Do You Guys Realize the Meaning Behind the Name "Chiron?"

Illustration for article titled Do You Guys Realize the Meaning Behind the Name Chiron?

As you undoubtedly know already, Bugatti has released the Veyron’s replacement: the Chiron. It’s faster, more powerful, and more refined than its predecessor, which was the fastest, most powerful, and refined hypercar when it came out. But Bugatti is making another statement with the Chiron, and it’s all in the origins of the name.

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In Greek mythology, centaurs were half-horse, half-man creatures that were known for being complete expressions of the id. They lived life to excess, drank heavily, gave into sexual urges freely with or without the consent of the other party, and were prone to violence. Centaurs were wild, uncivilized, brash, and not exactly fun to live with.

A depiction of Chiron in The Education of Achilles by Eugene Delacroix
A depiction of Chiron in The Education of Achilles by Eugene Delacroix
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On the other hand, there was Chiron. Chiron was a centaur, but unlike other centaurs, he was smart, civilized, and kind. He certainly looked like the other centaurs, but he was much more refined, and was welcomed among gods and men.

In other words, Chiron was a cut above other centaurs, even though they looked very similar. Are you seeing the brilliant metaphor that Bugatti is pushing here?

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I touched on this briefly in my latest post, but by calling their new hypercar “Chiron,” Bugatti is comparing every other hypercar to a centaur. This is actually a great metaphor, because many hypercars have forsaken refinement in the pursuit of speed. A McLaren P1 is incredibly fast, but that interior is pure function, with zero luxury or refinement.

McLaren P1
McLaren P1
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Other hypercars follow the same formula. Really, the only hypercars that could be called luxurious with a straight face are the Pagani Zonda and Huayra, but even those are so over the top that it borders on tacky. I have a deep appreciation for both the functional interiors of the McLaren, Porsche and Ferrari hypercars and the wacky Paganis, but Bugatti certainly isn’t wrong in calling them centaurs.

The Chiron, is a hypercar and therefore a centaur, but it is operating on a completely different level. The Chiron is refined and comparatively understated. It’s interior is absolutely luxurious, and no expense has been spared making it a wonderful place to sit.

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Illustration for article titled Do You Guys Realize the Meaning Behind the Name Chiron?

The Chiron promises to be a hypercar you can effortlessly drive across the country (even if they won’t be), and still be the fastest production car you can buy. It is the centaur Chiron as a car. It’s a hypercar that is civilized for the car collector who is civilized.

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It’s amazing how Bugatti said all of this with the Chiron’s name, and nothing else. I’m genuinely impressed.

The official word from Bugatti is that it is named after Louis Chiron, a Bugatti racing driver from the early days of Formula 1, but this metaphor is just too perfect.

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