Bugatti, the automaker that gave us the 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 800 HP.
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 powertrain is 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 1620 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.
As a driver close to the project said, this translates to "absolutely unbelievable" acceleration, unlike any other road-going vehicle.
The prototype using these engines is based on the chassis of Bentley Continental GT, with power being supplied from an advanced lithium-ion battery pack.
However, although the existence of the car has been confirmed, it is still unclear if it will ever be unveiled to the public, much less put into production. Company insider have suggested that this is only a test mule prepared to demonstrate the technology and allow engineers to gather data and further develop the technology.
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.
To put things in perspective, this wouldn'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.