Cosworth’s V16 Masterpiece: Powering the 1,775 HP Bugatti Tourbillon

Cosworth’s V16 Masterpiece: Powering the 1,775 HP Bugatti Tourbillon

On June 20th, 2023, Bugatti unveiled its latest hypercar, the Tourbillon, marking a new chapter for the storied French marque. With a staggering 1,775 horsepower hybrid powertrain and various engineering innovations, the Tourbillon aims to redefine performance limits. At the heart of this £3.2 million marvel lies a bespoke 8.35-litre V16 engine crafted by the British engineering firm Cosworth.

The Tourbillon’s centrepiece is undoubtedly its naturally aspirated V16 engine. Explicitly developed for Bugatti, Cosworth’s creation displaces 8.35 litres and features a cross-plane crankshaft design with 90-degree bank angles. Remarkably, this behemoth of an engine can rev to 9,000 rpm and produce 987 bhp on its own.

Cosworth faced significant challenges in designing an engine of this scale and performance. With the crankshaft and camshafts measuring nearly a meter in length, managing torsional loads required innovative solutions. Bruce Wood, Managing Director of Powertrain at Cosworth, noted: “With the crank and camshafts measuring almost a meter long, we had to employ innovative design technology to overcome the torsional loads.”

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Despite its size, the V16 weighs 252 kg, even undercutting the naturally aspirated V12 found in the Aston Martin Valkyrie. This weight optimization was achieved through titanium connecting rods and a carbon fibre inlet plenum. The result is an engine that delivers unprecedented power and meets Bugatti’s exacting weight distribution and packaging standards.

While the V16 is undeniably the show’s star, a sophisticated hybrid system further enhances the Tourbillon’s performance. Three electric motors—two on the front axle and one on the rear—work harmoniously with the engine to deliver a total output of 1,775 bhp. This setup allows purely electric driving up to 60 km, enabling stealthy urban operation and reducing local emissions.

The electric motors are powered by a substantial 25 kWh battery pack housed within the central tunnel of the car’s carbon fibre monocoque chassis. In a departure from the norm, the battery is equipped with 800V charging hardware, enabling a rapid 0-80% charge time of just 12 minutes. This high-voltage architecture also allows for more efficient power delivery and lighter-weight cabling.

Beyond its powertrain, the Tourbillon showcases Bugatti’s commitment to engineering excellence in every aspect of its design. The car’s exterior is a study in aerodynamic optimization, with a narrower glasshouse, exposed rear wheels, and massive venturi tunnels contributing to reduced drag and increased downforce.

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Bugatti has also leveraged cutting-edge manufacturing techniques like 3D printing to create lighter and more robust components than traditional alternatives. Partner company Czinger 3D prints the suspension arms, resulting in organic, bone-like structures that optimize strength-to-weight ratios.

Weight savings have been realized throughout the car, with the Tourbillon tipping the scales at just under 1,995 kg—a remarkable achievement considering the added mass of the hybrid system. This has been made possible through the extensive use of carbon fibre and integrating the battery pack and electric motors into the car’s structure.

The Tourbillon’s powertrain and design language significantly differ from its predecessor, the Bugatti Chiron. Yet it retains the essential DNA of a Bugatti hypercar: breathtaking performance, unparalleled luxury, and a commanding presence.

While the Chiron relied solely on a quad-turbocharged W16 engine, the Tourbillon’s hybrid setup reflects the changing landscape of the automotive industry and Bugatti’s commitment to embracing new technologies. The transition to a naturally aspirated V16, combined with electric assistance, delivers improved performance and a more visceral and engaging driving experience.

With the Tourbillon, Bugatti and Cosworth have crafted a hypercar that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible regarding performance, technology, and design. The bespoke V16 engine is a testament to Cosworth’s engineering prowess and ability to deliver solutions for even the most demanding projects.

While the Tourbillon’s performance figures remain primarily theoretical at this stage, with deliveries not scheduled until 2026, the car’s potential is undeniable. As Andy Wallace, Bugatti’s chief test driver, notes, the Tourbillon’s acceleration and top speed capabilities promise to set new benchmarks for the hypercar segment.

Limited to just 250 units, the Bugatti Tourbillon represents the pinnacle of automotive engineering and exclusivity. It is a machine that embraces the future while paying homage to the rich heritage of the Bugatti brand. With its combination of raw power, cutting-edge technology, and uncompromising attention to detail, the Tourbillon is poised to become an icon in its own right, a worthy successor to the Chiron and a testament to the enduring allure of the combustion engine in an increasingly electrified world.


  • Bugatti unveils new £3.2M Tourbillon hypercar with 1,775 HP hybrid powertrain
  • Cosworth develops bespoke 8.35L naturally aspirated V16 engine producing 987 HP
  • The hybrid system includes three electric motors and a 25 kWh battery for a 60 km EV range
  • Innovative engineering used throughout, including 3D-printed components
  • Limited to 250 units, the Tourbillon succeeds the Chiron, aiming to set new performance benchmarks
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