With the retirement of the Veyron, speculation is again running rampant about its replacement not just in Bugatti’s small stable, but also as the world’s fastest car.
Credence is again being lent to Chiron as the Veyron’s replacement. Named after noted Monegasque racecar driver Louis Chiron, it first was used on a Bugatti concept shown at the 1999 Frankfurt Auto Show. That car (the 18/3 Chiron) would go on to set the stage for the Veyron EB 16.4 production car (of which a concept, the Veyron EB 18/4, was shown a month after the Chiron at the Tokyo Motor Show), which has now gone out of production. The car’s 16.4 designation is indicative of the 16 cylinders, arrayed in four banks (the Chiron 18/3 concept used a 6.3L W18 engine – three banks of six cylinders each).
Despite the name change, the new car can really be viewed as an evolution of Veyron, rather than its replacement. It is expected to continue with the mid-mounted Volkswagen 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 engine whose power output is now hovering at about 1,200 hp, sending power to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The extra power is rumoured to come from an electric motor, acting in much the same way that today’s Formula 1 cars have an electric “boost” feature to give the driver more power at the push of a button on the steering wheel, which could take horsepower up to 1500 and bring more torque (now peaking at 1,100 lb.ft.) on at lower engine speeds (maximum torque is currently available from 3,000 to 5,000 rpm).
The car’s shape is also expected to change little, as it is designed to keep the car from taking off while it is achieving the outrageous speeds of which it is capable. Design tweaks will enhance airflow around the car, while the carbon fibre structure will reduce weight, both of which will also work toward the top speed bottom line. And because the packaging is such, the two-seat cockpit is also expected to just suffer minor upgrades to materials and display.
Price is also expected to get a boost up to $2.5 million, from the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse’s 2.25 mil.