For a long time now, the W16 engine block has been a familiar thing always associated with the “King of Speed” Bugatti. The W16 engine that currently powers the Bugatti Chiron is now approaching its 20th birthday. The engineering feat set a new standard for high-performance cars when the Veyron appeared in 2015. 2005 and the car has undergone modifications and upgrades that have only increased the car’s power and dominance over the years.

The development of Bugatti’s W16 engine began with a drawing in 1997. Chairman of the Board of Directors of the VW Group at the time, Ferdinand Karl Piëch first envisioned the 18-cylinder engine that would eventually become the 8.0-liter, 16-cylinder four-turbo engine we know today. The engine underwent its first testing in 2001 with the ability to produce 987 horsepower. The sheer power of the engine required Bugatti to develop new ways to test engines, including engine test benches so that quality could be assured before leaving the factory.

According to VW’s Director of Engine Development, Karl-Heinz Neumann, at that time there was still no documentation or experimental data for cars that could run faster than 350 km/h with commercial engines. with more than 12 cylinders. A major obstacle in the development of cars is ensuring that this engine block must be able to transmit power to the road surface, optimizing the vehicle’s performance.

The Bugatti Veyron and the W16 engine were officially launched in 2005. Bugatti engineers spent 4 years honing the smoothness and reliability of the engine, which required more technical improvements. The design of the W16 engine block increases the risk of fire, which is why Bugatti developed Bugatti Ion Current Sensing. The system is designed to monitor the ionic current of each spark plug, and it can deactivate cylinders, retard timing, or reduce boost pressure if knocking or misfire is detected.

Bugatti upgraded the W16 engine for the production version in 2010, adding a larger turbocharger and upgrading other features, helping to increase the power of this engine block to 1,183 horsepower. However, the engine block will receive an impressive increase in performance with the introduction of the Chiron. After that, the brand developed a new W16 engine block with a capacity of 1,479 horsepower and this turbocharged engine block also has a new sequential turbocharging feature.

Today, the W16 engine block on advanced Chiron models such as Chiron Super Sport and Centodieci can produce 1,578 horsepower. This engine block took two people six days to build the W16 with a total of 3,712 individual parts. Once completed, the engine will leave the VW Salzgitter engine plant for Molsheim, where engineers will carry out assembly steps with the transmission and begin the final assembly processes of the vehicle.

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