Back at September’s Frankfurt Auto Show, Bugatti unveiled the Vision Gran Turismo virtual racer concept that previewed the new design language used to shape the replacement for the Veyron supercar, an even faster model to be called a Chiron. The Chiron name comes from pioneering Bugatti racing driver Louis Chiron and was previously used for one of the concepts unveiled in the late 1990s that previewed the Veyron.
We now have new spy shots of prototypes for the Chiron, courtesy of Autogespot and Instagram users max.knz and Erico Hessel. The shots show some barely disguised versions of the Veyron successor and confirm that the car’s lines are almost identical to those on Bugatti’s Vision GT concept. Common elements include the aggressive front end, central spine, circular side blade and open rear.
The Chiron will make its debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show next March. It will be similar in size, shape and ethos to the Veyron but will benefit from more power, less weight and improved handling. Development has been years in the making but it looks like engineers are now on the home straight.
The production run is thought to be 500 cars in total, up on the 450 Veyrons built, and pricing will likely be set higher than that of the Veyron.
Teaser for Bugatti Chiron debuting at 2016 Geneva Motor ShowEnlarge Photo
The starting price is thought to be 2.2 million euros (approximately $2.43 million) which is close to what the Veyron's Grand Sport Vitesse variant was going for towards the end of the car’s decade-long production run. The Veyron had a price tag of just 1.3 million euros ($1.43 million) when it was launched.
One thing we’re certain of is that the car will feature an uprated version of the Veyron’s quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W-16, likely with direct fuel injection, cylinder deactivation and electric-aided turbos. It's possible Bugatti will offer two levels of performance this time around, though. Former Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn previously hinted that an expected hybrid system on the Chiron will be reserved for a high-performance variant, with the standard model to be powered exclusively by an internal combustion engine.
Peak output of the hybrid variant is expected to come close to 1,500 horsepower, which will allow the Chiron to accelerate from 0-60 mph in about 2.3 seconds, down from 2.5 seconds in the 1,184-hp Veyron Super Sport. Top speed, meanwhile, is thought to be as high as 288 mph, or about 20 mph faster than the land speed record-holding Veyron Super Sport.
As for the detractors that criticize Bugatti’s focus on top speed, note that the Veyron’s greatness doesn’t lie solely in the fact that it can reach speeds in excess of 250 mph. The Veyron is a marvel because of its engineering, craftsmanship and ease in which it can reach such insane speeds all while being as docile behind the wheel as a humble Golf.