Bugatti hypercars have always been synonymous with speed, power and luxury. Since 2005, when the company from Molsheim lifted the veil on the first Veyron, they have rewritten the laws of the automotive world, even surpassing the incredible 250 mph mark, a limit previously reserved for racing cars.

In just under two decades of the history of these special cars, Bugatti has raised the bar ever higher, from the Chiron to the latest Tourbillon presented in recent days.

Let's take a look back at the history and evolution of these very special cars and their engines, veritable mechanical masterpieces that represent not only the best of modern automotive technology, but also a veritable dream for car enthusiasts the world over.

The Bugatti Veyron

Bugatti's new life began, as we know, in 2005, when, after the Italian EB110 interlude, the French manufacturer lifted the veil on the first example of the Veyron, a large two-seater hypercar equipped with one of the largest and most complex automotive engines ever built.

Indeed, the Molsheim hypercar is being presented for the first time with its iconic 8.0 W16 four-cylinder engine producing an impressive 1,001 PS and 1,250 Nm of torque, discharged to the ground thanks to the ubiquitous all-wheel drive system and enabling it to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 2.5 seconds.

To be more precise, this is an engine derived from the Volkswagen Group's 4.0 W8 (to which the company has belonged since 1998), made up of two pairs of two narrow V-shaped rows of four cylinders, each arranged at 90° to the other.

Photo Gallery - How to restore a Bugatti Veyron
Bugatti

Bugatti Veyron

After being greeted with great fanfare by the world's press, the first Veyron was prepared to attempt to break the road speed record, which it did in the summer of 2005 on the German group's Ehra-Lessien test track. Driven by Uwe Novacki, driving instructor at Volkswagen and member of the car's technical development team, it reached 253 mph.

Five years later, in 2010, Bugatti presented the public with the Super Sport version of the Veyron, capable of delivering up to 1,200 PS, with which it managed to set a new world speed record at 270 mph.

Bugatti Veyron and Chiron

Bugatti Veyron SuperSport

Bugatti Veyron and Chiron
Bugatti Veyron and Chiron

The Bugatti Chiron

Almost 10 years later, in 2016, Bugatti presented the new Chiron, a new masterpiece of engineering equipped with an improved version of the 8.0 W16 engine, revised in several details and now capable of delivering up to 1,500 PS and 1,600 Nm of torque, values which, in this case, allow the new French hypercar to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 2.4 seconds, reaching a top speed electronically limited to 261 mph.

However, the time to set a new world record will come in 2019, when the company presents the Chiron Super Sport 300, a further improved version of the Chiron, notably lowered and lengthened and equipped with an engine increased to 1,600 PS, designed with the aim of breaking the 300 mph barrier.

An ambitious result that the car achieved on 2 August 2019, again on the German Ehra-Lessien circuit, this time driven by British driver and company test pilot Andy Wallace. It touched 304.772 mph at the maximum speed point itself, but without achieving a new Guinness World Record due to the impossibility of making a second pass in the opposite direction, so that the average speed could then be verified.

The last Bugatti Chiron in production

The last Bugatti Chiron in production

The last Bugatti Chiron in production
The last Bugatti Chiron in production

The Bugatti Tourbillon

After the two hypercars mentioned above, Bugatti has finally unveiled its latest creation, the Tourbillon. Derived from the name of one of the most famous and complex watchmaking mechanisms in existence, symbolising the refinement that continues over time, this is an entirely new car, starting with the monocoque, moving on to the suspension and ending with the engine.

And it is precisely the engine of this new hypercar that is one of the most important protagonists of this innovative project. For the first time in almost 20 years, the manufacturer has decided to abandon the Volkswagen-derived W16 architecture in favour of an all-new naturally-aspirated but rechargeable hybrid V16.

Tourbillon Bugatti

Bugatti Tourbillon, the engine

As we said in the article, it's an 8.3-litre 'monster' that reaches 9,000 rpm and produces 1,000 PS and 900 Nm, without a turbocharger. Added to this are three electric motors for a total of 1,800 PS and 1,000 Nm.

With the Tourbillon, Bugatti introduces groundbreaking aerodynamic technologies combined with advanced materials, making it not only the fastest car ever built, but also one of the most technically advanced, with figures that speak for themselves: 276 mph top speed and 2 seconds to go from 0 to 62 mph.

Despite these impressive figures, it would be premature to talk in terms of a record. The French carmaker's new hypercar, now largely owned by Rimac, failed to beat the electric Nevera on paper, at least in the 0-62 mph sprint (1.81 seconds).

Tourbillon Bugatti

Tourbillon Bugatti

Tourbillon Bugatti
Tourbillon Bugatti

Gallery: Bugatti Tourbillon