Bugatti’s V16 Is Naturally Aspirated And Over 3 Feet Long

Photo: Bugatti
Photo: Bugatti

The Bugatti Chrion’s replacement is coming soon, but ahead of its official launch, we’re getting more information on the V16 engine that’ll replace the quad-turbo W16 that has powered both the Chiron and Veyron. Bugatti-Rimac CEO Mate Rimac spoke at the Financial Times Future of the Car conference in London about the upcoming hypercar and the gargantuan motor that will power it.

Rimac didn’t say too much about the V16, but unlike its W16 predecessor, it will be naturally aspirated. However, it isn’t going completely au natural; the powertrain will also have a “substantial electric drivetrain element,” according to Autocar. Rimac also said the motor would be a massive 39.3 inches long. That’s over a yard long, for those of you who aren’t good at math. That also works out to be 16 inches longer than the W16 it replaces. LOL. LMAO, even.

That W16 motor is going to be phased out once production of the Mistral roadster and Bolide track special ends. Here are some of the rumors surrounding this large V16 engine, according to Motor1:


These are all the details confirmed thus far, so this is the part where the speculation begins. German magazine Auto Motor und Sport claims the V-16 has a giant 8.3-liter displacement and has been developed with Cosworth. It revs all the way up to 9,000 rpm and works with three electric motors. Combined, the output could reach 1,800 horsepower. On its own, the combustion engine is said to be good for around 1,000 hp.

Two of the electric motors are believed to drive the front wheels while the third one powers the rear axle. The latter is supposedly built into a dual-clutch, eight-speed automatic transmission. Factoring in the DCT, the engine/gearbox assembly is reportedly 78.7 inches long. If reports are to be believed, Bugatti’s engineers are cramming in a 24.8-kWh battery good for 37 miles of electric range.

AMS has it on good authority the Bugatti Chiron replacement will hit 62 mph in about two seconds and 124 mph in less than five. From 0 to 186 mph, it’ll take less than ten seconds and the 0-249 mph task could be completed in under 25 seconds. Flat out, it’s going to be electronically capped at 277 mph.

Despite all of the mechanical changes, Rimac still says the Chrion’s successor will unmistakably look like a Bugatti, saying the exterior will be “an evolution.” Even though he’s known most for his electric hypercar, the Nevera, Rimac says he was the driving force behind this new engine, according to Autocar:

“Management was saying the next car has to be electric,” he added, acknowledging that a rebadged and restyled version of the Rimac Nevera would have theoretically made a logical electric replacement for the Chiron. But maintaining differentiation between the two hypercar brands, while honouring the heritage of Bugatti, was essential.

Mate Rimac said: “You could very easily and convincingly make a Bugatti out of [the Nevera] – just make a different design and call it a day – but I thought that was absolutely wrong for the brand.

“Luckily, I won that argument three years ago when electrification was all the rage, which it isn’t any more...” Rimac was referring to the perceived decline in demand for electric hypercars - acknowledging that his firm has still not sold all 150 Neveras.

Rimac told Autocar that any Bugatti powerplant should be “as emotional as possible.” If I had to guess, a V16 that is a yard long and naturally aspirated will get that done and then some.

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