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Veyron successor ‘will be the best super-sports car on the planet’

Upcoming Bugatti will outgun its predecessor in every regard, says boss Durheimer

“Everything is better,” says Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Durheimer. “More power, higher top speed. Shorter acceleration. Cleaner design. More luxury. More of everything.”

He’s talking, of course, about the Veyron successor, widely tipped to be called Chiron, and apparently spotted a couple of weeks ago tooling around northern Italy.

That Bugatti is readying a Son Of Veyron comes as no surprise. That it’ll attempt to outgun its hypercar predecessor in every regard is rather punchier. After all, it had been considered the Chiron – if that is indeed its name – might sacrifice ultimate v-max aspirations in favour of more accessible day-to-day performance.

Not so, says Durheimer. The next Bugatti will be Veyron, only more so.

“The new car delivers everything much better than the previous one,” says Durheimer. “It will be the best super-sports car on the planet.”

So it’ll look, Top Gear asks, roughly Veyron-shaped? Massive engine in the middle, two seats up front, big wing at the back?

Durheimer nods. “If you want to deliver more than 1200bhp, it’s not easy to revolutionise the concept. The Galibier turned out not to be the better solution.”

The Galibier was Bugatti’s four-door, front-engined design study of 2009, a concept widely tipped to make production but ditched in favour of a more Veyron-shaped design.

So why, in an era of downsizing and non-conspicious consumption, is Bugatti still chasing the v-max crown?

“One guy is giving us a hard time,” smiles Durheimer. “This Mr Hennessey from Texas.”

That guy is John Hennessey, creator of the Venom, the V8-powered, Lotus-based fruitcake that hit 270mph – in one direction only – in 2014.

TopGear.com politely points out that, impressive as the Venom is, it’s a rather more myopic proposition than the Veyron. The Veyron, after all, is the four-wheel drive, leather-trimmed apogee of the VW empire. The Venom, in the nicest way, is a turbo V8 bomb strapped inside a carbon fibre body.

Durheimer shrugs. “I believe in the Olympic games, the 100m sprint,” he says. “You need to win the numbers. And we need guys like him [Hennessey] to make the subject interesting.”

Interesting the ultimate performance wing of the world’s biggest car company is so concerned by the efforts of a small-time Texas tuner, but Durheimer acknowledges his customers don’t like being second-best.

The Bugatti boss wouldn’t be drawn on technical details of the Veyron successor, but wouldn’t rule out the possibility of hybrid power to supplement the W16 engine. He also acknowledged that developments in tyre technology have helped the Bugatti team push the speed benchmark yet higher.

But just how fast will the next Bugatti be? 270mph-plus is a certainty, with Bugatti likely to pitch for 280mph for a bit of security. 300mph? Unlikely, given the law of diminishing returns of speed records. But as Bugatti’s proven before, ‘unlikely’ isn’t a word in its Franco-Germanic vocabulary…

Image credit: Erico Hessel on Instagram ericohesselphotography.com

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