Volkswagen CEO Confirms Hybrid Bugatti And Budget VW Models
As the CEO of Volkswagen AG, Martin Winkerkorn has a fairly vast purview, and as if to demonstrate just how vast it is, the VW boss confirmed two new developments on complete opposite ends of the Volkswagen family spectrum. First, the upcoming Bugatti Veyron replacement will get a new hybrid powertrain and second, Volkswagen is developing a new $10,000 budget car aimed at the Asian market.
Speaking with German outlet Bild, Winterkorn says the Bugatti Veyron replacement, tentatively called Chiron, will have a gasoline-electric powertrain to enhance performance, similar to the 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder, but his language suggests that it will be offered alongside a gasoline-only version.
Expected to arrive in 2018, not much is known about the 2018 Bugatti Chiron at this point, but current rumors suggest it will be powered by a new version of the W-16 from the Veyron, which with the help of four electric turbos, will produce 1,500 horsepower. Previous reports have the Chiron’s 0-60 time at two seconds flat and top speed at 288 mph. And they said the Veyron would be the last car of its kind…
Moving all the way to the bottom of the Volkswagen family, Winterkorn also discussed a new budget car with a target price of about $10,000 (specifically €8,000 to €11,000). Currently in development, the new car is said to be a priority within Volkswagen and will be offered in SUV, hatchback and sedan body styles. The yet-to-be-named car will initially be built and sold in China, with wider sales dependent on its success.
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Why it matters
After surviving a power struggle that resulted in the ousting of ex-Chairman Ferdinand Piech, Winterkorn is looking to decentralize power within the Volkswagen group by reorganizing it into four separate, autonomous holding companies: Former BMW R&D boss Herbert Diess will oversee Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat; Audi, Lamborghini and Ducati will be run by Audi CEO Rupert Stadler; Porsche CEO Mathias Mueller will be in charge of Porsche, Bentley and Bugatti; That leaves VW commercial vehicles, which includes Scania and MAN, to Andreas Renschler, who held a similar position at Daimler.
The reorganization is designed to improve Volkswagen’s agility within the market and improve efficiency. Each group will have largely autonomous authority to decide what models it will build and where they are sold. The heads of all four holding companies will sit on a management board that answers to Winterkorn. As evidenced by comments regarding both Bugatti and a budget Volkswagen, Winterkorn will retain broad, over-arching power over Volkswagen AG, but will be more hands-off than Piech ever was.
You can check our speculative review of the Chiron here.