By on July 26, 2017

Bugatti Chiron, Front, Image: BugattiThe Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 debuted in 2005 to spec sheet acclaim. On paper, there had never been anything like it. 16 cylinders, four turbos, 987 horsepower.

And 10 miles per gallon of premium gasoline.

The 2018 Bugatti Chiron is a better car, as it should be after more than a decade passed between development cycles. There are still 16 cylinders and four turbos, but Bugatti increased the power (having intermittently done so during the Veyron’s tenure) to 1,500 horses.

That 52 percent increase in power is not quite matched by a commensurate improvement in the distance travelled per gallon of premium gasoline. Not quite.

That said, the decision to add 513 horses — like adding to the Veyron the power of two Subaru Legacy six-cylinder powerplants — is not a decision that is expected to be associated with any fuel economy improvements. Nevertheless, time marches on, and the 2018 Bugatti Chiron will travel 10-percent farther on a gallon of gasoline than its Bugatti Veyron predecessor: 11 miles per gallon on the combined cycle.

In fact, the Chiron isn’t quite as efficient a highway traveller as some of the Veyron variants. The final five model years of the Veyron (2011-2015) were rated at 15 mpg highway. The Chiron drops to 14 mpg.2018 Bugatti Chiron Atelier Bugatti - Image: BugattiBut because of the weighting the EPA testing procedure gives to city ratings — the Chiron is rated at 9 mpg city; Veyrons were 8-mpg cars — the 2018 Bugatti Chiron has the superior overall mpg rating. This is an important issue, a matter of grave consequence, as it speaks to the advances automakers make on the insides of engines and the outsides of cars to effectively reduce global emissions.

Granted, at top flight, a Chiron will empty its 26.4-gallon fuel tank in 12 minutes, so it may not be the darling of green car media. But if we could look forward to mainstream cars adding 50-percent more power and consuming 9-percent less fuel, all would be well with the world.

For the record, the Environmental Protection Agency says the Bugatti Chiron would annually cost $3,800 to fuel as a daily driver (8,250 city miles, 6,750 highway miles, $2.80/gallon) and $12,250 more to fuel than the average new vehicle over the course of five years.

[Images: Bugatti]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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22 Comments on “2018 Bugatti Chiron Fuel Economy Figures Released: Not a Toyota Prius Rival Just Yet...”

  • avatar

    So roughly the same economy as a 6.4L RAM or 6.0L GMC.

    Honestly I think the Chiron’s economy figure is impressive.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Too bad VAG can’t offset these figures with its diesel products to improve its CAFE.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Still better than my old Buick Regal with a 350 4-barrel that was lucky to average 8 mpg with it’s 160 hp engine and 0-60 in forever.

  • avatar

    Oh the humanity – first the diesel scandal and now VW has the audacity to introduce this dinosaur burning monstrosity? Are they trying to kill us all? For that money they certainly should have made it solar powered or perhaps add a wind generator which would certainly spin very fast and generate gobs of power at 200+ mph. It is time to take a stand for the environment, and I hereby make a public promise to not buy or lease this fuel swilling pig.

  • avatar

    12 minutes to empty tank at full speed – that is a weirdly interesting number. Can we get a table of that spec for every car out there? Wouldn’t that be a metric you’d sacrifice your valuable time to record?

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve inadvertently tried in my SS sedan… 1/4 tank can go by quick.

      • 0 avatar

        Someone told me, after filling up his little 4 cylinder FiST in Ely, he had to back off due to concern he wouldn’t make it all the way to Tonopah on a full tank. That’s only about 170 miles, or about an hour and a half at FiST speeds. That little Ford is very frugal up to around 85% of WOT, then the ECU map swaps to just dump as much fuel into the cylinders as it can manage.

        100mph steady is mid to high 20s in the FiST. But up it 15mph too 115, and you get 12-15mpg…. At 100 it’s more frugal than the A8 4.2 is at 55; but at 115, the A8 has (at least) caught up. And the A8 has a tank twice as big…. That’s what “engineered for the Autobahn” means, I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      V-Strom rider

      Great idea! Needs to be matched with distance traveled in that time. This is the research we really need.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Some math said my former Leaf would empty its battery in 16 minutes at full power, but I don’t know if the car would permit the motor or the battery to run that hard for that long.

      My brief excursions to top speed indicated that the power actually backed off at top speed, so maybe the battery could go even longer. (?)

      22.5 kWh (usable energy) / 80 kW = 0.28 hours = 16 minutes.
      0.28 hours x 90 mph = 25 miles.

  • avatar

    “But if we could look forward to mainstream cars adding 50-percent more power and consuming 9-percent less fuel, all would be well with the world.” Just shows how useless percentages can be.

    • 0 avatar

      My 1990 F250 reg cab 4×4 with 195 hp 5.0 was good for 15 mpg (US) at its best. My much larger 2010 F150 SuperCrew with 310 hp 5.4 at its best yields 20.4 mpg (US). That is a 37% improvement in HP with a 21.5 % improvement in mpg.

      I suspect that almost any current vehicle would yield improvements in both HP and MPG over their predecessors.

      • 0 avatar

        My 2007 A3 got 28mpg avg, while my 1999 Silverado got 19mpg. That’s a decent percentage increase. The real number tho is dollars. Since the Audi used premium and the truck used regular, it cost me the same to fuel both vehicles per mile.

  • avatar

    “…the Bugatti Chiron would … cost … $12,250 more to fuel than the average new vehicle over the course of five years”

    Hmm, that’s not that much. Maybe I *can* afford one. I’ll call my local Bugatti dealer and see if they can keep the lease payment under $400.

  • avatar

    Maybe they could drop the engine into the Amarok as a sort of Volkswagen Special Vehicles version. Might affect the fuel economy, but it would have a lot of get up and go.

  • avatar

    In the TCO pie chart of a Chiron, fuel is a tiny sliver.

    I wonder what mileage could be achieved by “hypermiling” a Bugatti?

  • avatar
    SD 328I

    No one daily drives a Chiron or the Veyron before it. Even very rich people avoid driving them because of the costs per mile other than fuel.

    Such as the tires that cost $35,000 a set every 2,500 miles. The wheels need to be replaced at every 3rd tire change at $50,000!

    That’s $155,000 in wheels and tires at just 10,000 miles.

    • 0 avatar

      The first wheel change occurs at 7,500 miles. By that time, the extremely well-heeled Chiron owner will have spent:

      Tires and wheels: $155,000
      Fuel: $3,000 ($4/gal @ 10mpg average)


      How many other cars incur a per mile tire cost 50 times more than the fuel cost?

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    F1 cars cost about 1,000 times the fuel cost to operate and their fuel isn’t pump gas as we know it.

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