Bugatti is go! New Chiron name confirmed, here at Geneva 2016

Published: 30 November 2015

Bugatti Chiron is approved for 2016 launch
► Hypercar will be launched at Geneva motor show
► Name of 1480bhp Veyron Mk2 confirmed 

The 2016 Bugatti Chiron has been officially revealed in full – get the latest here. Read on below for our previous story, leading up to the unveil.

The name of the Veyron successor has been confirmed: the Bugatti Chiron will be launched at the 2016 Geneva motor show, Molsheim has confirmed. CAR readers will know this badge already – we first reported on the Chiron back in early 2015 and revealed how it referenced Louis Chiron, the company’s most successful racing driver in the 1920s and ’30s. 

The news brings to an end speculation that the hypercar could be culled in the spending review underway at parent company Volkswagen, as Wolfsburg reins in all non-essential spending to pay for fines and recalls associated with the global #dieselgate emissions scandal.

How to replace a supercar like the Veyron

The Chiron will cost a reputed €2.2 million (£1.6m) at launch for a base-spec model, according to our sources – that’s a wallet-wilting £650,000 more than the Veyron. And a string of roadsters and special editions in the pipeline will only send that number spiralling upwards. This is a hypercar like no other, carrying on where the Veyron 16.4 left off and trampling all over the Top Trumps stats of cars such as the LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918.

Not in driver enjoyment and pure-bred thrills, perhaps, but certainly in all-out stat-off war. The new Bug, depicted in our artist’s impression by Motor Forecast and seen in prototype form in a spy video on the SupercarsNews channel, sticks with 16 cylinders arranged again in W formation (a 14-cylinder engine was contemplated, our sources report), with power set to top 1500 metric horsepower for performance figures to shame most F1 cars.

Bugatti Chiron: customers are wooed at Molsheim

Prospects for the new Bugatti supercar have already been shown the Chiron at the company’s glitzy Molsheim headquarters in eastern France. CAR visited in May 2015 (see feature below) and we understand that the party faithful were shown the new hypercar at the same facility two months later. Despite a price tag swollen considerably from the 2005 Veyron’s €1.3m (£945,000), more than 100 clients have already placed deposits, due in two tranches.

We visit Bugatti HQ to see the final Veyron, CAR magazine, May 2015 issue

The revival of the French luxury brand was a pet project of Ferdinand Piech, who was prepared to absorb combined losses in the area of €1.5bn (£1bn) in exchange for a halo car second to none. Although he is no longer chairman of the supervisory board of parent company Volkswagen, Piech and his wife were among the guests of the exclusive sneak preview. It is not known whether the VW group patriarch, who already owns a Bugatti Veyron or two, has also ordered the new Chiron, which is named after the famous Bugatti racer Louis Chiron.

While Bugatti built 450 Veyrons, we understand that the company is planning to make 500 Chirons. That’s if the world economy holds up, presumably…

Raw specs of the new Chiron

CAR’s scoop dossier reveals some startling statistics, that make even the most powerful Veyron Supersport look a little lacking in the trouser department:

Engine Quad-turbo 8.0-litre W16
Power 1500ps (1480bhp)
Torque target 1106lb ft
Projected top speed 288mph
0-62mph time 2.3sec

‘The development brief for the Chiron can be summarised in one sentence and is probably the shortest in the history of the automobile: we want to make the best significantly better,’ said Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bugatti president. ‘The Chiron will set new standards in every respect. We will continue to produce the world’s most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car. This is the claim of Bugatti and our customers. In Louis Chiron, we found a worthy patron for a new model in the history of our brand. The name of the best racing driver and the most successful Bugatti driver of his time for the best super sports car of the present day – that is the ideal combination.’

The Bugatti 8.0-litre W16 quad-turbo in action

Despite a brand-new exterior and interior, the Chiron is in essence a major evolution of the Veyron. It retains the carbonfibre body structure, the independent suspension cum 4WD system and the quad-turbo W16 engine (pictured above), whose reinforced, faster-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch transmission must translate this enormous twist action into traction.

Redeveloped tyres for better wet grip and improved ultra-high-speed compatibility allegedly enable the top speed to increase from the Super Sport’s record-holding 431kph (268mph) to ‘in excess of 440kph (275mph).’ Only once you’ve disabled the 375kph (233mph) soft limiter by inserting a special key to reduce the ground clearance, blank off the cooling ducts and lock the spoiler in a horizontal, low-drag position. 

Chiron vs Veyron

While it is instantly recognisable as a Bugatti, the Chiron has actually been restyled from bottom to top, CAR understands. The new double-barrel high-tech headlights sit eye-level with the Bugatti badge on top of the prominent horseshoe grille, the roof-mounted air intake scoops give way to large semi-oval lateral apertures, the four round taillights are replaced by an eye-catching full-width LED light bar embedded in a silver carrier. The exhaust is integrated in a new end panel shaped like a stylised B.

This will be the new tech showcase for the VW brand – featuring cylinder deactivation, electric-actuated turbocharging and direct injection, to make sure the Chiron will be able to achieve 14mpg. The Veyron could drain its fuel tank in just eight minutes at full chat…

Make no mistake, Bugatti is aiming to redraw the supecar boundaries yet again. Can the Chiron succeed? Let us know in the comments below!

2016 Bugatti Chiron revealed

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The predecessor: the Bugatti Veyron

By Georg Kacher

European editor, secrets uncoverer, futurist, first man behind any wheel