Say hello to Bugatti's new extreme track-focused hypercar.
Last year, Bugatti made history when it became the first manufacturer to break the 300-mph barrier using the Chiron Super Sport 300+, although this speed record has since been beaten by the SSC Tuatara. But what if Bugatti used its engineering expertise to build an extraordinary, lightweight thoroughbred track monster? The answer is the Bugatti Bolide. After teasing its new mystery hypercar, the Bugatti Bolide has debuted in all its glory, and it's absolutely bonkers.
Described as an "experimental study," the Bugatti Bolide is "the most extreme, uncompromising, fastest and lightest vehicle concept in the company's recent history."
Like the Chiron, the Bolide is powered by Bugatti's signature 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 engine. Whereas this setup generates 1,479 horsepower and 1,180 lb-ft of torque, the Bolide's powertrain has been uprated to produce a monumental 1,824 hp and 1,364 lb-ft of torque when running on 110 octane racing fuel.
Since the Bolide is designed to tear up the racetrack, the drivetrain has been optimized to handle higher engine speeds. For example, the intake and exhaust system was dethrottled to "achieve an even faster, more spontaneous, and extreme response characteristic".
The four turbochargers were also redesigned with optimized blades to build up more boost pressure and power at higher engine speeds, and the oil circuit, oil pressure, check valves, baffles, oil tanks, oil reservoirs, and pump design of the dry sump lubrication have been optimized. Instead of water-to-air intercooling, the Bugatti Bolide has air-to-air intercooling with water pre-cooling.
Bugatti has gone to extreme lengths to make the Bolide as light as possible. All the screw and fastening elements are made of titanium, while the functional components are made of 3D-printed aerospace titanium alloy and measure just 0.01 inches thick, yet are still extremely strong. The front wing weighs just 1.3 pounds, while the rear wing weighs only 0.7 pounds.
In a world-first, the intake scoop has a morphable outer skin to optimize the airflow. When the Bolide is driven at slower speeds, the surface of the scoop stays smooth. At higher speeds, bubbles bugle out, reducing the aerodynamic drag of the scoop by 10 percent while reducing lift forces by 17 percent and increasing the flow onto the rear wing.
At 198 mph, the rear wing produces 3,968 pounds of downforce, while the front wing produces 1763 pounds. With a dry weight of 2,733 pounds and 1,824 hp, the Bolide delivers an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 1.4 pounds per hp (or 0.67 kg per PS). As a result, the Bolide's performance specs are simply mind-boggling.
Based on simulations, 0-62 mph takes just 2.17 seconds, while 0-124 mph is achieved in 4.36 seconds. From a standstill, the Bolide will reach 186 mph in 7.37 seconds, 248 mph in 12.08 seconds, and 310 mph in 20 seconds. Top speed is "well above" 310 mph. According to Bugatti's simulations, the Bolide can lap Le Mans in 3:07.1 minutes and complete the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 5:23.1 minutes.
Racing brakes with ceramic discs and coatings provide optimum stopping power, allowing the Bolide to go from 0-248-0 mph in 24.64 seconds and 0-310-0 mph in 33.62 seconds.
The brake calipers weigh just 5.2 pounds each, while the front forged magnesium rims weigh 5.2 pounds at the front and 18.5 pounds at the back wrapped in wide tires measuring 13.3/15.7 inches front/rear. For comparison, the Chiron's tires measure 11.2/13.9 inches front/rear.
The Bolide rides on a light carbon monocoque chassis. With an overall height of 39 inches, the Bolide is exactly the same height as the historic Bugatti Type 35 and around 11.8 inches flatter than the Chiron, with a 108.2-inch wheelbase and a 78.3-inch wide body. Like in an LMP1 racing car, occupants access the cockpit with fold up the doors that are hinged at the front at an angle and position their feet in the interior. It also fully complies with FIA safety regulations, with safety equipment including a fire extinguisher system, towing device, pressure refueling with fuel bladder, central locks for the wheels, lightweight polycarbonate windows, and a six-point harness system.
Speaking of the new car, Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti said: "We asked ourselves how we could realize the mighty W16 engine as a technical symbol of the brand in its purest form - with solely four wheels, engine, gearbox, steering wheel and, as the only luxury, two seats. Important aspects of our considerations were fine-tuning our iconic powertrain without any limitations as regards the weight-to-power ratio. These considerations resulted in the Bugatti Bolide. An uncompromising experiment, a thoroughbred, a Pur Sang that, in its brute exclusivity, impresses above all with high performance, low weight, and a driving experience in a whole new dimension. Driving the Bolide is like riding on a cannonball."
"For the first time, we are showing what the W16 engine is really capable of. We have freed the vehicle of all baggage and have illustrated and combined the engine with the lightest possible chassis to create the ultimate Bugatti and to ensure the ultimate driving experience. With the Bolide, we are presenting our interpretation of a Bugatti track car of modern times to Bugatti enthusiasts all over the world and finally make their most fervent wishes come true."
As for the dramatic design, the Bolide looks unlike any other Bugatti currently in production. It retains Bugatti's iconic horseshoe grille but is dominated by extreme aero components, from Formula One-style air ducts and a half-open front end, to a roof scoop and a massive racing-style rear wing. As we saw in the first teaser, the X-shaped taillights and signatures are inspired by a Bell X-1 jet aircraft. Only 40 percent of the bodywork is painted in a re-interpretation of the historic French Racing Blue, while the remaining 60 percent features visible carbon. Even the low-slung racing seat provides a driving position akin to a fighter jet. Don't expect to find any luxuries inside the cabin as the Bolide is designed to be as lightweight as possible.
For now, the Bolide is a proof of concept. Bugatti hasn't decided if this awe-inspiring track weapon will enter series production, but we're keeping our fingers crossed.