This is a big change from the Veyron, Bugatti's prior car — some estimates have pegged the company to a $4 million to $6 million loss on each one sold. But, if Dürheimer has his way, Bugatti's hard-earned profits won't be helping pay the legal bills of Volkswagen AG any time soon, parent company or not.
"We are a member of the Volkswagen AG," he says. "But I am fighting hard to keep all the money we make inside Bugatti to do the next project."
But with the financials figured out, Dürheimer is focused on the engineering behind the Chiron. Asked why Bugatti would try to beat the Veyron, considered by many to be the pinnacle of automotive engineering, Dürheimer said that building the Chiron is "what we owe ourselves."
"If you put this all together, if you have the smart guys adding to the concept, into the powertrain, into the aerodynamic and chassis technology, this is the outcome," says Dürheimer. He compared the development of car to athletes training for the 100-meter dash. "They work on the transmission, listening to when the gun fires and the brain tells you, 'Now run!' If you do this in an optimized way, they will be able" to run the 100 meter dash in close to eight seconds.
"This is how we approach this project. No stone will be unturned. Everything gets optimized." Dürheimer says the car, at €2.4 million, is at the pinnacle of performance in 2016. "We couldn't have done better."
But Dürheimer says the Chiron has a lifespan of eight years. After that, Bugatti will be ready to build the next "best" car in the world.