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Bugatti Says ‘Sayonara’ to its 16-Cylinder Engine

“There will be no new 16-cylinder, this will be the last of its kind.”

This statement came from Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann, as he confirmed the final chapter of its W16 engine to CarAdvice.

The 16-cylinder engine first made its debut in the 1,000-hp Bugatti Veyron. It offered a top speed of 409 kph, which broke the world record for the fastest speed made by a production car during that time. Over the years, it has evolved to a faster and more powerful engine, with its most recent version modified for the 1,500-hp Bugatti Divo.

“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,” Winkelmann shared.

And what changes should take place? According to the Bugatti boss, they’re mostly about making batteries lighter. This is something that an electrified drivetrain–or hybrids–can accomplish.

“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 hybridization is a good thing,” Winkelmann explained to CarAdvice.

“But it has to be a solution that is credible for the people who are buying Bugattis today,” he added.

Despite having such a strong focus on car weight, the CEO is quick to add that the company will adjust to what Bugatti’s customers are looking for. So if the hybrid technology doesn’t appeal to them, then they will scrap the idea altogether.

“When I was at Lamborghini I always said power to weight ratio is the key. We always reckoned that one kilo less is more important than one horsepower more,” he said. “But we also discovered there is a race for more power, an ongoing battle, and everybody is looking for more and more.”

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