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Bugatti Tourbillon; Next Generation Hyper-Hybrid Packs 1,775bhp

Updated: Jun 26

Bugatti Tourbillon V16

Bugatti’s new V16 hybrid hypercar is here. 1,775 bhp, 276 mph and 43 miles of electric range make the successor to the Chiron. Aaron Stokes explores the new era for Bugatti.

Here it is, Bugatti’s difficult third album titled Tourbillon. It’s the first to be produced with Mate Rimac at the helm marking a new path for Bugatti. Limited to just 250 units - all of which are sold out - the Tourbillon is also the first car to be co-developed since the Bugatti-Rimac merger.

One of the biggest changes that comes with the Tourbillon is the departure of the quad turbo W16 for a naturally aspirated V16 plug-in hybrid powertrain. The implementation of a combustion engine was a key feature for the Tourbillon as Bugatti’s ethos for their latest hypercar is “...not about the easy way, it’s about the hard way and doing the right things.” 

Since the announcement that there would be a successor to the Chiron, there was much speculation that its replacement would be fully electric; however, for Bugatti this would have been the easy way out. Instead, they teamed up with Cosworth to develop a brand new V16 for the Tourbillon, and joined it to three electric motors: one at the rear and two at the front. These draw power from a 25 kWh battery which can drive the Tourbillon on electric power for up to 43 miles.

Bugatti Tourbillon engine

The new V16 displaces 8.3 litres, up over the 8.0 litre W16 used in the Veyron and Chiron, going against the current trend in the industry of downsizing engines. With the increase in engine size comes a raised red line, with the V16 revving all the way up to 9,000 rpm. The engine on its own produces 986 bhp, but combined with the three e-motors, the powertrain produces 1,775 bhp. This means that 0-62 mph is taken care of in a staggering 2 seconds flat and 0-124 mph is completed in under 5 seconds. The acceleration promises to be savage, as Mate Rimac said that forces over 1G can be generated.

The top speed of the Tourbillon is 276 mph, 15 mph faster than its predecessor. With the Tourbillon being lighter and more powerful than the Chiron, it is almost guaranteed that there is more room with the top speed…will Bugatti use the new model to join the race to 300 mph with Koenigsegg and Hennessey?

The powertrain has been set up to be customisable and to suit the driver’s desires. For those that want to solely use the 986 bhp V16 with no electrical interference, they can. For those who want to drive purely using the batteries, which produce over 804 bhp on their own, there is the option to do so. Finally for those who want the car to do the work for them, mixing petrol and electric power, that is also doable.

Bugatti Tourbillon chassis

Looking at the hybrid system in the Tourbillon, Bugatti have integrated the batteries for the hybrid system throughout the monocoque. The central tunnel that used to house the gearbox and prop shaft in the Chiron has become the home for the batteries. Now the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox sits behind the V16, freeing up space in the cockpit and allowing the clever packaging of the batteries. 

Traditionally, when cars gain hybrid powertrains they will tip the weight scales higher than their predecessor. However, with the Tourbillon this is the opposite, with a kerb weight of less than 1,995 kg quoted - which matches that of the Chiron, even with the addition of a 200kg battery pack and additional electric powertrain components.

During the unveiling event, Bugatti made it clear that the Tourbillon is completely new and shares no parts with its predecessor. Stylistically, it’s clear that the car represents a departure from the W16 lineage. Bugatti says that the Tourbillon takes inspiration from high end watches and even the name comes from a mechanical addition to a watch which increases accuracy, rather than taking the names of Bugatti racing drivers as the Veyron and Chiron did.

Bugatti Tourbillon, Chiron, Veyron, EB110

Externally, there is no mistaking the influence of the Chiron lineage in the design, or what brand the car comes from. The Tourbillon is unmistakably a Bugatti, but there are new interpretations of the design DNA that really move the game on; complimenting the aggressive stance, the 4 square daytime running lights have been slimmed down to create a more focussed front profile. The horseshoe grille takes pride of place on the nose, as it should. But now it's wider, taller and more aggressive.

Another evolved Bugatti design staple is the C-shape line that is the star of the show on the striking profile. It is larger and more angled than before, but my favourite feature is the trio of carbon fins that are found on either side. Finally catching up with the rest of the hypercar market, the doors are now power-assisted butterfly doors that should make cabin access that little bit easier.

Tourbillon side
Tourbillon with doors open

Moving to the rear of the new Tourbillon, the first standout feature is the Bugatti wordmark being integrated into the rear light bar. A fantastic touch is that the firing order can be found next to each cylinder helping to keep a classy yet minimalistic appearance, rather than just sticking a plaque in the engine compartment. The rear of the Tourbillon is a blend of sculpture and science. The top half is a natural ending point for the sculpted bodywork, while the lower half is all purposeful, with large air outlets, an enormous diffuser and the quad-exit exhausts. The result of this is the perfect blend marriage between form and function.

Inside, the Tourbillon is a dramatic antidote to screen-heavy cabins, having had a digital detox. From the reveal, it seems that the car is totally devoid of screens, however, a look through the press photos shows that isn’t the case: there is one screen that can show itself at the top of the centre console. Unlike the rest of the Tourbillon, this can be seen as one of the slowest features on the car. For the screen to raise out the centre console in portrait orientation for the reversing camera, it will take 2 seconds. The same time it takes to complete the 0-60 mph sprint. For the screen to come out in landscape orientation, it will take 5 seconds, in the same time you’ll be passing through 124 mph.

Tourbillon interior
Tourbillon infotainment

One feature that I think will take some adjustment is what Bugatti calls the ‘fixed hub steering wheel’. In short, the wheel rim itself moves around the dials and driver's airbag. Who’d have thought that Citroen design would be influencing multi million pound hypercars? Further evidence of the watch world inspiration can be found in the gauges of the Tourbillon. In the central speedo and rev counter, you can see the gears that move the needles. Rubies are used in the construction of the gauges which sit behind sapphire glass. Getting a good view of the dials and a perfect driving position is helped by the adjustable pedal box which can be moved forwards or backwards.

Prices for the Bugatti Tourbillon - the car not the watch - start at £3.2 million before taxes and options. In the UK, that will mean at least £4 million per car. Bugatti says that deliveries of the Tourbillon will begin in 2026, and every single one of the 250 to be built have been sold already.

Inevitably when such a high profile car such as the Tourbillon is released, it got the RUSH team talking about the design. RUSH Magazine Founder Craig Toone said “It’s growing on me. Visually it looks like a more lithe car, more compact, which mirrors the engineering as the car is much lighter than its predecessor. It’s futuristic yet familiar; a perfect evolution. There’s a hint of McLaren P1 at the rear. Just imagine the stone chips that the Dubai police will get in a 276 mph pursuit from those exposed rear tyres!” 

Tourbillon rear
Tourbillon nose

Our News Editor Ken Pearson added: “The dials remind me of the fastest car I’ve ever driven - a rented Fiat 500 Cabrio, which is a good thing. The detail outside and in is amazing, but if I had one, I would park it nose in.” One area that we all agree on is that the side profile of the Tourbillon is breathtaking, with the doors shut…

Bugatti themselves have said that they will be revealing more details about the Tourbillon over the coming weeks and months, and that the launch event was a preview into the new chapter of Bugatti road cars. There will be one-offs and special editions I’m sure, but from what I can see, the future of Bugatti looks astounding.

Tourbillon dynamic


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