After some seductive teasers and exclusive spy photos, the time has finally come to find out what is behind the number 0.67 and the phrase "What if …?" : here the new Bugatti Bolide.
Never has a Bugatti been more extreme in the history of the brand. As the Molsheim firm says, three words are enough to describe it: "Reduced, raw, authentic".
With the technological concept of the Bugatti Bolide, the French luxury car manufacturer presents its answer to the question: What if Bugatti built a radically light vehicle just around the iconic 8.0-liter W16 engine ? What would it be like if the power increased and the weight decreased? The answer is before us with this experimental study of 1850 horses, for only 1240 kilos… A monster dedicated to the track, ready to follow laps around the world at an unprecedented pace … except maybe not an F1!
Light as a butterfly
Yes, you read that right, compared to the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+, the fastest car in the world, it must be remembered, this Bugatti Bolide announces 250 more horses. And 250 Nm too, as long as we do … As for the weight, it is in free fall, 700 kilos less, or about a quarter of the total mass.
And so that was the famous figure of 0.67 that Bugatti had announced in a teaser: the weight / power ratio. We hardly dared to believe it! 0.67 kg / hp, which means more concretely that each horse in the W16 only has a little more than half a kilo to move. All this thanks to the massive use of light materials, ultra-light even since each screw and fixing of the Bugatti Bolide is made of titanium, that the bodywork is fully carbon fiber, And that's not all !
Indeed, the3d printing has also been used for certain titanium elements, making it possible to refine each part as much as possible, some only having a thickness of 0.5 millimeters!
Stinging like a wasp
Bugatti's Bolide measures 4.75 meters long, 1.99 meters wide and its height has been reduced to just under the meter, to 0.99 meters. Imagine: this hypercar pulverizes the 0 to 100 km / h in 2.17 seconds !!
Forget the current trend towards electrification with hybrid supercars, like the Ferrari SF90 and other Koenigsegg Jesko, to name a few. Here, the Molsheim firm retains its W16, in the old one could almost say, with its cylinders, its pistons, and also its 4 turbochargers which blow without slackening.
But the performance record is even more incredible than that: the 0-400-0 km / h, that is to say an acceleration up to 400 km / h then sudden braking to stop again, is announced in 24.64 seconds. If that doesn't appeal to you, then let's put it in perspective: the Koenigsegg Regera, title holder in this exercise, did it in 31'49 seconds.
Another staggering figure: the Bugatti Bolide announces a lap of the Nürburgring in 5 minutes, 23 seconds and 1 hundredth. That is 4 seconds less than the current record holder, the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo, double winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in LMP1, with a time of 5'19''54.
Since we are in the figures, Bugatti speaks of a 2.8 G lateral acceleration, and a braking system obviously at attention: 4 forged magnesium discs 340 mm at the front and 400 mm at the rear, clamped by calipers of 6 pistons, each weighing only 2, 4 kilos.
The form that follows performance
If all the Bugattis produced to date are characterized by unconventional shapes, but always guided by the search for beauty, the Bolide on the contrary follows the idea of a form which follows only and exclusively the function. Performance itself prefers to say the Alsatian brand.
Because efficiency on the track trumps attractive aesthetics, to cut through the air with the best possible efficiency, the nose (the "horseshoe" grille) is crushed, the air intakes are widened, the he rear spoiler takes on proportions never seen before at Bugatti. So many elements that aim to support the hypercar on the ground, allowing a 1,800 kg downforce at 320 km / h. Without forgetting the central fin and a innovative roof air intake !
The latter indeed has a special outer envelope, never seen, deformable which, as speed increases, changes shape to reduce aerodynamic drag by up to 10% during high speed spikes. It also allows a 17% reduction in lifting forces.
The efficiency is also pushed to its paroxysm under the body, with "push rod" type shocks at the front, inside which are incorporated oil tanks to improve aerodynamics.
Finally, there is the cockpit, which clearly does not resemble that of the Chiron at all, nor that of its sisters, but which can still accommodate 2 persons, placed on bucket seats that are as thin as they are uncomfortable – with carbon fiber shell. A real racing car in its own right, complies with all FIA regulations in terms of safety, with an automatic fire extinguishing system and HANS compatibility.
The only real stylistic feature of the Bugatti Bolide is its characteristic X-shaped tail light, a reminder and a tribute to the Bell X-1, the plane which was the first (it was in 1947) to cross the sound barrier and the ancestor of all the "X planes", experimental planes born with the sole aim of experimenting with new and innovative functions. Exactly like the Bugatti Bolide.
Today the concept, and tomorrow?
But what should you really understand in this Bugatti Bolide? Is it a concept car for participate in the endurance championship in the LMP1 class? A simple engineering exercise pushed to its limit?
Bugatti's official answer is: the Bolide is the answer to the question "What would happen if Bugatti built a track hypercar, following FIA rules?"
The answer is what you have in front of you, whose future is yet to be decided. And the Molsheim firm to add that it has still not decided to produce in (small) series the Bolide. But the spy photos of a rolling prototype still allow us to hope for a little more than a simple study of style, no?