Bugatti, the automaker that gave the world the Bugatti Veyron – the world’s fastest and most expensive series production car – may be set to revolutionize the car industry once again. Bugatti’s engineers are now experimenting with an electric powertrain that can deliver 597 kW of power, that’s roughly 800 hp.
According to the Auto Express report, benefiting from the experience of engineers within Volkswagen Group’s Audi unit, who also created the Audi R8 E-Tron concept with 313 horsepower and 3.320 lb-ft of torque, Bugatti is now testing a similar concept aimed at powering one of its future models. The vehicle is essentially a rocket that goes from 0 to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds.
The Bugatti prototype is based the chassis of a Bentley Continental GT will be composed of two electric motors, each delivering 400 HP and a whopping 811 ft-lb of torque, for a total combined power of 800 HP and 1623 ft-lb of torque. Because these are electric motors, and the force caused by the electric field in the motors is constant across the rev range, the torque is available from 0 RPM, the power output increasing as the rotational speed of the engine rises.
While the car reportedly exists, it’s unknown if it will ever be unveiled to the public, much less put into production. Company insiders have suggested that the vehicle is purely a demonstration model. Engineers would study and tweak it to explore the ultimate performances available from electric cars.
The main problem the company faces is the low energy density of the batteries. When the car is used at its peak performance level, they can only power it for a few minutes.
However, if the new Bugatti prototype will be built, it won’t be the first electric model from the company. Ettore Bugatti, the founder, built an electric car named the Type 56, which he used to drive around the factory. Although it was meant to be a one-off model, customer demand grew so much that he reconsidered – and built it. [via AutoExpress (UK) and Tree Hugger]