A number of different companies are attempting to build the first street-legal hypercar that can hit speeds of 300 mph (482 km/h), but it appears Bugatti has no interest in attempting the feat.
In an interview with Motor Trend, Stephan Winkelmann said when he become Bugatti CEO in January he took the time to test drive a car, see what the company was working on and then determined what the brand’s priorities should be. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include a top speed run.
As Winkelmann explained, “performance has a lot of facets” and he believes Bugatti has become too closely associated with top speed. As he noted, “We were missing a big part of what the car [Chiron] is all about.” As a result, Winkelmann says a top speed run is not a priority.
That’s a bit disappointing as Bugatti has a history of building the fastest production cars in the world. The original Veyron claimed the record by going 253.81 mph (408.47 km/h) in 2005 and the Veyron Super Sport retook the record when it achieved an average speed of 268 mph (431 km/h). The Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse also set the top speed record for production roadsters when it went 253 mph (408 km/h).
Fans will likely be disappointed by the move away from top speeds, but Winkelmann suggested its part of a larger strategy to focus on other Bugatti models. As the executive explained, “It is important that we emphasize the past racing cars like the T35, the limousines and GTs like Atlantic.” This could be a subtle hint that Bugatti’s future isn’t just about hypercars and many include models such as the Galibier concept which will celebrate its tenth anniversary next year.
Besides talking about speed records, Winkelmann confirmed there won’t be a Chiron roadster. He also said the company is “ready for more than one model” and if they build a second car it won’t be in the same segment as the Chiron.
Winkelmann also dismissed reports that company’s second model would be a crossover as he said Bugatti is “looking into every segment, body style and region.” The executive went on to say the brand has an “idea of where we want to go” and hinted the model has to appeal to a global audience rather than a few select markets.
Winkelmann won’t go into too many specifics, but said the brand’s second model would help to increase sales and visibility of the ultra-exclusive brand. He also seemed to suggest the model would be more affordable than the Chiron as he stated “price is not about positioning Bugatti out of this world,” but rather about innovation, craftsmanship and materials. Regardless, fans shouldn’t expect future models to be affordable as Winkelmann said they will be positioned “above all the other competition.”