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No SUV agenda for Bugatti

Bleeding edge: Bugatti intends to build cars at the top end of the scale. The last Veyron sold for more than $3 million.

Bugatti to remain ‘sharp’ and eschew a luxury SUV in favour of Veyron successor

Bugatti logo24 Aug 2015

BUGATTI is set to replace the fastest car in the world with another, even quicker machine – but it will not build an SUV to underwrite it, according the global chief executive Wolfgang Duerheimer.

Mr Duerheimer, who is also in charge of the Bentley brand worldwide, said replacement for the Veyron – rumoured to be called the Chiron – will improve on the Veyron in every aspect.

The Volkswagen-owned marque has sold 450 Veyrons since 2005 at an average of $2 million apiece, with the last being snapped up just before the Geneva motor show earlier this year.

Mr Duerheimer told US magazine ‘Car and Driver’ that the company would not diversify into other segments, lest it dilute the principles of the brand.

“The price/prestige axis is one of the fundamental axes at Bugatti,” he said.

“If you look at the last Veyrons, we sold them all above $2 million (US) –you can’t do this in all segments.”

The top-end luxury SUV segment is set to ignite with offerings from Bentley and rivals like Maserati due in 2015, while Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini prepare competitors for launch in 2016.

Lower-end prestige brands such as Jaguar are also injecting new product into the SUV ranks, while Porsche, Audi and BMW already have highly successful models in higher price brackets.

While no timeline has been set for the launch of the Veyron’s successor, a sneak preview of a new digital car for Polyphony’s Gran Turismo video game series was recently revealed, with more expected to be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show next month.

Mr Duerheimer indicated that the Chiron would improve on all of the Veyron’s key milestones, including a 0-100km/h time of less than three seconds, producing more than 1000 horsepower (746kW) and being able “to go to the opera house in the evening after driving over 400 (km/h) in the morning in the same car”.

While an uprated version of the Veyron’s quad-turbo 8.0-litre W16 engine is expected to be used, the possible addition of electrically operated turbos and energy recuperation technology will add performance and reduce emissions.

Previous reports have also suggested that an electric motor will supplement the monster petrol engine, pushing outputs to well over the 1000kW mark.

The Veyron Super Sport was briefly stripped of its world record for fastest production car in 2013 after US builder Hennessey protested that the car was not available to customers in the 430.3km/h record-setting trim. The record was, however, reinstated after further investigation.

Though Mr Duerheimer also dismissed the notion of a four-door saloon, Bugatti showed off a potential four-door supercar at the Frankfurt motor show in 2009, known as the 16C Galibier.

The four-door was to be powered by an 8.0-litre 16-cylinder twin-turbocharged petrol engine, but the company shelved the project four years later.

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