Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport - silver - dead-on overhead studio view

Fast. Powerful. Opulent. There are any number of descriptors one could use to describe the Bugatti Veyron. But along with them is "heavy" – including heavy on fuel consumption. That's just the way it goes when you're dealing with a sixteen-cylinder, quad-turbo beast of a supercar. But that could change, if the latest output from the rumormill proves accurate.

According to a report from Auto Express, Bugatti is keen to improve its image in the eyes of a tree-hugging world, so it is looking at ways to make the successor to the Veyron more fuel efficient. One way would be to make the car lighter, something that shouldn't be all that difficult considering that the current model weighs in at over 4,000 pounds. One such method of trimming the fat reportedly revolves around carbon-fiber wheels, something that's been done before but far from widely adopted.

At the other end of the spectrum, Bugatti is also reportedly evaluating the prospect of hybrid propulsion – something that would not reduce weight but could help fuel consumption figures while keeping the power up. If the Molsheim automaker were to go that route, we'd expect something closer to what Ferrari is working on for the Enzo successor than an upmarket Toyota Prius.

AE also predicts that the next-generation Veyron will carry on the name rather than switch to another nameplate. One way or another, it will likely join the upcoming Galibier sedan a few years down the line, thereby expanding the marque's range from one model line to two.