It’s just been a few years since major carmakers around the world started electrifying their products. General Motors has vowed to launch around 25 electric vehicles by 2025, with an eye to further electrifying its entire lineup by 2035. Ford, Stellantis, Volkswagen, and other carmakers have made similar moves.
On the other hand, some carmakers have been offering EVs right from the start. Tesla is now dominating the world of EVs and serves as the benchmark for electrification for many carmakers. It is now joined by Rivian, Lucid Motors, Fisker and Rimac. Various EV makers are also sprouting around the globe.
Probably thanks to Elon Musk, the electrification of most, if not the entirety, of the automotive industry is inevitable. The demand is growing, battery technology is surging while the charging infrastructure is expanding – all at a rapid pace. There is also the fact that the world is aiming to be carbon-neutral by 2050.
Some carmakers may not go full electric, but they are already planning to electrify their next cars. One of them is Bugatti, which is famous for its groundbreaking Veyron and Chiron hypercars. Bugatti is ending production of the Chiron, and its top honcho recently revealed that the successor hypercar will be heavily electrified.
A Hypercar Better In Everything Than The Veyron
Bugatti developed the Chiron as the worthy successor to the Veyron, which it built between 2005 and 2015. The Veyron was groundbreaking; it was the first production car to offer more than 1,000 hp of output and over 248 mph of top speed. The brief for developing Chiron was simple – make it better than the Veyron.
The Chiron did not disappoint, thanks to its powerful engine, optimized aerodynamics and cooling systems, and awesomely engineered parts and components. Sitting inside the Chiron is a quad-turbo 8.0-liter W16 engine that offers more than 1,400 hp of max output and nearly 1,200 lb-ft of peak torque.
This supreme level of power is mainly responsible for enabling the Chiron to accelerate from nil to 261 mph in just 2.4 seconds and achieve an electronically limited top speed of 260 mph. Since then, the hypercar has evolved; with the Chiron Super Sport version touching down with nearly 1,600 hp of overwhelming output and 276 mph of electronically governed top speed.
Beginning Of An End For Bugatti Chiron
Bugatti unveiled the Chiron at the 2016 Geneva Motor Showa, announcing that it will only build 500 examples of the hypercar. Within 18 months since its announcement, 300 examples of the Chiron had been sold. It was indeed a global success for the Chiron, but Bugatti wasn’t done yet.
As if to prove the Chiron goes beyond boundaries, Bugatti began breaking and setting new world records with its hypercar. In August 2019, Bugatti became the first carmaker to topple the 300 mph barrier, as the Chiron went as fast as 304 mph.
Bugatti has already announced that all 500 planned Chiron have been sold, and it is looking forward to the future. Production is now down to the final 40 units.
Bugatti Forms New Company With EV Maker Rimac
In November 2021, Bugatti and Rimac officially merged to form a new company bearing their names: Bugatti Rimac. The new company combines Bugatti’s expertise in hypercars with Rimac’s strength in electric mobility, although each remains an independent brand.
The Rimac Group owns a majority stake in the newly formed Bugatti Rimac, with Porsche AG owning 45% via Volkswagen AG. Rimac’s founder Mate Rimac is serving the chief executive officer of the new company. He is now in the position to steer Rimac and Bugatti to heights higher than presently.
Currently, Rimac is in the process of homologating its Nevera electric hypercar for the United States market. Compared to the Chiron, the Nevera is a silent monster of a new level. With the capability of delivering 1,914 hp of max output and 1,741 lb-ft of instant torque, the Nevera can sprint from nil to 60 mph in 1.85 seconds and reach a restricted top speed of 258 mph.
Chiron Successor Is A Hybrid; Electric Bugatti On The Horizon
With Rimac on board, there is the possibility that Bugatti would build electric hypercars. Mate Rimac, however, told Automotive News in an interview that he wants the French carmaker to focus on internal combustion engines for now. After all, Rimac and Bugatti are different brands with different strengths. Playing on those strengths would be the most viable choice – both technologically and financially – in the meantime.
Nevertheless, things won’t remain the same for Bugatti. With a guy whose expertise is with hyper EVs on top, the most logical thing for Bugatti is to get electrified. Rimac is planning to get this done for the successor of the Chiron, which would be powered by a heavily electrified combustion engine.
The next generation of the Bugatti hypercar will essentially build on the underlying expertise of the newly formed company. It could be better than the Chiron in several aspects, especially power and performance. According to Mate Rimac, Bugatti’s next hypercar might not be an all-electric affair, but someday it will be.
Source: Bugatti, Automotive News