Bugatti will continue to produce the world’s fastest cars – and that’s a promise by the new chief executive of Bugatti.
Wolfgang Durheimer, who took over as combined boss of Bugatti and Bentley in spring 2011, told CAR that being the fastest was a cornerstone of the modern Bugatti philosophy.
‘It is vital that Bugatti produces the world’s fastest car,’ Durheimer said. And he vowed that if a rival came along and made a car faster than a Veyron, the company would respond – as it did when the SSC Aero overtook the Veyron. Molsheim reacted by launching the 268mph Super Sport.
Why does Bugatti bother with the theoretical top speed race?
Because Durheimer and his predecessors clearly want to win the bragging rights.
‘It’s in human nature,’ Durheimer said. ‘We are always going to want to find out who runs the 100m the fastest. It’s the same with cars.’
Durheimer, who was Porsche’s R&D chief before his appointment as boss of Bugatti and Bentley, is a skilled engineer and said he could always climb in a car and think of two or three things he would improve. But he admitted he was stumped by the Veyron.
Will the Veyron go any faster?
The company has stopped building the Veyron coupe, with only around 100 Grand Sport roadsters left before the production run is complete.
We asked Durheimer if the Veyron could go any faster. ‘We would need to improve the aero, not the weight for more speed,’ he admitted.
What about after the Veyron?
Durheimer said VW was evaluating the Galibier project, which still wasn’t signed off. ‘I am in the process of convincing them that this will be the best car in its segment in the world. It will be claiming for outstanding design, the biggest series production engine with 16 cylinders and it will be the fastest limousine in the world.’
Bugatti’s business case is for between 500 and 1500 examples of the Galibier, which will probably be bought by existing customers. Durheimer knows many of them personally – he invited 300 of them to this week’s Pebble Beach concours, ‘and 80 of them are coming’.
CAR has already written plenty about the Galibier. In April 2011, we revealed it will have a hybrid powertrain and porcelain trim and Durheimer has now added that it will have expertise from Bentley in its wood and leather. Click here for our earlier scoop on the new Bugatti Galibier.
But in the long run, Durheimer would like to build a successor to the Veyron, to sell alongside the Galibier.