Petrol engines have their limits, it seems – even the big stonking W16s that Bugatti builds its cars around. Joining a trend we are increasingly seeing across the industry, Bugatti has just confirmed that the successor of the Chiron is likely to feature electric motors to aid the engine.
Speaking to Autocar, the company’s CEO, Wolfgang Dürheimer said, “Electrification will happen.” This is not the first time that the company has considered adding electric power to its flagship hypercar. In 2016, the CEO had revealed that they had been looking at electric options but in the end, they were able to achieve their performance targets by significant mechanical upgrades.
The company is looking at expanding their product portfolio by the addition of a model below the Chiron. Experts believe that this could lead to a more practical high-performance Bugatti, similar to what was previewed by the five-door Galibier concept, which never really made it to production. An addition to the model range could push the next-generation Chiron further away, with estimates placing the date some time in 2032.
The additional model could come in as early as 2024. The CEO added, “Production of the Chiron is expected to last for around eight years. We are at the pre-development phase, preparing technically and asking clients what they expect.”
Meanwhile, for the Chiron successor, he confirmed, “The next car is a long way from being developed, but the way battery and electric motor technology is moving on – as well as regulations – it seems certain that the next car will be electrified in some way. It will still be too soon for a full electric car, I think – but electrification will happen.”
The fact that the next-gen Bugatti might not derive its power from a purely mechanical drivetrain could mean that the Chiron will hold the title for the most extreme pure hypercar for a long time to come.
Dürheimer said, “The fact is that it may never be beaten in pure mechanical terms makes it incredibly desirable.” He went on to confess that he is considering buying one himself. Bugatti has already sold 280 of the 500 copies of the Chiron that it has planned to make over the next eight years.