The heavily revised powertrain, which receives electric assistance, is mounted to the rear bulkhead in a traditional mid-engine layout, with drive channelled to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and multi-plate-clutch four-wheel drive system.
Read the full Bugatti Veyron review
Earlier plans by Bugatti to replace the mid-engined Veyron with a production version of the front-engined 16C Galibier saloon concept were cancelled following consultation with customers, who are said to have favoured a more extreme sports car with the performance to outrun the latest crop of
Since the launch of the original Veyron in 2005, the hypercar ranks have been transformed with ever more advanced contenders.
The emergence of battery-propelled hybrid drive systems and dual-clutch automatic gearboxes, along with the continued development of lightweight construction technologies and advanced active suspension systems, has resulted in an explosion in performance potential as well as unprecedented levels of efficiency, as seen on recent arrivals such as the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder and LaFerrari, all of which Bugatti has set firmly in its sights.
Although secrecy surrounds exactly what specification of engine the as-yet unnamed Veyron replacement will receive, Autocar can confirm that it is based around the same quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 powerplant as
The engine is due to receive a series of revisions. Among them, a new direct-injection combustion process will replace the multi-point injection system that has been used up to now. This will be part of efforts to enable the engine to comply with more stringent Euro 6 emissions standards and dramatically reduce fuel consumption. The economy of the fastest Veyron derivative, the 1183bhp Super Sport, is put at just 12.2mpg.
Further changes are also said to be in store for the induction system. Nothing is official at this stage, but there are suggestions that engineers at Volkswagen’s engine development headquarters in Braunschweig, Germany,
are looking to equip the unusually configured unit
with electric turbochargers.
Such a move is aimed at boosting the engine’s already prodigious low-end torque as well as enhancing efficiency levels through improvements in thermal qualities.
However, the big news centres around plans to provide the new Bugatti with hybrid drive by way of a disc-shaped electric motor mounted within the gearbox housing and a lithium ion battery.
Read the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport review
Together, the petrol engine and electric motor are said to deliver up to 1479bhp. By comparison, the Veyron Super Sport has 1183bhp. Autocar sources suggest that torque will be capped at 1100lb ft for the sake of gearbox reliability.
Major efforts are also being made to ensure that the weight of the new car remains well below that of the 1840kg Veyron Super Sport, despite the adoption of hybrid drive.
“Much of the early construction work has been focused on the carbonfibre monocoque,” said an insider. “We have a lot of expertise centring around lightweight construction within the [Volkswagen] group and
we’re drawing on this as we begin to lock in various engineering targets. ”