If you love speed, you probably love the Bugatti Veyron. Sure, it's been eclipsed by the SSC Ultimate Aero TT and its own Super Sport variant as the world's fastest production car, but the original 253-mph Veyron is still no slouch. The next Veyron will be even faster.
How much faster? About 17 mph faster, according to the latest rumors. That would make the next Veyron about 2.2 mph faster than even the ultra-limited-edition Veyron Super Sport's 267.81 mph record speed. Not that you'll be able to use it outside of a high-speed oval or a closed airstrip.
Practicality, of course, isn't the point. It's the potential, the promise, the possibility of reaching such ludicrous speeds that drives the imaginations and passions of Veyron fans. Not to mention the brilliant engineering that makes it possible.
So what might the next Veyron look like? With Walter de Silva now at the head of the Volkswagen Group's design department, his own 1999 prototype for the original Veyron could be the basis. Funky doesn't even begin to describe it, but it's not hard to apply a modern lens to the car and envision what might eventually reach production.
Power for the new Veyron would have to top at least 1,200 horsepower to make the 270 mph target speed possible, and we'd expect all-wheel drive, a dual-clutch gearbox, and turbocharging to remain on the program as well. Carbon fiber and other exotic materials could play a larger role than before, serving to further lighten the car without sacrificing rigidity or safety.
If the new Veyron does materialize, it should be around as a concept sometime in 2013 with production to follow the year after.