Currently reading: Official: Bugatti Chiron replacement to swap W16 engine for V16
French firm's maiden hybrid will be the first car in decades to use a V16 engine – listen to it here

Bugatti's next hypercar will use a mammoth V16 engine, the company has confirmed. 

Announcing that the new hypercar will be revealed in full in June, Bugatti has revealed that it will swap from the W16 engine used by the Chiron and its Veyron predecessor to an all-new unit of a different shape.

It 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 or whether it has been developed in-house, but it has revealed a preview video that gives a first taste of the noise it will make - which you can watch below.

The V16 will form part of Bugatti's first hybrid powertrain, which the firm describes 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.”

No doubt the colossal engine, combined with an electric drive element, will provide the car with comparable grunt to the 1487bhp Chiron, which can do 0-62mph in 2.5sec and tops out at 261mph even in its standard form. 

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. 

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news 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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TStag 29 February 2024

What's the logic of switching from W16 to V16, is there a benefit. I though W16 was meant to be a superior layout. Love the sound though

Nickktod 29 February 2024

More compact certainly. I guess the reason for the change is that the generation of modular VAG engines which Veyron and Chiron were developed from (VR5, VR6, W8, W12, W16) have been replaced now. Expect this new one will be c.8.0 litres in capacity and sharing lots of architecture with the current Bentley/Porsche/Lambo/Audi 4.0 V8 with addition of electrification of some kind. 

jason_recliner 1 March 2024

It won't be more compact. Straight 8's are HUGE which is why they were phased out in the '30s for V8s. This is going to be a very long engine for a very long (or wide, or both) car.

Peter Cavellini 29 February 2024

Sounds sensational!!!, now just wrap it in a equally sensational body!