, we’ll be looking at the standard model. This is, so the stats don’t become confusing with all of the available special editions.

According to TopSpeed, a standard model has a quad-turbo W16 engine producing around 1,5000 hp. This allows it to sprint to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds and continues to an estimated top speed of 261 mph.

The most impressive feat of the Bugatti Chiron is that it can achieve these kinds of performance figures while weighing over 4358 lb. For a bit of context, that’s around the same as a Ford F-150 pickup truck. Additionally, this is even though the hand-built hypercar has a body made out of carbon fiber.

How fast is a Formula 1 car?

An image of a Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 car out on the track.
Mercedes Formula 1 car | TOLGA BOZOGLU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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Let’s look at the Bugatti Chiron’s Formula 1 competitor. To keep things simple, we’ll be looking at the stats of this year’s best car on the grid, Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes-AMG W12.

According to ACTUF1, the first advantage actually goes to the road car in the form of horsepower. That’s because the W12 pushes out around 1,050 hp in total, or around 450-hp less than the Bugatti.

When we start looking at weight and aerodynamics, the Chiron begins to fall far behind. That’s because while the Bugatti might weigh similarly to a Ford F-150, the W12 weighs around 1,657 lb. This means that you could stack up two W12’s and still not weigh as much as the Chiron.

With those stats in mind, what comes next won’t surprise you. According to ZeroTo60Times, one of the fastest Formula 1 cars recorded can reach 60 mph in 1.6 seconds. However, a modern car typically gets there between 2.1 and 2.7 seconds. As a result, the Bugatti is slower, but not by a massive difference.

Is the Bugatti Chiron cheaper than a Formula 1 car?

An image of a Bugatti Chiron parked outdoors.
Bugatti Chiron | Bugatti

Given how fast the Bugatti Chiron is in the real world, it can begin to seem like a bit of a bargain. According to Car and Driver, a base model with no options should cost around $3 million. In contrast, TheSportsRush reports that an average Formula 1 car costs over $12 million. As a result, if you want a similar 0-60 time in the real world, an ultra-luxurious Chiron could be the answer for less than half the price.

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