CEO Mate Rimac discusses what's happening after the Chiron.
Bugatti will be saying a final goodbye to the Chiron and its amazing quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W16 engine come 2024. It will no doubt be a sad farewell but Bugatti CEO and Rimac founder Mate Rimac couldn't be more excited for what's coming next. Speaking to Auto Express, Rimac admitted he was initially surprised to be asked by VW Group's head of strategy to take over Bugatti but soon realized it was the right move.
"VW had several options, including kill the brand or sell it to someone else. But there is not one opinion within VW, it's a lot of people with different opinions: the board, the Piech family, the Porsche family, the state," he explained. "It wasn't an easy time, but I knew exactly what I wanted the next car [after the Chiron] to be and we started developing a combustion engine on our own - it's totally bonkers what you will see next year."
Rimac was obviously mum on specific details, but did reveal that the Chiron successor will be "rearranged as a hybrid. It's completely new, so there is not one part carried over from any car," including the Chiron or the Rimac Nevera EV hypercar. "Everything is from scratch." Rimac's Bugatti responsibilities also pose another question many hypercar enthusiasts are wondering: how will the two brands avoid the so-called internal competition? "It'll be different technology," says Rimac, "but also in the approach. Bugatti is all about heritage and craftsmanship and 100 years of history. It's a little bit aristocratic perfectionism," he explained.
Bugatti will retain combustion engines with electrical assistance for the foreseeable future, Rimac reiterated. Rimac, however, is meant "to be absolutely insane, bonkers, full-electric - drifting at 37 mph with a gigantic cloud of smoke behind you, autonomous drift modes, futuristic stuff. Rimac will be about bending physics."
When asked about a potential four-seat hypercar, something similar to the Koenigsegg Gemera, Rimac's answer was clear-cut. "This kind of car comes with a lot of complexities and limitations. I really like what Christian [Koenigsegg, company CEO] did with that car, but I don't find currently a technical concept that goes with it that I would like." Rimac won't completely rule anything out in the future but for the time being, such a hypercar is not in the cards.
What about a Rimac SUV? "No. Let's say we don't have a plan for a car like that. It was something we immediately stopped for Bugatti and we will go in a slightly different direction. That is a direction we will never take."