french carmaker Bugatti has been synonymous with big, W16-powered hypercars for almost 20 years. But, since its acquisition by Croatian EV maker Rimacthe car world has been waiting with bated breath for the news that the brand will be going electric. Now, CEO Mate Rimac has confirmed that electrification won’t be the case for Bugatti’s next hypercar. adding, it won’t be what we’re expecting, either.
Bugatti’s first W16-powered Veyron rolled off the production line in Molsheim, France, in 2005. It went on to break speed records here and there, before being replaced by the similarly-powered but even faster Chiron in 2016.
Capable of reaching up to 304 mph, the Chiron was an impressive machine. However, andcome back when it launched, the gargantuan motor powering the car to its insane top speed was beginning to feel dated. Cars like the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 were showing just what supercar makers could do when they put their faith in hybrid power.
And now, with the Chiron out of productionthe historic French brand looks to finally embracing a touch of electric power in its next-generation hypercar.
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Company boss Mate Rimac recently spoke with vlogger and part-time racing driver Nico Rosberg in a new video on his YouTube channel. As well as picking up his own Rimac Nevera EV, Rosberg quizzed Rimac about the future of Bugatti.
“For the last two and a half years, we are working on the successor,” says Rimac while the pair discuss an excellent blue Bugatti Chiron parked at the Rimac factory in Croatia. “I think you will like that a lot.”
Rosberg pushes Rimac for more details of the new car, which he previously said would feature some kind of internal combustion engine.
He says: “The Chiron is amazing and is basically the successor to the Veyron, which revolutionized the hypercar market with the W16 engine – the first car with 1,000 horsepower. Amazing engine, and the pinnacle of engine development.
“The time has come now to go to the next step. And the next step is not going to be all-electric. We believe there is still a very important element to Bugatti’s future with the combustion engine. But very interesting combustion engines, and strongly electrified.”
After one final push for some juicy engine gossip, Rimac says that the new engine will be “going in the opposite direction of what everybody expects.”
So, the firm’s next hypercar is not going to feature another W16 and it’s not going to be powered by an electric motor. Somewhere in between might point to an engine similar to the AMG One’s F1-inspired powertrainor perhaps something derived from VW stablemate Porsche’s hybrid workings.
Either way, it’s going to be exciting seeing how Bugatti changes under its new leadership.