We just don't know when...
There are few engines more feared, respected, and lusted after than Bugatti’s insane quad-turbocharged W16 motor. It powered the Veyron with 1200 hp, and by the time the Chiron and Divo came around, output had been bumped closer to 1500 hp.
It’s an irreplaceable engine, both figuratively and literally, with company CEO Stephan Winkelmann stating that once the W16’s life cycle is over, it will not be replaced. "Sooner or later the legislation will force everybody to take radical steps," Winkelmann told CarAdvice.
"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."
As with the rest of the automotive industry, some form of electrification will be necessary in order to meet future regulations. However, like sister brand Lamborghini, Bugatti knows that the new technology will need to be capable of offering its clients the same kind of face-melting experience by the W16.
"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."
Of course, that doesn’t mean the W16 is dead effective immediately. Winkelmann stressed the company will do everything in its power to keep the engine alive for as long as possible, along with hinting that the thirst for more power is still strong.
"We are far out at Bugatti, far from being compared, but I think it still matters to many people... I think that the race for more power is not over, unfortunately in my opinion, because we could do different things."