Forgotten concepts: 1999 Bugatti 18/3 Chiron

This special concept from Bugatti is based on the Lamborghini Diablo VT and is equipped with a W18 engine and four-wheel drive.

After Volkswagen bought the Bugatti in 1998, the company had no cars on offer until 2005. Nevertheless, from the very beginning the company worked quite intensively on new constructions. Just a few months after the company resumed operations, it presented its first concept car – the EB 118 – a luxurious, sport, two-door coupé with a front engine, and a year later a four-door limousine marked EB 218 and the Bugatti 18/3 Chiron discussed today. All the models are combined, except for the stamp, by the fact that they were designed by an Italian studio Italdesign Giugiaro.

Based on the Lamborghini Diablo VT of that time, the car draws its inspiration from all the old Bugatti models, but concentrates them in a much more modernistic form. It is worth noting that in its appearance we can find lines that did not finally appear 6 years later in Veyron, but only in Chiron in 2016, such as the oval end of the glazing line, which in Chiron turned into the crowding of the whole body.

Like the EB 118 and EB 218 concepts, the heart of the car is a powerful 6.3-litre, naturally aspirated W18 engine that generates 555 hp and 630 Nm of power. It was transmitted to all four wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission with a viscous clutch. The exact performance of this unit was never measured, but it was designed to accelerate to 330 km/h. Taking into account the parameters of the twin Lamborghini Diablo VT, Bugatti 18/3 Chiron should accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in about 4 seconds.

The Bugatti 18/3 Chiron had its premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Only a month later, in October 1999, another concept debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show – the EB 18/4 Veyron. It was a much redesigned version of the model presented today with a completely new name and a remodelled rear belt, in which four headlamps, known from the production version of Veyron, were used. In 2000 Bugatti presented another slightly modified version called EB 16/4 Veyron, in which the engine was changed from W18 to W16 with four turbochargers, which was later put into serial production.

1999 Bugatti 18/3 Chiron

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