To celebrate the pioneers of French aviation, the Alsace-based manufacturer Bugatti released a limited series of 20 Chiron Sport supercars called “Les Légendes du Ciel” (the Legends of the Sky).
And what better way to celebrate than to race an actual French aircraft? Next to the car on the runway of Landivisiau Naval Air Base was a Rafale Marine fighter of the French Navy.
Reaching 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 2.5 seconds, the Bugatti quickly gained an advantage over the Rafale. However, as soon as the fighter jet was airborne, the 1,500 of horsepower of the supercar failed to compete against the 58,550 newtons of thrust (5,727 horsepower) of the two M88 jet engines.
“For the first few hundred meters I was in the lead in front of the Rafale, but after a few hundred meters it was in the air about 20 meters above and beside me,” said Pierre-Henri Raphanel, Bugatti driver. “An incredible and superb sight.”
Since it was founded in 1909, Bugatti has had close ties with aviation. Indeed, many Bugatti drivers have flown for the French Air Force, such as the famous Roland Garros. The aviation pioneer, who died during the First World War in aerial combat, was a close friend to Ettore Bugatti and was the first owner of the Bugatti Type 18, reportedly to be as fast on land as he was in the air.
It is not the first time that the worlds of sports cars and jets meet. In November 2020, Embraer and Porsche had joined forces to offer a limited-edition combination of the Embraer Phenom 300E private jet and the Porsche 911 Turbo S sports car.
Sadly there is to this day no opportunity to acquire a Rafale fighter jet.