Autocar claims that it's in touch with unnamed insiders within Bugatti, and the site is making some very big promises about the future hyper car. First, what we all want to know: the car is rumored to be packing 1,479 horsepower (1,500 PS) from a modified, hybrid version of the current 8.0-liter, quad-turbo W16 with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. According to the sources, the upgrades potentially include direct injection and electrically powered turbos (maybe like the forthcoming Audi SQ7), but it seems certain that an additional electric motor is being added, as well. That matches previous rumors and dovetails nicely with the suspicious-looking Veyrons spotted lapping the Nürburgring with wider bodies and weird contraptions on their backs.
All of this extra power could make the new hyper car too fast to be verified, though. According to Autocar, the insiders said that computer simulations show the coupe capable of reaching 62 miles per hour in 2.3 seconds and an insane top speed of 286 miles per hour. That's 18 mph faster than the current model but 4 mph off the goal for the next project from Hennessey. In the real world, there's the question of whether there are tires that could actually manage those speeds or a straight long enough to reach it. It might make that mind-boggling number more theoretical than practical.
In terms of exterior design, don't expect massive changes, at least according to the latest rendering (above). The Veyron successor still uses a carbon fiber monocoque chassis but gets a nip and tuck on the outside to appear sharper and more agile. It's still clearly a modern Bugatti, though.
Unfortunately, there appears to be a bit of a wait ahead before any of this speculation becomes official. Autocar's sources indicate the full unveiling would be in 2016 ahead of deliveries starting in 2017, echoing previous statements by Bugatti's sales director for the Americas. Don't expect the rumors about the new model to end until the curtain drops.
Bugatti insiders have revealed to the world's oldest and most respected motoring magazine that the new model, slated to go on sale in 2016, could have a top speed of 286mph and a 0-62mph time of 2.3sec, if current computer simulations are to be believed.
The car will feature a hybrid powertrain based on the same quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 engine featured in the Veyron, and will generate close to 1500bhp.
The nine-year-old Veyron's top speed of 268mph was already a challenge to prove, due to the limitations of its Michelin road tyres; Autocar believes that, unless tyre technology has advanced sufficiently, the rubber could disintegrate before the new vehicle reaches maximum speed.
Autocar road test editor Matt Prior said: "Even though aerodynamic drag increases at the square of speed, if you up the power enough, it's entirely feasible that Bugatti could find another 18mph for the taking in the Veyron's successor.
"But we're well into the realms of academia now. Making a road car that can do 286mph is one thing; making a road car do it on road tyres is rather more difficult."
A full report on Bugatti's Veyron heir can be found in today's edition of Autocar or by visiting the website at http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/bugatti-plans-new-286mph-1479bhp-veyron-successor.
The new vehicle is being built around a carbonfibre monocoque, like its predecessor. It will seat two in what is planned to be a highly luxurious cabin, complete with all the very latest in connectivity technology.
The heavily revised powertrain receives electric assistance, while drive is channelled to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and multi-plate-clutch four-wheel drive system.
Originally launched in 2005, there are only 15 Veyrons left to be sold. As with the Veyron, the new car's production will be limited to around 450 units.