Bugatti announces a V16 hybrid powerplant for the future

When everyone, including F1, continues to reduce cylinder counts, Bugatti forges ahead with a V16

Cylinder counts over eight are becoming an endangered species. We’ve seen how the auto manufacturers are utilizing fewer cylinders, more turbos, and tons of hybrid powertrains to supplement all the choppy V8s and screaming V10s and V12s they’ve killed. The turbo or supercharged V6 has become the new V8. The V10s and V12s are close to extinct. We’re living in a universe that will be more hybrid, more EV, and have fewer and fewer pistons as time marches on. This is except for Bugatti. They’re replacing their W16 with a V16… and adding hybrid power.

We already knew the 8.0L W16 was ending–they’ve previously stated it was to be discontinued after the Mistral went out of production. But replacing the W16, which has been in production since 2005, with a V16 seems like the biggest rebel move in the automotive universe right now. Bugatti is, likely, only compromising with regulators by adding a hybrid powertrain. Or worse, admitting they’d maxed out their engine technology and require a hybrid powertrain to create ‘the next Veyron.’

In 2005, the Veyron was–and in many ways still is–the most bonkers car ever produced. To produce a car with one-thousand horsepower that went 250 MPH, twenty years ago, was an absolute engineering marvel. Their car was the Eiffel Tower of automotive benchmarks (fun fact: the Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure made after the Great Pyramid) and I’m willing to bet that this new drivetrain will once again blow our minds and capture our wonderment again.

And if it doesn’t break records and shatter wallets, the engine sure will be pretty. Just look at those teaser shots! copious amounts of carbon fiber on the intake manifold, which is split into four groups of four runners. As the beginning of the video plays, it is difficult to see deep down below the engine, but are those turbos? Or they could be fancy exhaust manifolds but I’m guessing the former. Farther in on the video it almost looks like the turbos are more than four?! That’s what Bugatti should be doing: toying with our dreams for the fastest and most amazing cars we can imagine. We will know more soon! Stay tuned!

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