A hybrid V16 of 1 hp for the Bugatti Tourbillon

What can be said about this Bugatti Tourbillon that hasn't been said about the Chiron and Veyron. This car is in itself a superlative of the word automobile!

Published on 21/06/2024 à 15:24

Gautier Calmels

0 View comments)

A hybrid V16 of 1 hp for the Bugatti Tourbillon

A Tourbillon that carries you away © Bugatti

20 years ago, Bugatti rose from its ashes by unveiling the Veyron and its incredible 16 hp 8-liter quadruple-turbo W1001 engine. A perfect amalgamation of sportiness and luxury perhaps never seen since the victorious Type 57C Atlantic at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1937 and 1939. And it was already a Bugatti, a car capable of winning the greatest endurance race in the world while welcoming passengers in long dresses and billionaires in tuxedos for a meeting in a palace on the Riviera.

The Chiron that appeared in 2016 confirmed this path taken by Bugatti. The same mechanical heart that is ever more powerful, new variations and limited series that are ever more exclusive, but always this totally unreasonable quest for exception.

After two decades, it was time for the manufacturer to take a new path, that of hybridization. And to mark this technological shift, Bugatti is abandoning the tradition established for two decades of giving its models the name of drivers who have marked the history of the brand, namely Pierre Veyron, winner of the 24 1939 Hours of Le Mans in a Bugatti 57C and the Monegasque Louis Chiron nicknamed “the old fox”. Tourbillon pays homage both to Bugatti's French heritage and its historic headquarters in Molsheim, and to the watchmaking complication intended to improve the precision of mechanical watches by countering Earth's gravity.

Bugatti explodes the limits of reasonableness

Before looking at the heart and appearance of this Bugatti, a look at the dashboard is essential. Directly inspired by the watchmaking tradition to which the car pays homage, it is a true work of art composed of more than 600 parts, made of titanium and incorporating precious stones such as sapphire and ruby. The steering wheel rotates around this complex engineering masterpiece with its fixed hub configuration which allows the driver to have a clear view of the instruments regardless of steering angle.

Like all modern Bugattis, the Tourbillon is destined to cross the 400 km/h mark one or more times in its life. In order to remove the electronic limiter which “limits” the car to 385 km/h, the driver must engage a Speed ​​Key which lowers all limits and allows it to reach 445 km/h! Each airflow had to be carefully designed to balance the colossal aerodynamic forces exerted on a vehicle traveling at such speed.

Continuing on from the Veyron and Chiron, its line is inspired by four design elements specific to the brand: the horseshoe grille, the Bugatti line, the central edge and a two-tone combination. But for the first time, it was necessary to reconcile these aerodynamic and aesthetic requirements with the thermodynamic requirements of the all-new V16 engine, the electric motors and the powerful battery.

Because it is under the hood of the Tourbillon that beats a heart that risks becoming a milestone in automobile history, an 16-liter naturally aspirated V8,3 designed in collaboration with Cosworth. In addition to the 1 horsepower announced, the song of this engine should be a delight for music lovers when it reaches the red zone at 000 rpm. Since the V9 BRM of Formula 1 in the 1950s, no manufacturer had dared to design such a mechanism. Finally, who other than Bugatti could have undertaken this totally crazy exercise in style and innovation? It is associated with two electric motors on the front axle and one electric motor on the rear axle. In total, the Tourbillon develops 1 horsepower thanks to the contribution of 800 horsepower from the electric motors. They are powered by a 800 kWh 800V oil-cooled battery which is housed in the central tunnel and behind the passengers. The 25% electric range of 100 km is anything but ridiculous and shows that Bugatti has taken this hybrid route very seriously.

The Bugatti Tourbillon is now entering its testing phase, with prototypes already on the road in anticipation of deliveries to customers in 2026. Production will be limited to 250 examples, offered at a starting price of 3,8 million euros.

READ ALSO : The Bugatti Bolide drove on the great Le Mans circuit

Gautier Calmels

Journalist MotoGP, Nascar, Rallye France, Endurance and Classic... Among others.

0 View comments)