- Bugatti Chiron to be unveiled at Geneva motor show in March
- Porsche and Audi scale back Le Mans racing plans to save costs
Volkswagen AG’s Bugatti has received more than 100 orders for the new Chiron supercar, which the brand vows will be the fastest and most luxurious sports car in the world.
Bugatti, which hasn’t had a car on the market since the multimillion-dollar Veyron sold out in February, will unveil the new model at the Geneva motor show in March. The Chiron’s orders are equivalent to more than one-fifth the limited production run of its predecessor, which debuted in 2005.
“Our order book is already well filled,” Bugatti chief Wolfgang Duerheimer said Monday in a statement. “And that’s despite the fact that our customers haven’t had the chance to experience the car’s fantastic performance yet.”
Volkswagen is pushing ahead with the new Bugatti amid a cost-cutting push prompted by its admission that it sold vehicles that polluted the environment more than allowed. In the wake of the emissions-cheating scandal, which will cost Volkswagen at least 8.7 billion euros ($9.2 billion), Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller halted non-essential investment and plans to scrutinize the group’s vast lineup of more than 300 vehicles.
The cutbacks also affect Volkswagen’s plans for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, part of the World Endurance Championship. The manufacturer’s Porsche brand celebrated a victory there over previously dominating sister marque Audi in June. Next year both will race with two instead of three cars, Audi said in a statement over the weekend.
Volkswagen’s extravagant race and luxury cars are facing increased scrutiny as bread-and-butter vehicles such as the Jetta and Golf are embroiled in the emissions cheating scandal. The next generation of the Phaeton, Volkswagen’s slow-selling flagship sedan, was put on hold in the wake of the crisis and will only be produced as an electric car.
Despite an average price of 2.3 million euros for the Veyron, Bugatti hasn’t been a financial success, setting industry records for losing money, according to Max Warburton, an analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd. Including development costs, VW may have lost 4.6 million euros per vehicle on the Veyron, Warburton estimated.
Prototypes of the new car -- named after Louis Chiron, a race driver during the brand’s heyday in the 1920s and 1930s -- are undergoing testing on various continents around the world, Bugatti said. The company didn’t release technical details on the Chiron but said it will be more powerful than its predecessor, which had as much as 1,200 horsepower.