Bugatti in recent weeks has been hinting at a model with radical styling and on Wednesday the car was revealed as the new Bolide.
The Bolide is the result of a challenge put forward by Bugatti chief Stephan Winkelmann to his team to imagine a Bugatti developed without any restraints. The resulting car is a track car, and strictly a one-off.
The manufacturer developed it as an exercise to see what a radically light vehicle built around its iconic 8.0-liter W16 engine would look like. Or, as Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann puts it, the Bolide has “solely four wheels, engine, gearbox, steering wheel and, as the only luxury, two seats.”
Envisioned as the ultimate Bugatti performance kick, the Bolide combines the Chiron-derived W16 power plant with a minimal body for maximum downforce.
In this application, the highly-modified W16 engine churns out 1,850 PS (1,824 HP) and an equally impressive 1,850 Nm (1,364 lb-ft) of peak torque. Factor in the Bolide’s dry weight of only 1,240 kg (2,733 lbs), and you begin to understand why its performance is almost on par with a Formula 1 car.
According to Bugatti’s simulations, the Bolide does the 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 2.17 seconds, 0-200 km/h (0-124 mph) in 4.36 seconds, 0-300 km/h (0-186 mph) in 7.37 seconds, 0-400 km/h (0-248 mph) in 12.08 seconds, and 0-500 km/h (0-310 mph) in 20.16 seconds! Furthermore, it’s capable of achieving a maximum lateral acceleration of 2.8 G. Bugatti also says the Bolide would need just 3:07.1 minutes to complete a lap of Le Mans’ Circuit de la Sarthe and 5:23.1 minutes to get around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Bugatti even provided a theoretical 0 to 311 mph (500 km/h) time of 20.16 seconds while mentioning the Bolide would lap the Nürburgring in 5 minutes and 23.1 seconds. Top speed? “Well above” 311 mph (500 km/h) and a Le Mans lap time of 3 minutes and 7.1 seconds. Again, these are all simulated numbers.
To make the Bolide this light, Bugatti used only titanium screw and fastening elements, 3D-printed aerospace titanium alloy thin-walled functional components, ceramic brakes and coatings and, of course, lots of carbon fiber for the monocoque and other components. Described as “the most extreme, uncompromising, fastest and lightest vehicle concept in the company’s recent history”.
“The Bolide is the ultimate answer to the question of what if Bugatti built a track-focused hyper sports car that met the FIA’s safety requirements,” said Stefan Ellrott, member of the Board of Management of Bugatti and Head of Technical Development. “Designed around the W16 powertrain with the minimum body structure and unbelievable performance data. The result: the smallest possible shell for a breathtaking performance vehicle that allows the W16 to truly come into its own.”
Does this mean we are going to see the Bolide go into a limited series production? Bugatti says that has not been decided yet, but given the effort put into this prototype, we’d say the Bolide has a good chance of becoming the mother of all track-exclusive hypercars.