Behind the cockpit of the new Bugatti Bolide is an 8-liter beast. It offers 1,825 horsepower to all wheels while slurping 110-octane race fuel. Despite its amazing attributes, the Bugatti W16 engine has humble origins.
Let’s go back to 1997. Ferdinand Piech was the CEO of Volkswagen and he had a problem. The Passat was a slow seller so he asked his team for more power. They couldn’t figure out how, so he taught the world a lesson. Not a normal CEO, he was the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, and just as talented.
His idea to combine two VR4 engines on the same crankshaft was pure genius. Maybe just a coincidence, the cylinder layout looks exactly like the VW logo. The Passat’s W8 engine broke all the rules to make V8 power in the size of a V6 engine bay.
What’s more, he made the design scalable because his ultimate goal was to offer an 18-cylinder supercar. Bugatti was working on a Chiron concept in 1999, and they asked Ferdinand for some engineering help. The W18 project was so much fun, he bought Bugatti the next year. The man responsible for the VW empire allowed his W12 engine to be found in countless VW, Audi, and Bentley cars.
Only 63 examples of the Lamborghini Sian were built, and each is a tribute to him. His initials FKP and his birth year 1937 are found throughout the car. He passed away in 2019 as the head of VW, Porsche, Bugatti, Bentley, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Lamborghini, and Ducati. The engine is just one impressive and indestructible feature that every Bugatti offers, so click the button to see why.