Veyron replacement will be "the world's most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car"
Geneva is always the motor show for significant European debuts, and it appears 2016 will be no different. After many months of speculation, Bugatti has today announced that its next hypercar - the Chiron - will be shown to the world in Switzerland next March.
Quite a legacy to follow...
Ardent motorsport and Bugatti fans will know the Chiron name from Louis Chiron, a fantastically successful Grand Prix driver for the brand during the 20s and 30s. What will it be? There's little more than confident assertions from Bugatti yet - "we want to make the best significantly better" says Wolfgang Durheimer - so it's time to begin your best educated guesses.
The hypercar has moved on significantly since the Veyron's introduction in 2005, the Ferrari/Porsche/ McLaren trio the obvious example of this. You would have to assume that the Chiron will follow their lead in adopting hybrid power, though there is no confirmation of this yet. As for power, the Chiron will have to make more than 1,200hp to match Bugatti's claim of it being the most powerful production sports car and beating the Veyron Super Sport in the process. Top speed will have to be 270mph (!) at least to make it faster than the SS and the Hennessey Venom.
Currently the Chiron is in final development testing, Bugatti claiming no other car will be subjected to "such a stringent, comprehensive test programme." These have been kept very well hidden too as we have no idea yet what the Chiron will look like. Could it take inspiration from the Vision Gran Turismo car? Lydie Barre-Chiron, a descendent and biographer of Louis Chiron, says the car "looks fantastic, just magnificent. The design already indicates that this car will be very powerful and very fast." As you might expect her to say...
Perhaps the most interesting news from today's announcement though is that 100 orders have already been accepted for the Chiron. When you bear in mind the Chiron will surely be well in excess of £1m that's quite some achievement, especially given none of these customers have seen or driven the car yet. Expect further details as March approaches; we'll keep you posted!
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It will be interesting to see where supercars go after the 918, P1 and LaF.
Previous rumours have indicated keeping the W16 engine; however doing so surely condemns the Chiron to being at least as overweight as the Veyron is, making it more of a straight-line car compared to the impressively light recent hypercars. I'm sure they could get the power from a 'mere' 10 or 12 cylinders, with turbos, and that could start a virtuous circle of weight reduction.
ISTR the Veyron started as a pure concept, and Piech then instructed his engineers to install a 1,000hp engine without changing the shape; I imagine this time around they will have shaped the car with a view to cooling, drag and downforce (that rounded-down TT-like tail on the Veyron can't possibly be a good aero shape for 250mph). Maybe the development process will run easier second time around than the Veyron's protracted and troubled gestation? Anyone know if Ricardo are doing the gearbox again?
unsprung30 Nov 2015
"These have been kept very well hidden too as we have no idea yet what the Chiron will look like"
Imagine going to work each day, surrounded by the sort of corporate subterfuge not seen outside of a stealthy "Skunk Works" project.
mersontheperson30 Nov 2015
"and most exclusive production super sports car"
Not if they are building 100 of them
justanotherJC30 Nov 2015
Didn't Bugatti produce the Veyron as the fastest, most expensive, most exclusive 1000hp 1M Euro sports car because they believed that forthcoming environmental/eco requirements meant that no-one would ever be able to make something similar?
Are they now trying to prove themselves wrong?
Blackpuddin30 Nov 2015
Autocar is quoting 1500PS for the new engine, with an 1100lb/ft torque cap for transmission reliability.