Any news about the Bugatti Veyron successor is good news, but even better is when that news mentions a 1,500-horsepower hybrid drivetrain.
Volkswagen Group boss Martin Winterkorn has not only officially confirmed a Veyron successor is coming (shocking), but he has stated that it won't just use a massive, gas-powered engine, it will modernize like its supercar rivals. Interestingly, the way Winterkorn phrased it, "next to the petrol model there will be a hybrid version with added performance for the first time," it almost sounds as if there will be two versions of the Veyron successor, with the hybrid version likely taking the halo car position.
In terms of performance, the follow-up to the Veyron, which may be called the Chiron, will use an overhauled version of its 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine with output somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,500 HP. It's unclear whether that figure will be achieved by the gas engine alone, or with electric assistance, but either way, 1,500-plus horses will be enough to get new supercar to 60 mph in the bottom end of 2.0 seconds and on to a top speed of over 280 mph.
Volkswagen says the new model will have, "the fastest top speed of any series-production road car, together with the sort of driveability to allow you to use it every day." It will feature a carbon fiber monocoque chassis with seating for two, like the Veyron, along with the latest and greatest in luxury build materials and technology. The hybrid drivetrain will send power to all four wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The highest echelon of performance cars has changed dramatically since the Veyron was introduced in 2005. It's no longer the Veyron against tiny startups like SSC, but instead Ferrari's LaFerrari, Porsche's 918, and McLaren's P1 are each lightweight, hybrid-powered models to challenge the Veyron successor. And then there's Koenigsegg.
Easily the Veyron's stiffest competition, Koenigsegg's new Regera pairs a twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V8 with three electric motors for just under 1,500 HP and a zero to 249 mph sprint of under 20 seconds. The Regera may be focused on all-out performance instead of a split between gran touring and power like the Veyron, but I doubt buyers of the Veyron successor will be satisfied with "second best" for the guaranteed $1.5 million-plus price tag.
Bugatti plans to reveal the new model in 2016, with deliveries of up to 450 units starting the following year.