The Bugatti Chiron is hitting its sales targets, but CEO Stephan Winkelmann wants a second product to consolidate the well-being of the marque. Two main options are currently rumoured. One is a million-euro electric crossover, developed with the help of R&D specialists EDAG and built by Magna, or perhaps involving a collaboration with Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac, who might be interested in selling Bugatti his 1850bhp C002 rolling chassis, complete with batteries and performance electronics.
The plan is to build between 600 and 800 dynamic three-door crossovers a year.
Alternatively, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Porsche could share a new, still undefined electric hypercar architecture. It would take three forms: Porsche’s pending 918 replacement, an EV follow-up to the Chiron, and the tentative Lamborghini Superelletrico.
An all-new Bentley will arrive in 2024 at the earliest. What happens between now and then? While a Bentayga facelift should help boost sales, the Mulsanne is expected to give way to a long-wheelbase Flying Spur with more bling.
The next-generation Bentleys are likely to be spearheaded by an electric saloon, which may be powered by a fuel cell. According to the Porsche grapevine, vehicle production in Crewe may in the future concentrate on this flagship along with hand-crafted Mulliner division specials. The Conti range would be moved to Leipzig in 2029 and the Bentayga transferred to Bratislava in 2023.
Audi’s day-to-day operations are still haunted 24/7 by Dieselgate – large elements of which originated in Ingolstadt. Internal checks have, for instance, recently unearthed three hitherto undetected defeat devices which threaten homologation and are bound to trigger more recalls.
Meanwhile, customers with desmogged engines don’t like the increased fuel consumption, and there have been complaints that 3.0- and 4.0-litre TDI engines suffer from serious turbo lag, slow throttle response below 2000rpm and unrefined running. Blame a ‘once bitten, twice shy’ approach to mapping.
New software will, we’re told, save the day. But the certification process won’t be complete for a year or more.
How is Bugatti supposed to follow this?