Volkswagen will continue to fund Bugatti’s extravagant research and development, even with deep cuts forthcoming to the Volkswagen group. Bugatti is by far the most exclusive brand in the VW portfolio, but it is almost the most expensive to fund.
Bugatti is working “very intensively” on a successor to the Veyron, rumored to be called the Chiron. Only 450 cars will be produced in an extremely limited production line starting at $1.8 million (1.46 million Euros), said Bugatti Chief Executive Wolfgang Duerheimer said in an interview at the Paris auto show. “In terms of soundly developed vehicles that are also pieces of art, you won’t find anyone else who can compete with us,” said Duerheimer, who also heads VW’s luxurious Bentley brand.
Bugatti’s 1,200 hp money machines appeal to the richest of buyers, who on average own 84 cars, 3 jets, and 1 yacht. This market contrasts significantly from VW’s passenger car group where a growing push amongst management to cut 5 billion Euros from its operations by 2017 is in place.
“Of course, this can be painful,” VWAG Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said at the show when asked about the firm’s efficiency drive. “At such a large company, there are always things to be found” where costs can be lowered, he said.
With that said, Bugatti doesn’t seem to be on the agenda, although each car reportedly loses millions of Euros per sale. Earnings from VW Group’s luxury division Audi and sports car division Porsche help fund the posh research and development, including the pure platinum elephant statue and platinum grille found on Ettore Bugatti unveiled in Paris.
The Bugatti Chiron may deliver even more power to keep up with threats from Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren itching to dethrone the speed king, with a rumored 16-cylinder engine capable of hitting over 250 mph (about 400 kph). As development continues on the all new vehicle, the last of the Veyron’s 20 units should be sold out by mid-2015.