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New Bugatti Tourbillon – 1775bhp, V16-engined Chiron successor shown at Goodwood

With a naturally aspirated V16, a new carbon chassis and a 273mph top speed Bugatti’s latest hypercar has the GMA T.50 in its sights

Aston Martin, GMA, Ferrari and now Bugatti are proving that the naturally aspirated super-engine is far from being dead yet. With its 986bhp 8.3-litre V16 engine the new Bugatti Tourbillon is a force of nature on paper, and though it'll be a while before we can experience its stunning 9000rpm powertrain first hand, we've been up close with the new hypercar at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed to drink in the details.

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There is a nod to modernity to the Tourbillon’s powertrain in that it is also equipped with a front e-axle powered by two electric motors, with a third electric motor mounted on the rear axle. Combined they deliver an additional 789bhp to give the Tourbillon its headline 1775bhp power figure. It’s also a hypercar with a €3.6 million price tag with production limited to 250 units, with spin-off derivatives to follow when production starts in 2026.

‘Some thought we might combine a Nevera with a Chiron’ says Bugatti boss Mate Rimac, ‘but that wouldn’t be a Bugatti. And our customers like the emotion of an internal combustion engine and I have to build cars our customers want to buy'. The Tourbillon's mechanical layout was first devised in 2020, when Rimac built a scale model featuring a V16 engine supported by three electric motors – having pitched the idea he got the green light to make the concept a reality. 

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A pure internal combustion engine for the Tourbillon was ruled out on the grounds it wouldn’t deliver a performance advantage over the Chiron, so too did any notion to hybridise the proven turbocharged 8-litre W16 engine, primarily because the weight would have spiralled out of control. Removing the turbos to make the W16 a naturally aspirated motor was also discarded because the height of the engine and its layout compromised the design and packaging of the new model. 

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The 90-degree cross-plane crank V16 weighs 252kg less than the outgoing W16 despite measuring 29mm longer and being a metre in total length. It sits lower in the chassis and, unlike the W16, which was developed and built in house by VW, the V16’s design, development and construction has been undertaken by Cosworth. 

The engine drives through an eight-speed DCT and there's an e-motor at the rear (along with an e-LSD) that hangs off the back of the gearbox generating 250kW and 450Nm. The two front motors each produce 250kW and 221lb ft and all are powered by a 25kWh oil-cooled 800 volt battery that’s housed in the transmission tunnel and behind the passenger cell, forming a structural part of the monocoque. Each motor can spin up to 24,000rpm, with the e-axles delivering over 6kW per kg of e-axle mass, which includes the inverters, motor and gearboxes. 

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Bugatti’s latest powertrain sits in a new carbon monocoque, which includes a Formula 1-inspired rear diffuser that forms part of the crash structure and underfloor of the car, hence why it’s two metres in length. The suspension is multi-link front and rear with dual valve damper technology, and the hardware is 45 percent lighter than the Chiron’s. New bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (345/30 x 21 on the rear, a 285/35 x 20 on the front) are fitted as standard. 

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All this makes for, as you’d expect, some remarkable figures: a claimed sub two-second 0-62mph time (pipe down Plaid owners), less than five seconds to reach 120mph, under ten to crack 180mph, less than 25 seconds to reach 240mph before it’s all done (a relative term, obviously) at 276mph, although Mate points that this isn’t the maximum and there’s more to come. On top of this, it will cover up to 37 miles on electric power and charge from zero to 80 percent in 12 minutes.

On current emissions regulations it's 25 percent cleaner than a Chiron, and despite the 300kg hybrid system it weighs a comparable 1995kg. The Tourbillon uses lighter componentry than its predecessor – including the combustion engine and 3D-printed suspension parts – to achieve this.  

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It also sits 33mm lower than a Chiron yet has the same internal dimensions. Inspired by the Type 57C and 35 from Bugatti’s past, Director of Design Frank Heyl has taken the modern Bugatti design language and blended it with traditional cues. It’s unmistakably a modern Bugatti but there’s also more function and detail in the Tourbillon’s surfaces, a tension that portrays the performance encased within. The philosophy was to improve on what had gone before, not to redesign for the sake of it. Think iPhone, Rolex Daytona and the Porsche 911

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Aerodynamics are a large factor in the Tourbillon’s design. There’s a wing, naturally, but its not the primary source of downforce at the rear – that role is taken by a diffuser beginning at the rear of the passenger cell and running either side of the engine (which is narrower than the W16, allowing for bigger venturi tunnels). The rear wing doubles as an air brake and is electronically controlled rather than hydraulic to save weight. 

The inside is equally as bespoke and distinctive as the exterior, your eyes immediately drawn to the instrument dials positioned on top of the steering column. If you’re wondering where the name for Bugatti’s latest model came from you’ll work it out the moment you see the dials. Inspired by the horlogerie philosophy, the instrument display is Swiss watchmaking in automotive form. Constructed from titanium, the cluster weighs just 700g and is made up of more than 600 parts with the smallest measuring just five microns. As you turn the outer wheel rim, the dials and centre boss of the wheel stay in position.

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It’s a mesmerising piece of design engineering, although hopefully not too distracting as you crack the magic double-ton. The left hand instruments are for coolant, fuel and EV power and use 160 individual parts, the central speedo and rev counter consisting of 250 parts with 150 LEDs to illuminate it all. To the right is Bugatti’s trademark power dial. 

Screens are all but banished in the Tourbillon. The floating centre console is machined from a single piece of billet aluminium to create its skeletal design and uses ‘Boheim’ crystal glass. The only screen in the car is no larger than an iPhone’s and sits at the top of the console and retracts when not in use. 

The floor-hinged pedal box moves while the seat is fixed, although the backrest and base are adjustable for comfort. The drive mode control is a rotary dial on the steering wheel and every detail throughout the interior is exquisite, the type of jewellery your mum told you not to touch even when you didn’t have sticky fingers. 

In the hypercar world Bugatti has often been portrayed with a quiet confidence in everything it does. While others have chased lap times, top speed, exclusivity or all three it has remained focused on its objectives. In the Tourbillon that focus eclipses all that has gone before, and customers will feel the results of this when deliveries commence in 2026. 

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