A couple of years ago, rampant industry rumors claimed that the successor to the Bugatti Veyron would land with a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain. These whisperings turned out to be false, as we found out at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year, but the French company has now revealed that a high-performance hybrid drivetrain is still on the table.
“[A hybrid] is something we have under consideration now. We will see what the future brings,” company boss Wolfgang Dürheimer said in an interview with British magazine Autocar.
Dürheimer made it clear that the Chiron will only adopt electrification for the sake of boosting performance. If launched, the hybrid model will be positioned a notch above the standard coupe, and it will boast well over 1,500 horsepower. Going hybrid won’t be a way to improve fuel economy or reduce emissions, however, and the gasoline-electric Chiron won’t be capable of driving on electricity alone at low speeds like the Porsche 918 Spyder and the McLaren P1.
Interestingly, Dürheimer also noted that the initial rumors claiming the Chiron would launch as a hybrid were plausible. The company seriously considered going hybrid during the development phase, but it managed to squeeze 1,500 horsepower out of the quad-turbocharged, 16-cylinder engine without resorting to an electric motor and a battery pack, two components that add a considerable amount of weight.
Bugatti is on the verge of expanding. Dürheimer’s comments all but confirm that a more powerful version of the Chiron is right around the corner, and the executive has previously admitted that a second, more affordable model is under consideration. It could take the form of a smaller sports car positioned below the Chiron, an all-electric model, a high-end sedan inspired by the Galibier concept, or even an SUV. However, Bugatti has made it clear that a topless Chiron won’t see the light of day.