Bugatti Tourbillon Hypercar Revealed with 1775-HP Hybrid V-16 Powertrain

From the July/August issue of Car and Driver.

Mate Rimac has a cold. But unlike Frank Sinatra in the famous Esquire profile, he's neither sullen nor unwilling to be interviewed. On the contrary, he's eager to talk, despite the occasional sniffle. The focus of his enthusiasm is the Bugatti Tourbillon, the second new model from the French brand since its merger with Rimac in 2021.

The Tourbillon ditches the Chiron's quad-turbo 8.0-liter W-16 for an entirely new 8.3-liter V-16 with a cross-plane crank—the 16-cylinder equivalent of a flat-plane V-8—that spins up to 9000 rpm and is good for 986 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Cosworth helped develop the engine, which surprisingly eschews forced induction for natural aspiration.

2026 bugatti tourbillon
James Lipman - Car and Driver

This may seem like a step backward from the 1578-hp Chiron Super Sport. Except the Tourbillon's powertrain story extends beyond its high-revving internal-combustion engine. The V-16 gets a boost from a trio of electric motors: two at the front axle and another at the rear. In all, the three motors make 789 horsepower. Add the engine to the mix, and the Tourbillon powertrain packs a 1775-hp punch. It'll also travel close to 30 miles on electricity alone, should buyers worry about fuel prices after dropping $4.6 million to get one.


The engine swap also gave Bugatti Rimac the luxury to rearrange the components under the Tourbillon's carbon-fiber body, which in turn allowed the team to fit the car with a more ergonomic cabin, seven-figure-car-worthy dihedral doors, and a lower, more aggressive profile. Whereas the Chiron placed its transmission between driver and passenger, pushing the seats out to the edges of the car, the Tourbillon's eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox sits behind the engine, while its 21.0-kWh battery pack runs up the center of the car.

2026 bugatti tourbillon
James Lipman - Car and Driver

Crystal Light

The Tourbillon's name isn't its only watch-inspired element. The gauge cluster is presented like a mechanical timepiece, and it mounts to the steering column and is never obscured. The glass covering these dials is milled sapphire crystal, a pricey material watchmakers use for its scratch resistance. Mind your tennis bracelets.

"The real revolution is in the interior," says Rimac, and he points out that nothing dates a car faster than its screen technology.

2026 bugatti tourbillon interior
James Lipman - Car and Driver

Frank Heyl, director of design for Bugatti Rimac, agrees. "We're trapped in the technology of our time," he says. "So how do we make a car relevant at a concours in 2075 without looking silly in a time that will have holographic displays or augmented-reality contact lenses? Give the entire interior an analog way that you can interact with it."

Not just analog but sculptural and mechanically fascinating, with a fixed-hub steering wheel that never obscures the instrument cluster. In a collaboration befitting the Tourbillon's inspiration, a Swiss watchmaker builds the gauges, replete with raised numbers and physical needles. There is an available small screen for those who need some pixels, but the display can fold away, leaving nothing but the crystal spine of the console and the softest of leather in its wake. All of this is customizable, and Bugatti will gladly match your Tourbillon to a particular watch or yacht you're fond of.

2026 bugatti tourbillon
James Lipman - Car and Driver

Exterior design elements like the horseshoe grille, the C-shaped dividing line at the back of the cabin, and the raised spine running down the center of the roof visually connect the Tourbillon to the Chiron and other significant Bugattis of the past, such as the Type 35 and the Atlantic. Although it bears a resemblance to the Chiron, the Tourbillon shares not a single component with its forebear. It's also 1.3 inches lower, the horseshoe grille is narrower, the C-line is edgier, and the fenders are wider.

tourbillon in mechanical watch
Car and Driver

Designed to increase accuracy, a tourbillon is a rotating cage containing the inner workings of a mechanical watch. Bugatti named its new model after this technology as a way to celebrate the hybrid hypercar's analog and mechanical nature.

Unlike many hypercars—all slats and spats—the Tourbillon controls airflow with subtle entry points at the headlights and C-lines. A carbon-fiber underbody diffuser runs beneath the rear half of the car, and its presence allows the submerged rear wing to serve strictly as an airbrake, netting no added drag on the way to a top speed of 277 mph. There's some smart software controlling the merger of engine and motors (all developed in-house at Bugatti Rimac), allowing 60 mph to arrive in an estimated 2.0 seconds and 250 mph in about 25 seconds.

2026 bugatti tourbillon
James Lipman - Car and Driver

"It's about the same weight as a Chiron or even lighter," Rimac says. "It has more power, reduced frontal area, and a hybrid powertrain. We will not rest on our laurels."

Bugatti intends to build just 250 Tourbillons, with production kicking off in 2026. Nabbing one requires more than just a fat stack of cash, though, as the French brand will sell only to interested buyers who have an established record of previously purchasing a Bugatti or Rimac model.

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