On Thursday's episode of CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage," racer Jessi Combs shows off the $2.9 million 2017 Bugatti Chiron, which can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 261 mph. That makes it, according to Leno, the fastest mph-car in the world. (The car with the world's fastest acceleration is the 2018 Dodge Demon, which Leno also drives in the episode alongside Rock 'n' Roll legend Dee Snider.)
The Bugatti is nothing Combs can't handle. She was given the nickname the "fastest women on four wheels" after setting a world land-speed record in 2013 at 398 mph.
"Why don't we have Jessi go first," Leno says. "This way, if there are any cops out there, I can go, 'Your honor, she's crazy! I don't know what happened!'"
When they start the engine, the host notes, "It feels powerful. Let's see what we can do without going to prison."
To Combs, the Chiron is an engineering marvel, even compared to earlier Bugattis. It's made of carbon fiber, which is lighter and 10-times stronger than steel, and it has a 16-cylinder, 1500 horsepower open engine specifically designed to fit the car. It's not just beautiful, says Leno, it's scientific.
It's so powerful that you can literally feel the car's motion in your guts, Combs observes. But she looks at ease behind the wheel. Her mother was a racer, and that's where Combs says she gets her boldness. Her brains, meanwhile, came from her father, a mechanical engineer who was in her mother's pit crew.
Driving is "literally just in my blood," she says. "It's in my genes."
That passion has helped her overcome the occasional encounter with misogyny as a racer in a male-dominated sport. "My foot is just as heavy as a dude's foot, if not heavier," she tells Leno.
"It's good to see that people like you are changing the face of motor sports for the better," he says.
When he decides that he wants a turn behind the wheel, saying, "Pull over here, I'll give it a shot," she responds: "Not yet," and zooms on.
CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage" airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. EDT.
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Video by Richard Washington