Mate Rimac Is Pushing for One More Combustion-Engined Bugatti

The electric era is just around the corner but Bugatti isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet.

byLewin Day|
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Across the world, automakers are shifting towards EVs amidst looming bans on the sale of combustion-engined vehicles. With Rimac buying Bugatti from VW last year, you'd be forgiven for thinking the maker of some of the world's most-cylindered hypercars would be going the same way. However, recent words from CEO Mate Rimac suggest that a new gasoline-fueled Bugatti could yet see the light of day in coming years, as reported by Motor1.

The news comes from a press release regarding Bugatti's sales performance in 2021, claimed as the most successful in the company's history. However, it's Mate Rimac's commentary on the future for the company that has drawn the most attention. Things quickly get interesting when Rimac begins to talk about what's coming down the line. "I do not want to talk too much about the future plans yet, but I can tell you, you will be astonished," said Rimac.

"You will be especially astonished by the features which have not yet been seen on any other car, and I am pushing also for a combustion engine," Rimac expands, adding that "there is a future for combustion engines in Bugatti." As for the future direction of the company post-merger, Rimac insists that "It is absolutely clear that the Bugatti quality, and what the brand stands for, needs to remain."

Details are scant, leaving room for speculation on what Rimac's statement actually means. The most straightforward answer would likely involve a new model that continues to employ the W16 engine as seen in the Veyron and Chiron. It's almost a given, as investing in an entirely new engine architecture would be a huge expense that would be difficult to amortize in the limited time combustion engines have left in many markets. 

Of course, the addition of hybrid technology would also be an obvious choice, given Bugatti is now paired up with a company at the forefront of electric vehicle technology. Hybrid hardware on board could take Bugatti's next vehicle to a new level of performance with the instant torque delivery from electric drive, while also helping to ensure compliance with future emissions regulations. Such a move would come with a weight penalty from motors and batteries, but Bugatti has never been shy about piling on the pounds. After all, the original Bugatti Veyron weighed on the order of 4144 lbs. 

Regardless, it suggests that, as far as one of the world's primary hypercar manufacturers is concerned, the age of combustion and fire-spitting exhausts is not over just yet. Expect any future gas-fueled Bugatti hypercar to have sold out before you've even heard about it, in the usual fashion. 

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