The 8.0 liter W16 engine is already part of Bugatti history since it has been around for almost 20 years and since then its evolution has been constant to adapt to new times and increasingly anti-pollution regulations. more demanding.
When Bugatti published the first technical details on the engine that would ride the Veyron 16.4 in 2005, it was a revolution because never before had a production car been equipped with such a powerful engine. Its 1,000 hp allowed acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.5 seconds and a top speed of over 400 km/h.
The W16 engine, a work of engineering
Years later, in 2016, the W16 was fitted to the Chiron. With 8.0 liters there were four turbochargers, just like the Veyron, but thanks to the fact that they were larger, a dual fuel injection system with 32 valves and a greater use of carbon and titanium, the power figure is increased. More precisely 1,600 hp and a maximum torque of 1,600 Nm.
This complex engine comprises more than 3,500 individual parts, each assembled by hand. The exhaust system was also a challenge as the very hot gases had to be channeled properly. Titanium was chosen, a material little used at the time.
The 16-cylinder configuration offers smooth operation, so spotting any abnormalities is a challenge. For this, the brand has developed a system called Bugatti Ion Current Sensing (BIS) to monitor the internal workings.
Another challenge was cooling, for which a dual water cycle device was chosen that keeps the W16 within the required temperature range, even under extreme usage conditions. That’s 40 liters of water circulating in a cycle with three coolers up front to keep the engine at its optimum operating temperature.
There are also coolers for the differential, transmission and engine oil, as well as an intercooler for the air conditioning. The W16 was integrated into the Veyron as a longitudinally mounted mid-engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission located at the front of the block.
record power figure
Engineers have continued to optimize the engine over the years. With enlarged turbochargers and many other modifications, the W16 developed 1,200 hp in the 2010 Veyron 16.4 Super Sport and set a speed record of 431,072 km/h as the fastest road production supercarthus earning a mention in the legendary Guinness Book of Records.
Years later, with the Chiron, engineers were challenged to develop an equally sophisticated, yet even more luxurious and powerful successor model. The result was a new evolution and a power of 1,500 hp thanks to a unique sequential turbocharger. An additional 100 hp, or 1,600 hp, is achieved in the Centodieci, made possible by two-stage supercharging (sequential turbocharger) where two systems come into play one after the other. They are 69% larger than those of the Veyron.
This new setup paid off, with the Chiron Super Sport 300+ becoming the first production car to break the 300mph mark in 2019, reaching a speed of exactly 304.773mph (490.484kph).
This engine has been tested for more than 16,000 hours in its various development phases. In addition, more than 500,000 kilometers of tests have been carried out on the vehicle so that the engine meets Bugatti’s strict quality standards.
It is built at Volkswagen’s engine plant in Salzgitter, Germany, in a separate room reserved exclusively for the W16. It takes two experts six days to meticulously manually assemble 3,712 individual parts.
Once complete, it is boxed up and transported to Molsheim, France, where the engine and transmission are assembled as the first step before final assembly on the Chiron at the Bugatti workshop.
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