It’s the shock new machine that looks set to change the way we think about electric vehicles… Bugatti has built an 800bhp battery-powered supercar, Auto Express can reveal.
The working prototype, believed to be based on the chassis of a Bentley Continental GT, features an advanced lithium-ion battery pack and two enormously powerful electric motors – which deliver an awesome 2,200Nm of torque from 0mph.
But while the existence of the newcomer has been confirmed to us by a high-level Bugatti source, it’s still not clear whether the car will ever be displayed to the public.
Insiders at the company have suggested that the model is being prepared solely to demonstrate the technology, and allow engineers to explore the ultimate performance available from electric cars.
According to one driver close to the project, the battery-run Bugatti delivers “absolutely unbelievable” acceleration, way ahead of that provided by other roadgoing vehicles. The problem the company faces is managing the huge amounts of energy discharged during acceleration and required to keep the batteries fully topped up. If the car is used to its maximum performance potential, the charge lasts “a matter of minutes”.
It’s not the first model from the firm to run on battery power. Founder Ettore Bugatti built an electric model called the Type 56, which he used to drive around the factory in Molsheim, France.
The Type 56 was never intended for production, but customer demand forced Ettore to reconsider and build it.
Few examples have survived, although Bugatti’s current president, Franz Josef Paefgen, did bring a copy of the car to the Frankfurt Motor Show last autumn. He drove it on to the stage ahead of the ultra-limited-edition Veyron Gran Sport Sang Bleu, to celebrate Bugatti’s involvement in building electric cars – and possibly pave the way for more in the future.