Bugatti Chiron Will Be Lighter And Will Have E-Turbos
Creating a follow-up to the world-eating Veyron is surely a colossal task, but Bugatti thinks it has the right stuff with the upcoming 2018 Bugatti Chiron. Official details are sparse, but rumors around this superlative-laden hypercar are starting to rise to the surface, with reports revealing that, compared to the Veyron, the Chiron will be lighter, more powerful, faster, and come packed with new tech like electrically driven turbochargers and all-wheel torque vectoring.
Understandably, Bugatti will bring over a good deal of Veyron when it goes about creating the Chiron. The body, for example, will utilize the Veyron’s existing carbon-fiber structure. However, in a recent post, the publication Automobile says over “90 percent of the parts will be new or altered to enhance rigidity and keep down the Chiron’s curb weight.”
Speaking of carryovers, the Veyron’s outrageous 8.0-liter, quad-turbo, W-16 engine will once again see use in the Chiron, but this time around, it’ll pump out 1,500 horsepower and 1,100 pound-feet of torque, blessing the car with a low 2-second 0-to-60 time and a top speed in excess of 280 mph. Please excuse the Keanu Reeves impersonation, but "Woah."
To help create stratospheric figures like that, two of the four turbos will be electrically driven. Assisting handling and grip is AWD and an advanced torque vectoring system, while a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission routes the power. The interior will be reportedly roomier than the Veyron’s cabin, with better visibility and an improved driving position.
The Chiron is expected to see the light of day sometime next year. Anyone looking to call one his own should expect an outlay of around $2.4 million.
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Why it matters
So far, all we really know about the Chiron is rumors, with the above-cited Automobile report neglecting to reveal its sources. However, if even half of the specs are true, the Chiron will undoubtedly be a worthy successor to the decade-old, game-changing Veyron.
However, development hasn’t been without its road bumps. Bugatti’s parent company, Volkswagen, started the process over four years ago, with recent prototypes seeing a rebuff from VW chairman Martin Winterkorn, who pushed the release back by a year.
If even half of the specs are true, the Chiron will undoubtedly be a worthy successor to the decade-old, game-changing Veyron.
Still, this isn’t a car you want rushed out the door. The Chiron is intended to be a halo, a champion for Bugatti and VW, not something for filling coffers. Sure, the $2.4 million price tag is mighty steep, but that figure is just to help the car break even with development costs.
The intent here is much more intangible. The original Veyron elevated the world of ultra-fast exotics to a whole new level. The massive W-16 engine laid down power at levels the world had previously not known was possible in a production vehicle, while its performance figures boggled the mind. It was like humanity taking its first steps on the moon, then turning a crater into a skate park (automotively speaking, of course).
That means the Chiron is gonna have to be even more over-the-top. What’s more, it won’t be the only game in town when it comes to ridiculously overpowered exotics – there’s still the holy-hybrid-trinity of the 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari, 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder, and 2014 McLaren P1 to contend with, not to mention the unflappable 2015 Koenigsegg One:1.
Unfortunately, all this cool stuff will make the Chiron stupendously complicated, which means development may take even longer than currently expected.
That means the Chiron will need to bring the goods technologically as well. Torque vectoring is a good start, as it’ll imbue the presumably massive vehicle (the Veyron weighs over two tons) with decent handling characteristics to complement its balls-out acceleration.
The electric turbos are also a good addition. These units are becoming quite popular these days, as they provide both enhanced efficiency and more power without the lag of exhaust-driven turbos or parasitic driveline loss of a belt-driven supercharger.
Basically, they work on the same principle of traditional forced-induction systems, but use electricity from an energy recovery system to spin the turbine, making them technically electric superchargers rather than turbos.
Regardless, the technology is currently being developed by several automakers, both for speed and enhanced economy. Audi, for example, just posted a fastest lap time around the German Sachsenring race track in its 2014 Audi RS 5 TDI competition concept car, which is powered by a twin-turbo six-cylinder boosted by an electric compressor.
Unfortunately, all this cool stuff will make the Chiron stupendously complicated, which means development may take even longer than currently expected. That said, when it does finally drop cover, make sure the floor underneath your jaw is adequately cleaned and cushioned, ‘cause it’s gon’ be good.
Read more about it in our speculative review here.