The Bugatti W16 and its massive 1,479 hp output is a staggering feat of engineering. One that the company CEO says will not be replaced. But there are good things to come, and it’s not dead yet.
The engine is now 13 years old, debuting in the Veyron with a piddling 987 hp, and Stephan Winkelmann has said that it won’t be replaced. “Sooner or later the legislation will force everybody to take radical steps,” he told CarAdvice last week. “There will be no new 16-cylinder, this will be the last of its kind. It is an incredible engine and we know 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.” Emissions, legislation, and probably budget will all lead to the engine’s demise.
The CEO acknowledged that electrification will arrive eventually. But that doesn’t mean bad news for Bugatti. “If the weight of the batteries is going down dramatically – as it is – and you can reduce the emissions to a level which is acceptable then hybridisation is a good thing,” he said, “but it has to be a solution that is credible for the people who are buying Bugattis today.”
So expect hybrid Bugs to arrive eventually, but they will still deliver the performance that buyers expect from the hyper-performance brand.
In the meantime, “I think that the race for more power is not over, unfortunately in my opinion, because we could do different things.” That hints that even more power could be on the way for the Chiron, or derivatives like the Divo. The Power King is dead, long live the Power King.
A version of this story originally appeared on Fourtitude.