Bugatti Looks to a Hybrid Future; Contemplates More Power From its W16
Ok, The W16 will be around a little bit moreby Safet Satara, on
At the other end of life, at the other end of the universe, and at the other end of money people are actually thinking of increasing the power output of Bugatti’s W16 engine. You know - the one that produces 1479 horsepower for the Chiron, 1184 horsepower for the Veyron Super Sports, and 987 horsepower for the Veyron.
How to proceed? What will the future make of the famed 16-cylinder engine that was developed from that awesome Volkswagen W12? That question is occupying the great mind of Stephan Wilkenmann, Bugatti CEO, as he walks in his haute couture suits with a neverending smirk on his face.
Does it bother him? I would not say so as he just sold 40 Divos for 5.8 mil a pop even before unveiling the car. He could sell all remaining Chirons, too. Right now! However, he has to slow down and let the Chiron live its full life. That is more than 8 years.
What happens after that? The W16 will be too old, and according to Winkelmann’s talk from the Divo presentation, it already operates almost at the edge of its capacity. In other words, the W16 cannot churn much more power without sacrificing some of the reliability, or refinement. If it sacrifices any of it, it would not be a Bugatti then, would it?
Warp, Electric, Hybrid?
Obviously, Bugatti engineers will, by all accounts, have to visit some alternative means of propulsion.
Warp power? Well, maybe!
All-electric power? I don’t think so!
Hybrid? That is more like it.
Solidifying my thoughts of the Chiron/Divo W16 quad-turbo actually being the very last of what we will see from Bugattis powered only by an ICE are Winkelmann’s words to CarAdvice.
He actually confirmed the W16 is in its final evolution. A new propulsion system is being considered (and I’d say, even in some form of development) right now.
Winkelmann, however, did say that the W16 is everyone’s favorite:
“There is huge enthusiasm for it, everybody would like to have it forever, to continue to develop it – we will do our utmost to keep it alive... but if you want to be on the edge with advanced technology, it’s important you choose the right moment to change."
While we will see one more iteration of the W16 engine - with even more power - maybe even in a possible four-door saloon echoing the might of the 2009 Galibier Concept, the future is actually lit in electrons.
The big issue of a hybrid system is, obviously, the weight. Even the Divo - the lightest Bugatti at the moment- is a behemoth with 4,400 lbs to tote around. That’s huge. Now, imagine it with 300 pounds of batteries (at the very least), an electric motor, and all the accompanying gear. Obviously, not very appealing. The Bugatti would become heavy and as ungainly as a Bentley overnight. And you know what? That would be a shame.
However, for all of you who plan on becoming Bugatti owners in the future - and if you are still reading this article those are your dreams - Winkelmann said that with the modern, lighter batteries, building a hybrid would be a good thing.
Expect it then.
Now, the sentence Winkelmann said to CarAdvice - "There will be no new 16-cylinder, this will be the last of its kind," is a sad one, but let me list two hybrid cars that obviously show what the hybrid stuff can be used for:
- Porsche 918 Spyder (a car worthy of gods)
- Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid (a car worthy of God’s sons - and daughters because I am not an *ss)
I am listing Porsche cars on purpose. I am quite confident that behind all the possible press talk about a hybrid Bugatti hybrid that, undoubtedly, include words like “bespoke” and “unique,” VW-owned Bugatti could use some of Porsche’s existing hybrid tech. Of course, after multiplying it by four or maybe even more.
In other words, don’t worry about the future of Bugatti. They’ll be just fine! Stephan Winkelmann is like the Zeus of the Volkswagen Group world, with thunderbolts and all that are destined to end up inside the new Bugatti hybrid. Honestly, I am looking forward to really finding out what Bugatti is preparing.
Read our full review on the 2019 Bugatti Divo.
Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron.
Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron Sport.
Read more Bugatti news.
Source: Car Advice