Bugatti Might Go Hybrid, Current W16 Engine Is ‘The Last Of Its Kind’ | Feature
With the unveiling of the Veyron 13 years ago, Bugatti created something truly unique, in that it was the fastest road legal car ever, and yet it was also surprisingly comfortable to drive.
Everyone and their pets know that the Super Sport variant broke the record for production cars with a top speed of 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph), whereas the Grand Sport Vitesse Roadster used to be the fastest convertible the world had ever seen.
Making an even more extreme hypercar after the Veyron was very challenging. Nonetheless, Bugatti did it with the Chiron, which was introduced in 2016 at the Geneva Motor Show. It was previewed by the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo Concept and still uses the same quad-turbo 8.0-liter W16 engine as the Veyron. The massive unit was, however, significantly upgraded and it now makes makes 1,500 PS (1,479 hp / 1,103 kW) and 1,600 Nm (1,180 lb-ft) of torque.
Also Watch: Bugatti Chiron Vs. Veyron SS Is The Battle We’ve All Been Waiting For
The W16 is an impressive piece of engineering, but according to the company’s CEO, Stephan Winkelmann, it’s also the last of its kind, as there will be no new 16-cylinder. The official told CarAdvice that “it is an incredible engine, and we know there is huge enthusiasm for it, everybody would like to have it forever, to continue to develop it – we will do our utmost to keep it alive. But if you want to be on the edge with advanced technology, it’s important you choose the right moment to change.”
Therefore, the next Bugatti will probably have a lower cylinder count and shall, in all likelihood, adopt some sort of electrification. That doesn’t mean that it’ll be less exciting than the Chiron, although one concern surrounds the weight of the batteries, which, however, could be offset by the loss of some of the W16’s cylinders and turbochargers.
The current quad-turbo W16 may not go out with a whimper but with a major bang, as Winkelmann himself admitted that “the race for power is not over”. Thus, we might see an even more extreme version of either the Chiron or the newly introduced Divo in the future. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll witness one of them posting a new speed record.
Note: Bugatti Divo pictured