The Bugatti Chiron and Porsche 918 Spyder were like ships passing in the night. As one bowed out, the other rolled in. The Porsche disappeared in 2015 with the new Bugatti arriving in 2016. While you could slot both in the hypercar category, they reach those heart-stopping speeds differently. The Porsche is a plug-in hybrid, but the Bugatti isn’t, and the drag race in the video above shows which is quicker.
Power in the Porsche comes from pairing a 4.6-litre V8 with two electric motors. The combined output is 887 bhp (661 kilowatts) and 944 pound-feet (1,347 Newton-metres) of torque. It was a powerhouse when Porsche introduced it in 2013, but the Chiron towers over it. The Bugatti makes 1,500 bhp (1,118 kW) and 1,180 lb-ft (1,600 Nm) of torque from its 8.0-litre W16 engine. However, while there’s a massive performance gap, the race isn’t a runaway for the Bugatti.
It’s difficult to tell, but it appears the Porsche got a better start off the line than the Bugatti, but the slight lead is only momentary. By the end of the race, the Bugatti had closed the gap and pulled ahead. The video quality isn’t superb, but Bugatti crossed the finish line ahead of the Porsche, earning itself the win. You can see the 918’s brake lights illuminate before the Bugatti’s.
While there’s a substantial performance difference between the two, the Porsche kept up quite well. Both manufacturers claim a mid-2.0-second sprint to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometres per hour), though the Bugatti’s top speed dwarfs the Porsche’s – 214 mph (345 kph) to 261 mph (420 kph). But performance often comes down to more than just numbers on a page. It’d seem odd to pair Porsche’s performance hybrid against Bugatti’s powerhouse, but there is more than one way to win a race.