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Monday, 29 October 2012

Bugatti Reportedly Developing a Veyron Super Duper Sport

An 8-litre Quad-Turbo W16 with 1001PS is so passe now, apparently.
Take a legendary old moniker from the pre-war years and turn it into your halo of halo brands. When you already own Lamborghini, Bentley, Audi and Porsche, you need a brand as outrageous a Bugatti to overshadow them all, and while the Veyron isn't as elegant or as front-engined as the pre-war cars that made the name famous, the sheer opulence and level of finish and engineering stands up to Bugs of old. However, it seems that VW Group considers the idea of joining together two 4.0-litre Twin-Turbo V8s into one almighty beast of an engine making 1001PS (987bhp) and then dropping it into a car designed to do more than 400km/h (248mph) as being so 2005. We've already seen them turn the wick up on the four turbochargers and beef up one of the nine radiators/intercoolers to get another 200 horsepower out of it for the Super Sport, and now - just when you thought that, because the limited production run is reaching its end, the Veyron was soon to take a bow - they're reportedly planning to get twice as much again out of that monstrous W16 in order to edge closer to the next great speed milestone: 300mph.

The Bugatti Veyron instantly became the undisputed king of cars when it was launched seven years or so ago, getting tremendous praise on TopGear and indeed everywhere else until some plastic dragster from America managed to go 256mph, inching the Bug's world record of 253mph. While nobody could call the daftly-named SSC Ultimate Aero TT a more complete car than the Veyron, the Germans were not pleased about their muti-million euro technical masterpiece being beaten by some two-bit Texans, so they made the 267mph Super Sport to reclaim the crown. However, having kicked off a top speed race, it's getting busy at the top. Koenigsegg - who held the record for Fastest Production Car for all of one year with the 2004 CCR - now make the Agera and Agera R, both of which can top 260mph, and Hennessey is now representing the American push to be fastest in a straight line (well, Americans are good at that sort of thing) with the possibly-270mph Venom GT, essentially a heavily modified Lotus Exige with a Twin-Turbo Corvette engine making 1200bhp. These names you've no doubt heard all over the internet are just the start.

But with the original Veyron's production run of 300 cars now finished, and the Super Sport and (topless) Grand Sport Vitesse fast selling out, it looked like VW/Bugatti were moving on from the Veyron and onto the next extreme engineering adventure. Alas, it seems that Piëch and his team of master Germans just don't know when to quit, so they have devised a new equation for what might be a final run of 'Super Duper Sport' Veyrons (or whatever they'll be called):

EB16.4(SS) + 400PS - 250kg = ?

There are many answers to that equation. One of them is 1600PS (1578bhp). Another is 1608kg, with a biproduct of those two being 995PS/tonne (981bhp/tonne), although I wouldn't be surprised if they got it to an even thousand. Supposedly, according to Automobile magazine, other answers include a 0-60 time of 1.8 seconds, which I find hard to believe is possible with road tyres, and a top speed of 288mph (464km/h), which I don't find quite so hard to believe, as it's not far off what the hyper-est of hypercars are managing now, and none of those are packing 1600 horsepower.

They'll also be changing the front and rear ends, which will include new styling at last. While nobody can doubt the abilities of the Veyron, many people aren't fond of the jelleymould shape and slightly Germanic styling, so this will be music to some people's ears (images are renderings from the source). Of course, if this Veyron Rocket Bastard or whatever they call it is real and comes to fruition, then it will do so amidst a veritable sea of new hypercars from mouth-watering brands, like the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder, Ferrari "F70" and Jaguar X75. It will need to look fresh, especially as Koenigsegg has tweaked their long-lasting styling for the Agera, and for all we know a hotter Huayra will be around by then (whenever "then" is, possibly 2014 at a guess). Oh, and if the SSC Twatterer Tuatara actually happens, then that will be far more stylish than the Ultimate Aero too, so there's that rivalry to keep up with as well. Because it'll still be based around the same chassis, the overall shape will remain, meaning the Veyron won't lose its identity in the makeover.

But where does it stop? If 1200 horsepower means about 270mph, and 1600 horsepower means about 290mph, how long will it be before an 1800 or 2000 horsepower car breaks the 300mph barrier? Ten years? Less? Probably not less, to be honest. Nevertheless, if Bugatti is hell-bent on hypercar dominance, then this will be a very interesting era in the eternal top speed arms race. I can't wait to see if this turns out to be real! Supposedly we'll find out at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Automobile Magazine reckons the chrome outline will move and the four-ring tail lights will be swapped for an EB110 tribute.
There's not much they can do to the front, as it has to cut through the air with enough efficiency to top 460km/h.
If any more on this story develops, you can bet your left testicle (or breasticle) it'll be repeated on here.

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