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Bugatti Chiron

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How do you top the Bugatti Veyron, the world’s fastest production car? Bugatti’s answer to this question is the Chiron. An 8.0-liter W-16 engine utilizes four turbos to make 1500 hp for what will surely be heroic acceleration and an estimated top speed of 288 mph. A hybrid powertrain may come later. Four-wheel drive puts all that power down through a seven-speed automatic. If you have to ask about pricing, you can’t afford it—expect a price tag over $2.5 million when it debuts in spring 2016.

What It Is
The replacement for the recently retired Veyron, the supercar king of the hill since its 2005 arrival.

Why It Matters
The 258-mph Veyron 16.4 Super Sport currently wears the crown of fastest production car, but the Chiron, named for Monaco-born racer Louis Chiron, should reach 288 mph, assuming you can rent Nebraska.

Platform
The existing Veyron’s carbon-fiber structure, modified to reduce weight. Improved interior ergonomics and outward visibility are further goals. We’re thinking an F-18 canopy would work well.

Powertrain
The 8.0-liter W-16 engine returns, though now with direct injection, increased boost pressure, and at least two of its four turbochargers electrically powered. Output rises from 1200 to 1500 horsepower, and the 1106 pound-feet torque peak arrives lower in the rev range. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic again handles the shifting, and the four-wheel-drive system adds torque vectoring.

Competition
Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder, an actual F-18.

What Might Go Wrong
Octogenarian VW Group supremo Ferdinand Piëch, the driving force behind Bugatti, could keel over, at which point both car and brand might have to stand on their own business merits, something that twice-dead Bugatti has never managed to do.

Estimated Arrival and Price
A recent Piëch-ordered redesign of the door aperture—cutting into the doorsill to ease ingress and egress—pushed back the on-sale date to 2016. When the Chiron does get here, expect to pay $2.5 million, give or take.

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