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For all our modern brilliance we’re still subject to the whims of nature and the vast expanses that separate us. That’s why when race car drivers want to improve, as often as not they’ll take to the simulator. But what if you want to test an engine? Then you need simulator rig such as Bugatti’s.
Not seen this before: @Bugatti engine rig simulates a flat-out run of the @nuerburgring, #chiron #hypercars pic.twitter.com/pwu6IpVQKq
— James Mills (@squarejames) March 18, 2017
The rig has been making the rounds today thanks to one James Mills of the Sunday Times, who tweeted footage of it in operation.
According to Mills, the rig is simulating a flat out run of the Nürburgring, ensuring that Bugatti’s 1,500 hp V16 doesn’t fall apart under the gravitational forces of the ring.
On top of being hypnotic, it’s also a reminder of just how simultaneously difficult and sophisticated automotive design is. It would be tempting to test an engine on a static stand, because that’s what it looks like in the car, but in reality the forces of nature are conspiring against designers to starve the engine of fuel, oil, and precious fluids.
Similarly, Bugatti also uses a simulator rig to test the car’s suspension. All in an effort to break down at the factory instead of the Nürburgring, which is large so walking back to the pits takes a long time, especially if your leg is on fire.
Here’s how @Bugatti ensured the suspension of the new Chiron is up to the task of managing 1500bhp, @ST_Driving #hypercar #billionaireclub pic.twitter.com/1IEKEDQxu9
— James Mills (@squarejames) March 17, 2017
As Jalopnik helpfully pointed out this morning, the rig bears a striking resemblance to one Porsche (I wonder if the two companies ever talk) used to test the engine from its 911 around the ‘Ring in 2008.