A specifications sheet (shown in our gallery) reveals that the car will be powered by a four turbo 16-cylinder engine that produces a staggering 1479bhp at 6700rpm. The W16 unit also produces 1180lb ft of torque between 2000-6000rpm, and sends drive to all four wheels via a seven-speed DSG gearbox. It's capable of accelerating the Chiron to a limited 261mph top speed.
The Chiron name is taken from the 1920s and 1930s grand prix racer Louis Chiron, who scored notable results in European Championship events for Bugatti, including winning the 1931 French Grand Prix at the wheel of a Bugatti T51. His career was interrupted by the war, but he went on to race for marques including Alfa Romeo, Mercedes and Maserati.
Latest spy pictures have shown a late-stage prototype for the Chiron in testing. Although much of its styling is camouflaged, new elements including thinner LED headlight clusters, a more prominent front grille and flatter bonnet can be seen. It's already known that the Chiron will take some styling inspiration from the recent Vision Gran Turismo concept car, which made its debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September. At the time, Bugatti officials said the concept's styling was an early look at the firm's new design language.
Although no straight-line performance figures for the Chiron have been revealed, Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bugatti's president, said: “The development brief for the Chiron can be summarised in one sentence, which is probably the shortest in the history of the automobile: we want to make the best significantly better. 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.”
Chiron prototypes had previously been spotted at Los Angeles airport earier this summer. Durheimer has pledged that "no other production super sports car of this calibre will be subjected to such a stringent, comprehensive test programme."
Models of the Chiron are reported to have been shown to prospective customers already. Bugatti says it already has 100 confirmed orders for the car. Durheimer said: “The feedback from our customers concerning the Chiron is outstanding. Our order book is steadily filling up. More than 100 customers have already ordered the Chiron despite the fact that they have had no opportunity so far to experience the fantastic driving properties of the Chiron."
Early in 2015, Bugatti also released the first official preview video for the car, accompanied by the statement "a new chapter begins". The sound of an engine can also be heard at the end of the video.