Bugatti, the purveyor of all things fast, luxurious, and jaw-dropping, has taken automotive performance to the next level with the Bolide, a track-only hyper sports car that puts the “hyper” in hyperbole. First teased as a wild idea in late 2020, the Bolide is now roaring to life, with the prototype entering the next phase of development testing.
The Bugatti Bolide looks like it’s been chiseled out of pure speed, but apart from looking like a cross between a Frank Gehry dream and a Klingon Starship, its bodywork has been crafted with a focus on maximising downforce and minimising drag. The car’s sleek shape and minimal bodywork are the result of extensive aerodynamic testing and optimisation, ensuring that the Bolide slices through the air with the ease and precision of a scalpel through margarine.
In addition to its otherworldly exterior, the Bolide boasts several innovative aerodynamic elements, such as a unique air scoop on the roof, which funnels air into the engine compartment for optimal cooling. This focus on aerodynamics not only contributes to the car’s mind-boggling performance but also gives it a look that screams, “I’m fast, and I know it.”
At the heart of the Bugatti Bolide lies the legendary quad-turbo W16 engine, a monstrous powerplant that’s propelled some of the world’s most formidable cars to incredible speeds. But Bugatti didn’t just stop there. They wrapped that beast of an engine in the lightest, most aerodynamic body they could muster, resulting in a hyper sports car with performance numbers that are straight out of a sci-fi novel. In its final form, the Bolide is expected to pump out 1,600 PS while tipping the scales at a paltry 1,450 kg. Surpassing the mythical 1:1 power-to-weight ratio. Hold onto your helmets.
Though the W16 engine might seem familiar, the way it’s integrated into the Bolide is a whole different ball game. The car’s new carbon monocoque necessitated a complete overhaul of various components, including the cooling, transmission, and suspension systems, which had to fit into the Bolide’s impossibly sleek and aerodynamic body.
The Bolide’s suspension is three times stiffer than the Chiron’s, offering drivers razor-sharp feedback. And to further shave off weight, Bugatti used 3D-printed titanium rockers for those crucial suspension components.
The Bolide’s engine isn’t just ludicrously powerful; it’s also fine-tuned to suit the specific demands of track driving. All four turbochargers work in harmony to provide consistently high revs, reduced weight, and improved packaging. Bugatti’s team of wizards have also tweaked the engine to reach higher RPMs and mated it with a modified transmission for even sharper performance. Basically, the Bolide is ready to attack every corner and straight with unrelenting ferocity.
It’s not all about forward momentum of course and the Bolide features a cutting-edge carbon brake system that’s even more heat-resistant than the Chiron’s carbon ceramic setup. To reach peak effectiveness, these brakes need to be properly warmed up, so Bugatti designed new calipers that efficiently generate and absorb heat. Couple that with 18-inch tires and 390 mm brake discs, and the Bolide is ready to stop on a dime.
To ensure the Bolide has the grip to match its insane performance, Bugatti joined forces with tire maestro Michelin. Together, they’ve fitted the Bolide with specialised slick tires usually reserved for LMDh vehicles in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Thanks to this exclusive partnership, the Bolide will be able to exploit its otherworldly power and performance to the fullest on the track.
With only 40 units planned for production and a net unit price of four million euros each, the Bugatti Bolide is as exclusive as it gets. The first deliveries of this incredible machine are set to commence in 2024, giving a select few enthusiasts the opportunity to experience a new insane standard in the realm of track-only hyper sports cars.