Is Bugatti Going to Replace the Veyron With a Hybrid?

Rumor has it that when the vaunted Veyron roars (at 268 mph) into the supercar sunset, an even faster hybrid will take its place.
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Rumor has it that when the vaunted Veyron roars (at 268 mph) into the supercar sunset, an even faster hybrid will take its place.
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Ferrari, Porsche, and McLaren all sell blindingly fast super cars with hybrid engines (the LaFerrari, 918 Spyder, and P1, respectively) but none is a superlative-obsessed French-German juggernaut whose divisive Veyron once set the standard for extravagance in velocity and sticker price. The rumor making the rounds amongst auto intelligentsia is that Bugatti is building a hybrid.

For a decade, the 1000-horsepower Veyron (and its endless special-editions) has been the big daddy of ultra-luxury coupes and roadsters. Yes, some Koenigseggs and Paganis out-handle the Bug, but no car has pretended to its continent-crushing, super-fast luxury bullet throne, and the supremacy of 16 quad-turbocharged cylinders remains intact.

But after the Veyron finishes its 450 car run some time before New Year’s Day, will a hybrid be able to satisfy the monstrous appetite of Bugatti's subjects? 

Yes, for it alone must provide a new and worthy king of supercars. This young royal will likely continue to use the brawny 16-cylinder engine, now combined with an electric motor to make 1500-horsepower. With all that thrust, the new car is expected to blow past the current Veyron Super Sport’s 268 mph top speed, perhaps getting within a dozen clicks of the triple-century. 

Is a hybrid Bugatti a compromise? Hell no. The truth is that high-performance hybrid systems, which use regenerative braking, F1-styleKERS electric boost, and choices of all-electric, all-gasoline, or combined powertrains, are used in the fastest and most luxurious cars sold today. Emphatically unlike a Toyota Prius, the Bugatti hybrid would be the latest, greatest expression of a kind of performance hybrid that starts with BMW’s $135,700 i8 sports car and continues through the Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918, and McLaren P1.

These are cars that allow drivers to satisfy European emissions standards with all-electric propulsion around town, then flip a hyper-speed switch, turn those batteries into boost, and rocket down the road with all systems, gas and electric, on full burn.

Bugatti has a storied past, access to Volkswagen’s mightily deep pockets, and some annoying nips at its heels from upstarts like the Hennessey Venom: we’re sure whatever hybrid emerges in the next couple of years will vault to the top of the class, zooming past aspirants with a neutron crackle and a W-16 roar.