Bugatti Chiron vs Koenigsegg Regera

When Bugatti came back from the dead with the all-conquering Veyron, it was a hammer blow to the automotive world. It was so far ahead of the pack that it was pointless comparing it to anything. It was the undisputed King and a crushing demonstration of parent company VW’s technical brilliance.

Things aren’t so clear cut anymore.

That really was the point of the Veyron. It was effectively VW’s Formula One project for the public road and little more than a grandiose marketing exercise. Looked at in that vein, the $5 million it supposedly lost on every car really didn’t matter.

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But now we have the Chiron and it had to do the same thing. It had to dominate by such a big margin that the competition would be left screaming the safety word before running into the street at night looking for a policeman.

It hasn’t happened. The Chiron has entered a post-apocalyptic world of insane horsepower numbers and cars with, frankly, sexier technology. We live in an age where a four-door Tesla Model S P100D can take it to the wire to 60mph, the Rimac comes dangerously close to beating it with just electric motors and then there’s the Koenigsegg Regera.

Now the Swedish company has become a consistent thorn in Bugatti’s side over the last decade. While Bugatti is old money, a royally-connected land baron, Koenigsegg is an upstart, like a billionaire rapper rapper who hustled its way up from the street. In a way they couldn’t be more different and yet they’re fighting for the same gold.

So let’s see what they’re made of and see if we can pick a clear winner.

Bugatti Chiron vs Koenigsegg Regera USP

The Chiron simply has to be the biggest, the best and the brightest. But while the Veyron was a mass of innovation, the Chiron just feels like more of the same. Everything on the Chiron has been done before and all Bugatti has really done is turn up the wick.

Yeah, sure, all the components might be new and there is some clever stuff on the car, but there’s nothing that really makes you think. It is still an almighty status symbol, but it could have been so much more.

Honestly, we think Bugatti should have started from scratch with an all-electric car and essentially built something like the Rimac One. It didn’t, it played it safe and as long as the Chiron eventually sets a new production car record and becomes the fastest and baddest street car on four wheels then it will be an understandable decision. But we would have liked to see something braver in terms of the tech.

You could argue the same point with the Regera. It has a huge petrol engine and the hybrid powerplant has been crowbarred in there to provide simply silly power numbers. But look closer and there are all kinds of technical innovations, from the direct drive gearbox to arguably the densest battery pack on a production car. The Regera has some truly stunning details and gadgets and it might just be the most advanced petrol-electric hybrid out there.

Considering it’s way more powerful, rear-drive and you can cruise in electric-only mode, we think the Koenigsegg has a more compelling story to tell.

Bugatti Chiron vs Koenigsegg Regera History

There can be only one winner here. Bugatti is, quite simply, a legend. Ettore Bugatti started the business in 1909 and he made just 8000 cars before his death in 1947. They just happened to be some of the best cars in the world and they won Le Mans, the first Monaco Grand Prix and the 1924 Type 35 racked up over 2000 wins in a variety of disciplines. Louis Chiron took the most podiums for Bugatti and the car is named in his honor.

The brand died with Ettore Bugatti, before being bought back from the dead in 1987 by Italian Romano Artoli. He made one car, the EB110, before VW bought the brand and turned it into a Formula One project for the road with the Veyron.

Essentially, Bugatti is one of those brands that is touched by romance, synonymous with luxury and racing heritage and a golden ticket. When it comes to history, Koenigsegg cannot win.

So it doesn’t really try. Christian von Koenigsegg has ploughed his own furrow since he started the firm at the age of 22 in 1994. The CCX was a stunning entry to the supercar world and he just kept going with the Agera, the Regera and the One:1.

Somewhere along the line, the Swedish marque has established itself as a technical thinktank for the car industry and it has a habit of revealing mindblowing technology with less than 100 full-time employees and an R&D budget that would get lost down the back of the sofa at BMW and Ford.

Koenigsegg is a small, young company. But don’t let that fool you, it does some almighty work.

Bugatti Chiron vs Koenigsegg Regera Price

If you have to ask the price of either car then you should probably just back away from the showroom. But seeing as we’re here, the Bugatti Chiron price is a simply epic $2.6 million. You can spec it up with some extravagant options, too, like a $290,000 naked carbon finish or a more comfortable seat for $28,000.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m spending the thick end of $3 million on a car then I’d kind of expect a comfy seat to come as part of the package.

In this surreal company, we can actually describe the $1.9 million Koenigsegg Regera as a performance bargain. It’s still an insane amount of money to spend on a car and you really shouldn’t skip meals to save up for one. But then this is a car for the 0.1% that already have everything else their heart desires and is just looking for a special toy to show off to their friends.

Bugatti Chiron vs Koenigsegg Regera Power

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Nothing can touch the Chiron for pure horsepower, normally. So it could walk into this battle with its 1479bhp, quad turbocharged eight-liter engine with all the confidence in the world. Then there is that small matter of 1180lb/ft of torque, which sounds ludicrous.

It’s like a battle-hardened champion entering the arena, it’s been here before and nobody has come close. But today is a new day.

Because the French monster is suddenly facing a Swede that’s packing a five-liter V8 twin turbo that  produces 1100bhp and 941lb/ft of torque. If that was all that was hiding under the carbon-fiber skin then Bugatti would be happy, but it’s not. There are no less than three electric motors that combine with the internal combustion engine to provide a theoretical total output of 1797bhp.

You never get everything all at once, though, the electric motors and the petrol engine peak at different points. What you do get, however, is about 1500bhp and 1475lb/ft of torque. Suddenly, the Chiron is sweating a little.

Bugatti Chiron vs Koenigsegg Regera Acceleration

Now the drag race off the line really is a battle for the ages between these two. The Chiron is four-wheel-drive, so that’s an advantage, but the engine needs to come on boost before it really hits its stride. The Regera has the electric powerplant, which gives a bigger boost from 0rpm, and also clever torque vectoring thanks to an electric motor on each rear driveshaft.

So what does that mean in the real world?

Well it means that you should hang on to your hat. The Chiron will hit 60mph in 2.5s, 125mph in 6.2s and 185mph in 13.6s. Just ponder those figures for a moment. You could flatten the gas at a green light, get stopped, processed and be in jail before the car behind catches up.

Unless the car behind is the Regera. Now it loses out off the line thanks to its rear-drive set-up and there’s only so much power that the massive tires can lay down before they spin up helplessly. So the Koenigsegg gives 60mph in 2.7s, but when it’s really trucking then it will start to haul the Chiron in.

The Swede hits 185mph in just 10.9s thanks to a slippier shape and all that power and torque firing it down the road, as well as the trick gearbox that we’ll get to shortly.

So off the line, at the traffic light Grand Prix, the Bugatti wins. On a quarter-mile drag strip then it will be about even and as it gets faster than the Regera will take the crown. For the sake of fairness, we’ll call this one a draw with both cars scoring a big knockdown.

Bugatti Chiron vs Koenigsegg Regera Top speed

On the face of it, this one is properly interesting. The Bugatti Chiron has one job and that is to be the fastest car in the world. The problem is that the figures Bugatti released show that it’s slower than the old Veyron.

It isn’t, of course, that’s a nonsense. This car has hundreds more horsepower, the engine is 95% new and every part has been redesigned. The Chiron is clearly an evolution of the Veyron and no company is dumb enough to spend 10 years evolving in reverse, least of all Bugatti.

So this car is faster, but it won’t reveal how much quicker until 2018 when the company reckons it will carry out the first full speed runs. Now that seems odd to us. VW has a high-speed test track, Bugatti has a new car built with the sole purpose of going faster than everything else and we have to wait two years for them to fit the high-speed tires and go for a record.

It’s more than odd. It’s suspicious.

The general consensus is we’re looking at a 285mph car when Bugatti actually goes out and does it, but we can’t give them the credit until that happens. Right now the Chiron is listed as a 261mph car, which is still enough to win this battle.

Not by much, though, and Koenigsegg can argue that it has engineered the car for acceleration. It hits its 250mph top speed in just 20 seconds from a standing start, which is almighty. It simply has to bow down to Bugatti on the ultimate speed, though.

The Chiron wins and should, at some point, win by a lot more.

Bugatti Chiron vs Koenigsegg Regera Design

Both of these cars are stunning things to look at in their own special way and they show two diametrically opposed visions of car design. The Bugatti is simply unique, it’s inimitable. It might be the same basic shape as the curvaceous Veyron, but it’s striated, muscular and just about fresh enough.

It’s smaller than it looks in pictures and Bugatti has created a butcher, more masculine car without sacrificing its elegance completely. That classic horseshoe grille that harks back to the original Bugattis is a thing of wonder, too, and it’s hard not to love the aesthetics of this car.

Underneath the skin, everything is carbon-fiber and the drivetrain makes up a healthy portion of the 4400lb dry weight. With the requisite fluids, you can add a substantial amount more.

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The Koenigsegg has a more traditional hypercar look, which makes some sense as it is based on the Agera and that first took a bow in 2011. The Regera, which means ‘to reign’, does look like a totally new car from the front, though, and it looks like someone decided to graft a Formula One front wing to a Ferrari 430. We’re not even mad. It works.

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The side profile is dominated by the air ducts and that upside-down rear wing, until the doors open up and steal the show. Koenigsegg calls it a dihedral synchro-helix actuation system, we just know it looks badass when the doors open and spin into position. It’s childish, but then that’s the point with cars like this.

Its best angle, though, could the rear, which is fluted, pinched and elegant, yet still highlights that massive diffuser that helps stick the car to the floor at speed.

The roof panel lifts off, by the way, and stows neatly in the front luggage space. If you want an open top in the Bugatti, you’ll have to wait for them to sell you a purpose-built one. It’s just another neat touch that makes us kind of love this car. It weighs just 3510lb full of fluids, and around 3000lb dry, even with a dual drivetrain on board. Predictably everything that can be carbon-fiber, is.

Aesthetics wise it’s down to you what you prefer, but in terms of weight saving, practicality and perhaps even drama, the Koenigsegg steals it.

Bugatti Chiron vs Koenigsegg Regera Interior

These are two-seater sportscars and by their very nature the interior has to be sparse. They also cost millions of dollars, though, and by the very nature of the clients they have to be luxurious. This is not an easy tightrope to walk.

Both have pulled it off, of course, and it simply depends on your personal style. We love the minimalist center console in the Chiron, which a single row of protruding buttons that leads back into the deep buttress curvature of the T-Bar roof. With the interior carbon pack, and that will be another $60,000, thanks, it’s positively opulent in there.

Everything is just right, from the saddle-stitched seats to the metallic switches and knobs. There’s a touch of steampunk about it, but just a touch, and there isn’t a stitch or a seam out of place. But it’s just a little old-school. Even the satnav in the instrument binnacle feels like the whole concept came from a 90s video game.

The Regera is designed to be a luxurious GT compared to the manic racers that Koenigsegg normally unleashes on the world, but it still comes with an Apple Carplay system dominating the center console and a second TFT screen behind the wheel.

It, too, has the steampunk element with industrial-influenced oversized vents and the cluster of buttons arranged like an old-school phone. The only thing that gives it away as a car that perhaps lacks the Chiron’s ultimate class are the two cupholders. They’re convenient, but maybe they could have popped out the dash with a dihedral synchro-helix. Just a suggestion…

Bugatti Chiron vs Koenigsegg Regera Trick Technology

With the Chiron Bugatti has refined trusted technology, so we have things like a slick lifter kit, a handling mode that lowers the car and fixes the rear wing. The exhaust is made from purest titanium and weighs in at 46lb and there is all sorts of clever engineering to keep that massive, quad turbocharged engine from overheating.

Try as we might, though, even we struggle to get excited by the inclusion of six heat exchangers to prevent build-up in problem areas in the engine bay. It’s the same for the 50 different controllers for the engine and transmission. It’s got SatNav, though, so there’s that.

Now compare those slim pickings with the treasure trove of technology that is the Koenigsegg Regera. First, there are the three electric motors. One 160kW (2155bhp) unit sits on the crankshaft so it can double up as a starter motor and a torque fill motor to remove any trace of turbo lag from the engine.

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The other two are mounted on the rear driveshafts and that means that at low speeds the car simply disconnects the engine and relies on electric power. Beneath 30mph, this beast is seriously a zero emissions car.

The 800 volt, 4.5kWh battery pack, supplied by Rimac, is allegedly the densest ever fitted to a production car, too, and it’s slotted away in its own central safety cell to protect it if the car takes a serious hit.

Koenigsegg’s Direct Drive gearbox is another stunning innovation. This isn’t an automatic gearbox with six, eight or nine cogs doing the work for you. No, it’s one gear, which removes around 200lb of weight from the car. The paddleshifters simulate the effect of a change down or up, but this car literally has one gear the whole way through from 0-250mph.

Want more? Koenigsegg has more…

Every single panel comes with hydraulic lifters that you can actuate with the keyfob. Autoskin started out as a simple remote control door that fired off the same hydraulic pumps that powered the Regera’s own front end lifter system. But there’s a mad professor element to Christian von Koenigsegg that he can’t seem to control, so things got out of hand pretty quick.

The car also has a third shock absorber, mounted horizontally, that helps keep the car stable under heavy loads. It’s a simple concept that has evaded the rest of the motoring world, well, forever. It’s just another example of lateral thinking, together with the active rubber engine mounts, hollow carbon-fiber wheels and about 1000 other things.

Bugatti Chiron vs Koenigsegg Regera Exclusivity

You simply won’t see many of either car on the road. But the truth is you’re more likely to encounter the Chrion, much more likely. Bugatti will make 500 Chirons, although we’re skeptical as we’ve seen this before and then the open top and faster edition get their own production runs. Koenigsegg will make just 70 Regeras, so you’re going to be really lucky to see one in the wild. Unless you buy one, then you’re really lucky to just be you.

Wrap-up

Taken purely on the numbers, the Bugatti Chiron takes this battle and if these two cars popped up in a game of Top Trumps then you’d have to get really lucky to win with the Regera. But life is about more than simple numbers.

The Chiron is a towering car. It’s incredible, amazing and a rolling superlative. But, there’s this nagging doubt that Bugatti played it too safe and simply gave us a Veyron+. There really isn’t much that’s new. It’s just bigger, louder and faster. Or it will be.

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The Regera, though, is a real shot in the arm. It is loaded to the gills with trick technology, it has an electric only mode and there are just so many things to love about this car that it really does win the emotional war for tech-minded people like us.

At the end of the day, we think this choice comes down to your personal tastes. If you’re the kind of person who dreams of an aging mansion in the countryside, summer in the Hamptons and a house full of glamorous antiques, then the Bugatti is the car you’ll want. And we’re cool with that.

If you’re the kind of person that prefers a modern penthouse that answers to an app on your phone then there really is no contest. The Regera just feels like a more modern proposition.

Read next: Rimac Concept One vs Bugatti Chiron

We recently declared the Chiron the best car in the world when we put it against the Rimac One, but the Regera really does make a convincing case. We’re going to take the easy option here and declare this one a draw, it really is that subjective. But if we had to pick one, then we’d send the trophy to Sweden.