With the Mistral and the Bolide, Bugatti has officially made a bid for the 8.0-liter W16 engine. The quad-turbo powerplant will be over 20 years old in 2024 when peeps from Molsheim will deliver the last units of the roadster and track-only engine. What happened next? Rather than slapping the EB logo on the Nevera and calling it a day, newly founded Bugatti company Rimac is developing the hypercar from the ground up.
Auto Express sat down and chatted with Mate Rimac about what happened after Chiron. Surprisingly, Rimac – known for its cutting-edge EV technology – started developing the combustion engine two years before joining Bugatti. Touted as a “hypercar reimagined as a hybrid”, the next masterpiece will have an “absolutely crazy” ICE, and company bosses say we’ll all be “blown away” once the wrap comes off next year.
The 34-year-old Croatian innovator and entrepreneur pointed out that the next Bugatti model will bear no relation to the existing model: “It’s completely new, so not a single part has been brought from any car; nothing has been brought from the Chiron, nothing brought from Never. Everything from scratch.” Surprisingly, Bugatti’s original plan was to replace the W16 hypercar with an SUV similar to the Ferrari Purosangue but electric.
The differences between the next Bugatti and Nevera will extend beyond the powertrain, Mate Rimac explains:
“Bugatti is more like opera and then goes 400 km/h (249 mph) on the Autobahn. It would be more beautiful, analog instruments, kind of watchmaker stuff. With Rimac, we wanted it to be really crazy, crazy, full-electric – drifting at 60 km/h (37 mph) with a giant puff of smoke behind you, autonomous drift mode, futuristic stuff.”
Prior to teaming up with Rimac, Bugatti was in a bit of a predicament as the parent company of the Volkswagen Group even considered discontinuing the well-known French brand or finding a new owner: “VW had several options, including shutting down the brand or selling it to someone else.”
Mate Rimac explained that after the decision was made for the two companies to merge, he immediately abandoned his original plans to launch an SUV, deciding instead to work on a hybrid hypercar. This will be revealed next year, but with Mistral and Bolide deliveries programmed for 2024, it’s likely the next Bugatti won’t launch until around 2025.