Bugatti has officially begun development work on the successor to the aging Bugatti Veyron, according to a report from Autocar. The car will attempt to outperform the current rank of hypercars which with their hybrid drivetrains and low kerb weight are much more advanced than the outgoing Veyron.
The Veyron replacement will use a revised version of the current car’s quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W16 engine coupled with a disc-shaped electric motor mounted within the gearbox and a lithium ion battery. This combination will make it good for around 1,497 horsepower, while torque will be capped at 1,100 lb-ft for the sake of transmission reliability. The engine may also utilize new electrically-assisted turbochargers to increase low-end torque, Autocar says.
The new drivetrain will be mounted to the rear bulkhead of the car in the same mid-engine layout as the current car. Power will be sent to all-four wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Further powertrain changes could be in order throughout the development process and have already been considered and put to the test.
“Five developmental prototypes with differing powertrain combinations have been constructed up to now,” said a source close to the project. “They are based on the existing car but use various solutions that are being considered for the new model.”
More important than the drivetrain, however, will be reducing the weight of the car. The current Veyron Super Sport tips the scales at roughly 4,056 lbs, but Bugatti engineers are aiming to shrink that number significantly with the next-generation car. Weight reduction will be a particularly important part of the car’s development, as the addition of electric drive components is likely to add weight.
“Much of the early construction work has been focused on the carbonfibre monocoque,” the source said. “We have a lot of expertise centring around lightweight construction within the [Volkswagen] group and we’re drawing on this as we begin to lock in various engineering targets. ”
An-all new exterior will be present, but the styling is not expected to stray too far from that of the current car, Autocar says. The reasoning behind this is the engineering behind making a performance vehicle as fast as the Veyron usually requires the same basic layout and shape. It will however feature new active aerodynamic features which will provide additional downforce.
We know what you really want to know and that is how fast it will be. Well, nothing is official yet, but early estimates place the top speed of the car at 283 mph. It should also be able to trump the 0-60 mpg time of 2.5 seconds set by the Veyron Super Sport. An exact timeline for production has not been revealed, but Bugatti has already begun upgrading its assembly facility in in Molsheim, France for the arrival of the new model.