Meet the All-New, 1800-HP, $4.6 Million Bugatti Tourbillon

2026 bugatti tourbillon
Meet the All-New Bugatti TourbillonBugatti
2026 bugatti tourbillon

The new Bugatti—one of the most anticipated model debuts of 2024—has arrived.

For months, leaks and teases tantalized car fans around the globe, but the new model was only ever referred to as "successor." Meaning, of course, successor to the Bugatti Chiron: the first 1500-hp production car ever made, the fastest production car of all time, and one of the most heralded production cars of all time. The new model is called Tourbillon—an obvious allusion to handmade mechanical watches, which are a major inspiration for this vehicle, especially its interior.

Just 250 Bugatti Tourbillons will be built, with deliveries starting in 2026.


"We like to say that this project is standing on the shoulders of giants," Bugatti director of design Frank Heyl told Road & Track at a private, exclusive preview of the car in Los Angeles in March. Another way to phrase that sentiment? The expectations here are giant. How do you improve upon a car like the 304.77-mph Chiron—Bugatti's flagship since 2016—and the Chiron's progenitor, the Veyron, which first appeared in 2004 with a then-astounding 1000 hp?

2026 bugatti tourbillon

Until we drive the new Tourbillon, we can only surmise that it will live up to its hype. But, judging from our early viewing and exclusive interviews with Bugatti CEO Mate Rimac and design chief Heyl, we can say that the prospects are looking spectacular.

Meet the Bugatti Tourbillon

On the surface, the new car is what we expected, given the historic marriage between Bugatti and Croatian upstart Rimac Automobili that occurred back in 2021. This marriage pairs the fabled French brand known for highly complex internal-combustion engines of extraordinary power with the most forward-thinking electric-propulsion engineers working today.

Under Mate Rimac's leadership, the new Bugatti was expected to employ a hybrid-electric-and-combustion powertrain with enough boost to blast the car to Mars. The Tourbillon features not the iconic W-16 that has been the heart and soul of Bugatti for some 20 years, but an all-new 8.3-liter V-16 mounted amidships combined with three electric motors totaling 1800 hp. While the new car clearly uses Bugatti's design language, there's plenty new here. Styling is subjective, but speed is not; the Tourbillon's projected numbers are extreme.

2026 bugatti tourbillon

"It's now 20 years that we are doing these high-speed programs," Heyl says. "Starting with the Veyron and later the Veyron Super Sport—and all the experience that we've gained in making the Chiron Super Sport+ go beyond 300 mph—is now the foundation of this new car."

The designers and engineers understand the challenge at hand. To succeed the Chiron, the new Bugatti must fire on all cylinders, literally and figuratively; it must transcend expectations to be a success. "The guiding principles of how we even start conceptualizing such a car and the design ethos behind it is the aspect of timelessness," says Heyl. "These cars will be enjoyed by automobile connoisseurs centuries from now."

The Tourbillon's Design

From a macro point of view, the goal with the Tourbillon was to reimagine the Chiron with a more slippery, svelte body, while also reengineering its guts to include an even bigger engine along with a proprietary electric powertrain with three motors and a great big battery swimming in a vat of cooling liquid, plus inverters and everything else needed to make that function... without turning this vehicle into a behemoth. It is meant to be the apotheosis of a fast touring car—and the opposite of an SUV.

"Beauty comes from the aesthetic of purpose," Heyl says. "And the purpose here is performance. Therefore, form follows performance... the car looks like it does because it functions like it functions. There is no styling for the sake of styling. The shapes almost fall into place automatically because of their function. It's through this design principle that allows us to create shapes that are tailor-made to their purpose and tie into the stylistic DNA of the brand. That way they become authentic. And only a car that is authentic can be timeless."

There are myriad examples of this form-follows-function ideology. The whole rear underside of the car has become a diffuser with an integrated crash structure. The seats are fixed to the floor to keep their lower profile and light weight, while the pedal box is adjustable. The interior sits an inch and a quarter lower than the Chiron's so that the facial surface area could be lessened to allow for better aerodynamics. The "flying fenders" direct airflow under the streamlined headlights to direct the wind into the engine intakes to increase airflow since there's no turbocharging. The car is now so low, dihedral doors had to be cut into the roof; at the same time, they add a wow factor to the overall package. The list of remarkable attributes goes on and on.

"The suspension is completely 3D printed," Mate Rimac says, "with shapes that you couldn't manufacture in any other way."

The car's overall shape is strikingly unique—yet clearly Bugatti. The center spine draws from the Type 57 SC Atlantic of the 1930s, one of the most beautiful cars ever made. The familiar horseshoe is present on the car's nose. The influence of the Veyron and Chiron are the most apparent, but inspiration comes from other places as well.

"For example, here in nature," says Heyl. "If we observe the [peregrine] falcon, the fastest animal on the planet, there's a lot to learn about aerodynamics. There is nothing that has a greater influence of the speed buildup beyond 200 mph than frontal area. And this is what we can observe on the falcon. What does it do if it nosedives for its prey? It tucks under its wings. Why? To reduce frontal area, to pick up speed."

The Tourbillon was designed to do the same. A single glance and you can see that the frontal profile, compared to the Chiron, has been reduced. The result is a car that looks ready to pounce on its prey.

The Tourbillon's Powertrain

Like the Chiron, the Tourbillon's power turns all four wheels, but it does so in an entirely reimagined way. Unlike the Chiron and its four turbos, the new car has none. While the wheelbase has increased to make room for the battery pack, electric motors, and longer engine, it's grown by only 29 mm—an amazing accomplishment given that the new ICE's crankshaft is over three feet long. And the company claims the new hybrid Tourbillon will weigh less than the Chiron.

"Basically," Rimac says, "we wanted to have a very high-performance but also a very analog kind of old-school engine. Naturally aspirated. In order to do that, we needed an understanding of how far you could push the electric powertrain. We know you can have a very high-performance electric system that enhances the combustion engine so we don't need to turbocharge."

To make room for the battery pack, the transmission was moved from between the seats, as in the Chiron, to the back of the car. "The battery is narrower than the Chiron's gearbox so you can push the passengers closer," Rimac explains. "Still comfortable. However, the cabin is more narrow, like Frank said, like a falcon tucking its wings and reducing frontal area."

2026 bugatti tourbillon

During the presentation, the Bugatti executives played a recording of the V-16 blasting through its eight gears while revving on a dyno. It's certainly enough to get the engine in your chest pumping and your check-writing hand warmed up, but for the technocrats, the e-power is equally as exciting. The 25-kWh, oil-cooled 800-volt battery and three motors allow for a claimed fully electric range of 37 miles.

"All of this was developed specifically for this car," says Rimac. Normally, he explains, the design process requires two disciplines: interior and exterior. But Bugatti added a third design discipline for the rolling chassis. "For us," Rimac says, "it was so important that the car was very beautiful, even what we call the naked form or the rolling chassis. Every part, from a brake caliper to a suspension arm or some kind of bracket, has to be a piece of art. Even if the customer doesn't see it."

Rimac runs through the numbers with me: Horsepower rises from the standard Chiron's 1500 to 1800; according to the simulation tests and all the data thus far available, zero to 60 mph will go from 2.4 seconds down to 2.0 seconds flat. The zero-to-300-km/h (186-mph) sprint will fall from 13 to 10 seconds. Zero to 250 mph goes from 32 to 25 seconds.

2026 bugatti tourbillon

The Tourbillon's Interior

Fans of hypercars hear the term "race car for the road" all the time. Bugatti has no such ambitions. The goal with the Tourbillon was to set a new standard for luxury and artistic design, not to build a race-car cockpit. The designers and engineers like to joke that all the employees—even the janitors at the factory—get to own Bugattis, the way Ford employees might own Rangers and Explorers. Of course, that can't be the case, given the rarity and expense. So the executives looked to owners for inspiration.

"This is where the art of watchmaking comes into play," says Heyl. "Our research has shown that our customers are really into mechanical watches." Thus the driver interface was so inspired. The word "tourbillon," according to the dictionary, means a frame for the escapement of a timepiece, especially a watch, geared to the going train in such a way as to rotate the escapement about once a minute in order to minimize positional error."

The new Bugatti's instrument cluster was designed and built with the help of Swiss watchmakers and is instantly recognizable as a reimagining of the finest timepiece that would sit on a Bugatti owner's wrist. According to Bugatti, the instrument cluster is "made up of more than 600 parts and constructed from titanium as well as gemstones such as sapphire and ruby, [and] the skeletonized cluster is built to the largest tolerance of 50 microns, with the smallest at 5 microns, and weighs just 700 g." You can imagine how long it took to write that sentence, let alone design and build this cluster.

2026 bugatti tourbillon

The center console is a blend of polished aluminum and crystal glass, the latter of which, according to Bugatti, has never before been employed in automotive interior design. It looks simultaneously retro and uniquely forward-thinking. There is a digital display, but the car can be operated without it. "We decided deliberately to get rid of the screens as much as we could," Heyl says. "That's the whole concept, of interacting with the car in a totally analog way. The whole human/machine interface is analog."

The audio system is, apparently, still in the works and will feature exactly zero traditional speakers. Instead, your AC/DC will funnel into the cabin via "exciters on the door panels and throughout the car."

The Tourbillon's Price

Bugatti's limited 250-car run will come with a starting price of $4.6 million (including import duty, gas guzzler tax, and air freight fee). It is almost certain that every one of the 250 will be spoken for before the first car is delivered, if they haven't been ordered already—and that their values will only rise.

2026 bugatti tourbillon

We reached out to one Chiron owner, who was invited to see the new Tourbillon in Los Angeles and has already ordered one. "This [new] car is a big step forward for Bugatti," says Bilal Hydrie, the president and CEO of a Canada-based energy company. "It showcases their commitment to pushing the limits of what's possible in car design and performance. With its hybrid engine and innovative materials, it's setting a new benchmark for hypercars and keeping Bugatti at the top of the game."

For mere mortals who cannot afford the multi-million-dollar price tag, as well as those who can but who cannot get an allocation, these cars have the added value of entertainment—to see them in photos, to get a rare glimpse on the road or at a car show. For the engineers, however, the work has just begun; now they'll need to make these cars live up to their gargantuan expectations once they hit the road in 2026.

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