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.

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.