Croatia-based Rimac purchased a controlling stake in Bugatti in July 2021. While some worried that the tie-up would lead to badge-engineering, the company has confirmed that the Chiron’s successor will not be merely an existing EV dressed in a swanky French suit.
“The easiest thing for us would be to take the Nevera, slam a Bugatti logo on it, and call it a day, but I was against it. I’m an electric car guy, but a Bugatti should still have a combustion engine for some time,” company founder Mate Rimac explained to Automotive News Europe.
Badge-engineering is off the table, then; Bugatti fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Rimac added that future Bugatti models will be developed from scratch and in-house, and that his team will go to significant lengths to keep development costs in check in order to boost profitability. But while a Bugatti EV isn’t around the corner, it doesn’t sound like the model that takes the torch from the Chiron will keep the W16 alive.
“[The car] will be heavily electrified, but we’ll have a very attractive combustion engine. When people see the next-generation Bugatti, I think they will be surprised that I was pushing for something like that because people associate me with electric cars. But, I have always been a performance guy and a car freak. Considering the brand and the customers and the technology available, I think that we are developing the best possible solution for Bugatti, which is not an electric car today. It will be one day, but not today,” Rimac continued.
While he stopped short of providing technical details, “heavily electrified” and “a very attractive combustion engine” are statements that confirm the Chiron’s successor will land with a hybrid powertrain. And, as of writing, there’s no word yet on what the car will look like, both visually and mechanically. It could again take the form of a coupe with a mid-mounted engine, or it could adopt a different layout.
We don’t know when Bugatti will unveil its next car, though it doesn’t sound like the company is in a rush: Its order book is full until 2025, according to Rimac. The final Chiron build slots have been spoken for, and the track-focused Bolide is sold-out as well. After a record-breaking 2021, Bugatti plans to build and deliver 80 cars in 2022, including the first examples of the EB110-inspired Centodieci.
Meanwhile, the Croatian firm has launched production of the Nevera, its second model, after several delays linked to the ongoing chip shortage. “The first customer cars are on the line. We will deliver them in the next two months,” the company’s founder revealed.