Bugatti dropped a teaser for their next car online and I speculated over several possibilities. It looks like none of my theories were 100% correct but I came somewhat close.
Bugatti teased the Bolide by asking the question “What if?” It turns out what they were really asking is “What if the engine and powertrain from a Chiron were modified and then added to a much lighter chassis that meets FIA regulations?”
Bugatti Bolide engine and specs
To over-simplify, think of it this way: take the engine and transmission from a Bugatti Chiron and put them into an ultralight race chassis and that is what the Bolide is in a nutshell.
That notion is amazing and terrifying all at the same time. Needless to say, the Bolide does not have any electric motors. The rear of the car has the same 8.0 liter W16 quad-turbo engine found in the Chiron.
Though, the engine in the Bolide has been optimized for track use with optimized intake and exhaust systems and redesigned turbochargers.
The engine tweaks push the power output to 1,850 PS (1,824 horsepower) and 1,850nm (1,364 ft-lbs) of torque when running on 110 octane race fuel. When running on “regular” 98 octane fuel the engine will produce 1,600 horsepower.
Mind you that this is all happening in a car that has a dry weight of just 1,240kg (2,733lbs). That means this car weighs significantly less than the Toyota Supra but with exponentially more power.
In fact, Bugatti used the figure “0.67” in a recent teaser of the Bolide. It turns out that they were teasing the power-to-weight ratio. The Bolide makes 1ps for every .67kg of weight. Translated to ‘murrican measures that means this car makes 1 about horsepower for every 1.4 lbs of weight!
Bugatti Bolide weight savings
How did Bugatti save weight? Simply put, they used as much titanium and carbon fiber as they could. In fact any small screw or fastener found on the Bolide is made from titanium. Any body panel that is not carbon fiber, is made from titanium.
Some elements, such as the suspension control arms are made from aerospace-grade welded stainless steel.
Furthermore, much of the titanium used on the Bolide was 3D printed for exact tolerances, fitment, and weights. The wheels are made from magnesium which is incredibly light, strong, but a very difficult material to make things from.
How fast is the Bugatti Bolide?
Bugatti hasn’t revealed the exact top speed of the Bolide but they did confirm that it can go “well above” 500km/h (310mph). Bugatti also claimed that the Bolide can lap Le Mans in 3:07.1 and make a full lap of the Nurburgring in just 5:23.1. Though those lap times are based on simulations; there is no word if Bugatti will actually take the Bolide to Le Mans or Nurburgring for testing.
Bugatti Bolide design
That is a lot to take in and I haven’t even talked about the design yet. The Bolide looks incredibly aggressive from just about any angle its observed at.
If the design gives off “jet fighter” vibes then that isn’t by mistake. Bugatti’s Director of Design Achim Anscheidt was inspired by experimental “X” aircraft from the late ’40s and 50’s era of aviation.
Specifically, he wanted to invoke the Bell X-1 jet that was famously piloted by Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager who was the first person to break the sound barrier.
This is why the taillights and headlights are in distinctive “X” configurations. More “X” motifs can be found in other areas on the Bolide like the brace above the engine compartment for example.
The design isn’t just about paying homage to legendary jets, all the elements of the body panels, the large rear diffuser, the wings, all are aerodynamically sound and effective.
The rear wing alone can generate nearly 4,000lbs of downforce at 200mph.
As fast (and expensive) as the Bolide looks outside, don’t expect much luxury inside. To keep the weight down the interior of the Bolide is very spartan. According to Bugatti, the only “luxury” that that be found in the Bolide is a passenger seat. Hardcore huh?
The interior surfaces are finished in either carbon fiber or alcantara so it is not totally bare inside. However, I doubt that there are power windows, power mirrors, or radio. Since the Bolide is a track-only car none of those things are needed.
Bugatti Bolide pricing and production
There is no pricing available for the Bolide and Bugatti is classifying it as an “experimental study”. In other words, they built this just for fun.
According to the official statement: “Whether the Bugatti Bolide will go into series production, has not been decided yet.”
I would be willing to speculate that this one-off model and reveal is a way for Bugatti to gauge interest among their very wealthy clientele.
If buyers present themselves, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bugatti makes the Bolide into track-only hypercar program. Similar to what Ferrari did with their FXX program.
What do you think of the Bugatti Bolide? How much would you be willing to pay for something this extreme? Would you even be willing to drive a car this light and fast? Sound off in the comments below or tweet to me at @MotorworldHype.
For now, check out the official reveal video and gallery below.
Bugatti Bolide reveal video
Bugatti Bolide gallery