Bugatti: Front-Engined Grand Tourer With Tourbillon V16 Could ‘Certainly’ Happen 

Anything is possible with Bugatti's new naturally aspirated V16—so let's dream big and bespoke, people!
Bugatti

The dust has barely settled after the Bugatti Tourbillon debuted, but here we are plotting the ultra-hi-po automaker’s next hybrid V16-based vehicle. Well, not us, specifically, but definitely Bugatti design boss Frank Heyl. And, he says, the engine has the flexibility to be outfitted into multiple monocoque formats. So, for example, unlike the mid-engined Tourbillon, the next Bugatti could be a front-engine variant like a certain famed grand tourer of yore.

“I mean, look at the Type 57SC Atlantic: it’s front-engined,” Heyl told Autocar. “But for now, we are super-happy that we went this way [with the Tourbillon].” He suggested that the focus of future models could be more bespoke, including additional one-of-a-kind vehicles like the La Voiture Noire.

“We’d like to develop the brand into a Couture—few-off, one-off, unique—kind of thing,” said Heyl. That’s an interesting aspect, and it’s a growing market. It’s especially relative to the kind of customer that Bugatti serves—this aspect of ultimate individuality is very, very important.”

Although not a one-off, the aforementioned Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe is as rare as it is iconic. Only four of the SC variants were built between 1936 and 1938. The last, dubbed La Voiture Noire, went missing and is estimated to be worth $100 million if it’s ever found. As if the modern one-off wasn’t expensive enough.

Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante. Gooding & Company

Bugatti CEO Mate Rimac would only confirm so much, however. “Bugatti has not always just been sports cars,” he said. He certainly sees combustion engines as a continuing part of Bugatti’s future but emphasizes that his priority is the Tourbillon because “Bugatti has to have a hypercar.”

The automaker’s low volume and owners’ low mileages mean little urgency in going fully electric. So, we can expect to see the electrified V16 in more models. The configuration and styling of those models remain to be seen, and everyone at Bugatti is coy. Even the engineers. “We can shuffle bits around,” is all Emilio Scervo, Bugatti’s chief technical officer, would divulge. Sigh. While we wait for the next bit of Bugatti brilliance, might as well get back to that Type 57SC scavenger hunt.