GRR

New Bugatti hypercar to be a V16 hybrid

29th February 2024
Ethan Jupp

Bugatti has confirmed that the successor to the Chiron will receive a hybridised V16 powertrain, with the car set for a June reveal. This will take over from the long-serving W16-cylinder quad-turbocharged mill that’s powered Bugatti’s hypercars since the Veyron debuted in 2005 and that first went into development in the late 1990s.

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It’s incredibly surprising and incredibly good news for fans of the brand and automotive enthusiasts at large. The speculative consensus was that while Bugatti was not going to go all-electric, as rumours suggested following the Rimac merger, the multi-cylinder mill would make way for a more compact, 6, 8, 10, or 12-cylinder engine and incorporate turbocharging.

Precisely no-one expected what we can only assume is a bespoke, newly-developed V16-cylinder engine to power the Chiron's replacement, in conjunction with a significant element of hybridity.

So what has Bugatti told us and what can we glean from what’s been shown? Firstly, to look at the engine, we see four throttle bodies feeding carbon plenums leading to four cylinders each. There’s been no mention of turbocharging and we can’t see any in the materials given. We also get a tantalising sound clip, which has a gruff thrummy, rev-happy nature more akin to a BRM V16, than the Veyron and Chiron this car will replace.

By ear, we’d say this thing revs up to 9,000rpm or beyond. If it does, conventional engineering wisdom would suggest that the displacement will be lower than that of the 8.0-litre W16 it replaces, but we’re not certain. Rumours also suggest that the engine has been a co-development between Bugatti and Cosworth, which famously developed V12s for both the Aston Martin Valkyrie, and GMA’s family of supercars.

What is almost certain is that the combined output of this engine and its hybrid augmentation, will be over that of the outgoing most powerful Chiron. Bugatti is a brand that’s become synonymous with raw numbers over the last two decades so a Gordon Murray-like pivot towards lower, more considered figures is not expected.

For now, we await the car’s June debut with keen anticipation. The poster hypercar for a new generation looms…

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