Bugatti previews W16-powered race car

Bugatti captured our attention when it released an image of an enigmatic new model whose rear lights form an X. We still don’t know exactly what we’re looking at, but a photo of its powertrain sheds light on what’s coming.

Significantly, the digital rendering shows the car is built around the quad-turbocharged W16 that powers the Chiron. An earlier report speculated it would be electric, and that’s evidently not the case. The engine is mounted directly behind the passenger compartment, and the transmission it’s bolted to seemingly spins the four wheels.

We also see a rectangular steering wheel, a pair of carbon fiber bucket seats, and center-locking wheels covered by carbon fiber discs. All of these parts look like they belong in a race car, but Bugatti is keeping additional details under wraps. “What if…?” again appears on the photo, so we’re expecting something out of the ordinary. 

An earlier teaser showing the number 0,67 also asked more questions than it answered. Europeans use a comma instead of a decimal, so there’s a strong chance we’re looking at 0.67. It’s far too high to be the car’s drag coefficient; keep in mind the original Land Rover Defender had a 0.59 drag coefficient, and the rear-engined Volkswagen Beetle posted 0.48. If this is indeed a track car, is it 0.67 seconds quicker than the Chiron around a given track? It’s possible but unlikely, because that’s a rounding error at best regardless of whether we’re talking about the Circuit de la Sarthe, the Nürburgring, or Suzuka. 0.67 seconds quicker to 60 mph is plausible. 

Is it a one-off, or a limited-edition model? If it’s the latter, are there any build slots left? Your guess is as good as ours. All of our questions will be answered when the mysterious car makes its global debut online tomorrow, October 28, at noon Central European time, which is 6 a.m. on the East Coast and 3 a.m. in California.

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