Bugatti Chiron Super Sport vs Space Shuttle: which is faster down a runway?


Bugatti Chiron Super Sport vs Space Shuttle: which is faster down a runway?

Runways aren’t normally that exciting… but this is no ordinary runway

TopGear.comPublished: 06 Jun 2023  External link to Top Gear Magazine Subscription – 5 issues for £5 13 minutes 46 seconds

When NASA decided it wanted space rockets to be reusable, it had to build somewhere to land them. That place was the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, and what it built was a 15,000ft-long strip where Space Shuttles would hurtle back to Earth at over 200mph. 

These days, the Shuttle is retired and its runway is a proving ground for testing some of the world’s fastest cars. The 1,578bhp Bugatti Chiron Super Sport is certainly that, but it’s also often derided as a folly – an impractical machine which, like the Space Shuttle, cost too much money to develop. But is that fair? We didn’t think so.

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So, join Top Gear magazine’s Ollie Kew for a geeky dive into what makes this runway so special, and then a high-speed adventure to see if a hypercar can hit a higher top speed than the Shuttle, at the very place it touched down from space.

Bugatti was performing Straight Line Aerodynamic Testing with JBPG at Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility, located in Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

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