It's one way to literally burn through $9 million.
Bugatti knows how to take its time with each new model. The time span between the official reveal and the first customers taking delivery often rolls into years, but that's the kind of obsessive attention to detail that its customers expect. Enter the Bugatti Centodieci. Revealed over two years ago and limited to just ten units, production has yet to commence.
Bugatti has already put the $9-million hypercar through intense wind tunnel testing and now the Centodieci has had to endure miles of endurance testing in brutally hot environments exceeding 110 degrees Fahrenheit. A 27-strong engineering team headed out into the Arizona desert for the testing, which included other Bugatti models like Chiron Pur Sport and Chiron Super Sport.
The team left from California and then covered 500 miles to Arizona along the Central Pacific Highway. The hot weather and an altitude of over 9,000 feet aside, the engineers didn't exactly go for a gentle cruise.
The Bugattis were driven hard on rough roads, put through testing low-speed stop-start traffic, and driven at speeds of up to 198 mph on a closed road. They were also left baking in the sun with the air conditioning system on. 200 sensors equipped to the vehicles relay data back to the engineers for analysis.
"All Bugatti models have to function perfectly no matter how high the temperature, including the few-of Centodieci," said engineer Stefan Schmidt. "Even if we are only creating ten cars, as with the Centodieci, the testing procedure is just as grueling."
Specific focus areas include the engine, transmission, chassis, electrics, and thermal management. Considering the cooling needs of Bugatti's massive engines and the high costs associated with maintaining them, it's no surprise that Bugatti goes to such lengths to ensure the car won't wilt in these extreme conditions.
In the case of the Centodieci, its glass engine bay cover and special bodywork mean that it functions quite differently in extreme heat. That didn't stop the car from passing the test with flying colors. Next up for the engineering team are final high-speed drives and endurance tests covering tens of thousands of miles in Europe. Only after this is completed will the 1,578-horsepower supercar be signed off and ready to enter production.