Bugatti’s new $4 million Tourbillon has the wildest steering wheel ever

Bugatti is known for very fast, expensive, and extravagant cars. The company is also known for upping the ante every time a new model is released, and the new Bugatti Tourbillon, launched on Friday, fits the profile perfectly.

The name tourbillon comes from the world of mechanic watches, where it means a cool-looking rotating thingy that makes the watch a little more accurate and far more expensive. On the Bugatti Tourbillon, it also indicates priciness — the car starts at €3.8 million ($4.06 million) — but it’s mostly a nod towards those mechanical watch makers that dare to be different.

Unmistakably a Bugatti, but (partially) electric inside. Credit: Bugatti Rimac

The Bugatti Tourbillon is, indeed, very different, not only when compared to other cars, but also other Bugattis.

It’s the first Bugatti in decades that’s not powered by a turbocharged W16 engine, instead coming with an 8.3-liter, naturally aspirated V16 engine that produces 1,000 horsepower, and paired with three electric motors (two in the front, one in the back) producing an additional 800 HP.

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What, you thought the doors open to the side? Credit: Bugatti Rimac

Not all of the numbers are available yet, but what we do know is pretty nuts: top speed is 277 mph, the car goes from 0-186 mph in less than 10 seconds and from 0-62mph in less than two seconds. The only metric where your electric Volkswagen may fare better is the all-electric range, which is just 37 miles for the Tourbillon.

The fact that the Bugatti is now partially electric is no surprise given that Bugatti is now a part of Bugatti Rimac, with CEO Mate Rimac known for its electric supercar, the Rimac Nevera. It’s also a very strong trend, with sports car makers such as Porsche, Lamborghini, or Koenigsegg all going fully or partially electric in the past couple of years.

Wait, where are all the screens? Credit: Bugatti Rimac

But inside, the Tourbillon is defiantly non-electric-looking, instead opting for a car interior equivalent of a pricy mechanical watch. Among the many analog gizmos inside, the one that catches the eye is the instrument cluster, which is placed inside of the steering wheel yet remains fixed as you turn the wheel. It looks odd, yeah, but we guess it’s the sort of thing people with $4 million to burn on a car may be looking for.

The details make a car like the Tourbillon, and there are tons to soak in. The materials are, of course, the most expensive you can get; as Christophe Piochon, president of Bugatti, said in a press release, “If you see a piece of what you think is titanium, then that’s what it is.” This especially goes for that instrument cluster, which is constructed from titanium as well as gemstones like sapphire and ruby, as well as the center console, which is a “blend of crystal gass and aluminum.” Oh, and Bugatti’s engineers even thought to increase the storage space compared to the Chiron, though you will have to buy bespoke Bugatti luggage to take full advantage of that.

If you think it’s titanium, then that’s what it is. The trick is in never allowing yourself to think of cheap materials. Credit: Bugatti Rimac

The Bugatti Tourbillon has now entered its “testing phase,” with prototypes already on the road. Customer deliveries are planned for 2026; Bugatti says that 250 units will be made (by hand, of course), and Rimac says they’re all “mostly” sold out already.

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