What a drive it must have been.
It's been almost two years since the Bugatti Divo made its debut as a limited-run model based on the almighty Chiron. Only 40 copies of the Divo will be built, each priced at around $5.8 million. Bugatti has finally wrapped up development and testing of the Divo, meaning it is now time for customers to take delivery. Before the first customers receive their limited-edition hypercar, Bugatti makes sure to put each one through its paces on a final test drive to ensure perfection.
To avoid any last-minute damage, each car is protected using a special film that covers the carbon body. Protective covers are put in place throughout the interior and a special test cover even replaces the underbody to prevent any rocks or other debris from doing damage. The first customer Divo will soon leave Bugatti's factory in Molsheim, France but before it does, it must first meet the company's high standards of perfection. Bugatti's tests are extensive.
"Each vehicle is intensively tested and checked before delivery so that we can guarantee the absolute quality of our hyper sports cars such as the Divo. We want to get as close to perfection as possible. Our customers expect that from us," said Christophe Piochon, Member of the Board for Production and Logistics at Bugatti and Molsheim Site Manager.
Steve Jenny has been Bugatti's test driver since 2005 and he is solely responsible for issuing the dynamic approval for all of the company's hyper sports cars. Jenny is a quality assurance expert and has checked over 95 percent of all Bugatti cars that have been built by hand in Molsheim to date. He has logged over 340,000 kilometers (211,300 miles) in the Veyron, Chiron, and now, the Divo.
"I found my absolute dream job over 15 years ago. But it is also a job with a lot of responsibility," Jenny explained. There are over 100 quality checkpoints that Jenny must tick off for the Divo before it is given to a customer.
The Divo checklist includes making sure that the regional homologation for the car is correct, ensuring that the customer's specifications have been fully realized, and testing all of the car's electrical functions. On the test drive, Jenny fires up the quad-turbo W16 engine for a five-hour, 300-kilometer route through Alsace. This drive passes through the Vosges mountains and includes public roads and motorways.
"The bending and hilly roads of the Vosges mountains are ideal for this test drive. Here I can check the steering, cornering behavior, shift points, and hill starts," Jenny said. A section of the drive is then conducted on a closed runway, where the car can be tested to ensure the Launch Control, driving modes, airbrake function, fast lane changes, and full engine power all function properly.
With any hand-built car, some issues are bound to arrive. But Bugatti quickly finds and eliminates them. Once the test is complete, the technicians change the gearbox oil and fit the production wheels. A final one-hour, 50-kilometer test drive is taken before the car recieves a six-hour visual approval check.