Instead, Rimac will develop an entirely new ICE powerplant to replace the aging W16 engine that has powered all Bugatti supercars since the Veyron debut in 2005. To do so, Rimac will leverage its partnership with Porsche, since the Croatian startup does not have the expertise in developing combustion engines. We certainly see a Bugatti with a spiced-up hybrid powertrain based on that of the Porsche 918.
“The easiest thing for us would be to take the Nevera and slam a Bugatti logo on it and call it a day. But I was against it. I'm an electric car guy, but a Bugatti should still have a combustion engine for some time,” explained Rimac for Automotive News.
Rimac also said the future Bugatti supercar will be developed from scratch, just like the Nevera. It will be done on a tight budget though, at least when compared with how much Volkswagen has invested in the Chiron. Even so, the future Bugatti will be an exceptional product, “not comparable with anything else on the market.”
People see Mate Rimac as an EV evangelist, and that’s why it’s surprising to hear from him that the Chiron’s successor will feature an internal combustion engine. And not just any engine, but “a very attractive combustion engine”, as he puts it in the interview. This is the best possible solution for Bugatti, considering the brand, its customers, and the technology available. Rimac does not rule out an electric supercar from Bugatti. But not today.