Bugatti is preparing to finish the W16 chapter of its history; the Mistral roadster, which will be launched in August 2022, will be the last street-legal vehicle powered by the quad-turbocharged engine. What comes next is still unknown, although the French company has given Autoblog a few ideas.
To begin, let us remove a myth: the successor to the Chiron will not be electric. Achim Anscheidt, Bugatti’s design director, said that the model, the name of which has yet to be revealed, will be powered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Rimac has defined the drivetrain as “heavily electric,” but specific technical specifications such as horsepower and layout have yet to be revealed. At this point, all we know for certain is that the W16 will not return and that several essential components under the body (including the monocoque and subframes) will be new.
In terms of design, it appears that Anscheidt directed his team to strike a balance between evolutionary and revolutionary approaches.
“[The vehicle] will almost definitely be tuned to one or both aspects of a hybrid. We see the possibility to increase the car’s overall automotive gesture “He stated.
Because features like the monocoque and doors were carried over from the Veyron, his team was unable to dial in new proportions when designing the Chiron. Beyond the general shape, Anscheidt stated that he would want to see Bugatti’s design language become slimmer and more athletic, but this is a push. Whatever the successor to the Chiron looks like, it must keep loyal to the equivocal character of “the automotive Beauty and Beast” and be instantly recognizable as a Bugatti.
“In comparison to other hypercars, Bugatti has always created its own distinct category. It was always a little different, never attempting to be a road racer. It is the pinnacle of GT performance. That should not vary from one day to the next. We don’t want to be someone else, but we’re starting a new tech chapter, which is both a challenge and an opportunity “He elaborated.
The cabin will also adapt, but it will not necessarily follow the industry’s current trend toward wall-to-wall screens.
“When you look at today’s cars, it’s clear that there are screens all over the place. Where are we going with this? Yes, I believe that clients have a right to full enjoyment in their daily driver. This is the [automotive interior design trend], and we don’t want to call it into doubt. But I’m curious: who still owns an iPhone 3? Nobody, and you probably don’t want one any longer. It most likely does not function. What happens to such autos when they reach the age of 20 or 30? Are those screens still operational? Did you complete all of the updates?”
As they shape Chiron’s replacement, Anscheidt and his colleagues actively debate what this implies for Bugatti and its consumers. Not all firms are concerned about whether the technology in their vehicles will be functional in two or more decades, but Bugatti is in a unique position: its vehicles are immediate treasures. They are rolling works of art designed to be appreciated and adored by enthusiasts who have yet to be born.
“Bugatti models must be able to sit on the lawn at Pebble Beach in 50 years and still function. Similarly, we encounter pre-war luxury autos that still function. What a tragedy it would be if a Bugatti sat there with only dark screens [on the inside].” We’ll have to wait to see what solution Anscheidt comes up with. “We’re giving it careful thought. I’m not saying we have the ultimate answer, but there is something that makes priceless automobiles and precious brands worth considering for future generations “He said.