Currently reading: New V16-powered Bugatti to be revealed on 20 June
The brand's next hypercar will sport a “completely bespoke” design inspired by iconic models

Bugatti will launch its next hypercar, powered by a hybridised powertrain centered around a 1000bhp V16, on 20 June.

Announcing the date, the brand said its next-generation model will sport a “completely bespoke” design inspired by the iconic Type 57 SC Atlantic, Type 41 Royale and Type 35 models.

They “each lend their DNA to create a pure and authentic reinterpretation of the Bugatti brand”, it added.

Last week, the French hypercar maker brought its eight-year Chiron era to an end with the Super Sport L’Ultime, a special one-off. That final model also marks the end of the brand's famed W16 engine.

Bugatti recently revealed the shape and layout of the V16, as well as its screaming soundtrack (below), and CEO Mate Rimac gave extra details in an interview at the Financial Times Future of the Car conference in London.

Rimac revealed that the colossal engine goes without forced induction, unlike its W16 predecessor, which inhaled through four turbochargers. 

The engine itself, he added, will measure a whopping one metre long in its own right – 400mm longer than the four-bank unit from the Chiron. 

 

 

Despite that (and the integration of a substantial electric drivetrain element), the car will be a similar shape to its predecessor, suggested Rimac. He said: "The exterior is an evolution. You can still see the very distinct Bugatti design."

Certainly, spy shots circulating the internet in recent weeks indicate that it will have a familiar silhouette but be somewhat lower and sleeker than the Chiron it replaces.

Rimac, despite being best known for his pioneering work creating electric hypercars and supplying battery tech to a number of global car manufacturers, said he was a driving force behind bringing the V16 to fruition. 

He said "the business plan was to make an electric coupé-SUV type of thing" before his eponymous firm took over Bugatti from the Volkswagen Group. 

"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. 

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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. 

In addition, said Rimac, any Bugatti powerplant should be "as emotional as possible".

Referencing founder Ettore Bugatti's famous slogan, he said: "You can achieve the power figures we have with the V16 from a very highly turbocharged V8, but we wanted to have it very emotional. It has to feel special, because 'if it is comparable, it is no longer Bugatti'."  

The next Bugatti will be the first production car in decades to use such an engine, the last having been the ultra-rare Cizeta-Moroder V16T in 1991. 

Bugatti has not given any more details about the engine, such as its capacity, but it has revealed a preview video that gives a first taste of the noise it will make - which you can watch below. Various reports say it is 8.3 litres in capacity, and has been developed by Cosworth, though neither Bugatti nor the British firm has confirmed these details. 

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The firm describes its first hybrid powertrain as "incomparable in every detail. It is a pure embodiment of Bugatti’s DNA, created not just for the present, or even the future – but 'Pour l’éternité'" - for eternity. 

Previously, it was thought that Bugatti would downsize its engine in light of the potential electric power boost provided by a hybrid drivetrain, and the need to accommodate a battery and electric motors, but clearly the firm has found a means to stay true its 16-cylinder lineage as it embraces electrification.

The firm had already told Autocar that the new powertrain would be "unlike anything else on sale" but had stopped short of revealing any technical details. 

The design of the car itself was signed off early last year, with designer Achim Anscheidt – who stepped down as Bugatti's design chief recently – telling Autocar that it will "bring forward" Bugatti into a new era while retaining signature cues such as the horseshoe grille and crescent-shaped belt line.

His replacement, Frank Heyl, promised the new car will be "even more amazing" than the Chiron: "It's going to be amazing, proportionally, technologically, in terms of innovation, in terms of unexpectedness. It's going to blow people out of the water completely, and it's a true joy to work on this.”

It is not yet confirmed whether the hybrid drivetrain will allow for engine-off running, or whether the two propulsion systems will work in tandem for maximum power output. 

Will Rimell

Will Rimell
Title: News editor

Will is a journalist with more than eight years experience in roles that range from news reporter to editor. He joined Autocar in 2022 as deputy news editor, moving from a local news background.

In his current role as news editor, Will’s focus is on setting Autocar's news agenda; he also manages Autocar Business and Haymarket's aftermarket publication CAT.

Writing is, of course, a big part of his role too. Stories come in many forms, from interviewing top executives, reporting from car launches, and unearthing exclusives.

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: Deputy editor

Felix is Autocar's deputy editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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johnfaganwilliams 8 May 2024

I know there was the Royale - but Bugatti was best known for elegant engineering in light cars. Think Type 35 etc. These monsters are nothing to do with that legacy. Bugatti were the Colin Chapman Lotus of the 30s. Genuinely I'd rather have a Mark 1 Elise than a Chiron - although I might like to keep the change if it was offered.

TStag 8 May 2024

I get the emotional side of this. However I'd love to see a company take something like a 3 cylinder engine and make that work in a supercar. It would be an engineering feat to produce huge amounts of power from the smallest number of cylinders possible. Maybe something more for Lotus than Bugatti.

Peter Cavellini 31 May 2024
TStag wrote:

I get the emotional side of this. However I'd love to see a company take something like a 3 cylinder engine and make that work in a supercar. It would be an engineering feat to produce huge amounts of power from the smallest number of cylinders possible. Maybe something more for Lotus than Bugatti.

One engine driving each Wheel?, you may correct me on this but, I've never read of a road three cylinder engine that produced a four figure HP, and yes it's heavy, it's never going to be Chapman light,it's not meant for chucking through tight bends on the door handles, it's a straight line hyper speed 300mph+ Continent shrinker, somebody must drive one every day,and, this is a one hurrah car, it's probably sold already for a seven maybe eight figure sum, let's admire it for what it stands for, the firsts it developed, gulp at the cost of Tyres, how quick it could drink petrol, these things don't matter to the owner, they are like us, they love to drive.

manicm 8 May 2024

So if Rimac haven't sold all their electric hypercars yet, I'm assuming Lotus hasn't either. It was sheer folly on Lotus.

johnfaganwilliams 4 June 2024

Does anyone know why my comments are rejected "due to Spam control rules?" It goes on about embedded links which I don't know how to use let only actually do so. Autocar really ought to do something about this site - it's like something from the early 90s.