The Bugatti Bolide – company calls it the fastest and lightest car it’s ever built, with a top speed over 500.50kmphh, 1,825 horsepower, and a weight of just 1240kg.
These two figures are made possible by the use of Bugatti’s now-venerable quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 engine, powering all four wheels, pumped up well beyond the 1600hp, it puts out in the Chiron Super Sport 300+. This is done via “dethrottling” the intake of an exhaust system, four newly developed turbochargers and a redesigned dry sump lubrication system.
It’s worth noting, however, that the maximum claimed output is achieved only by using 110-octane racing fuel. Using 98-octane petrol, the figure is actually the same 1600hp as the Super Sport 300+.
The Bolide sits on a super-light and super-stiff carbonfibre monocoque. Carbonfibre is also used in the front-end and underbody. Bugatti claims the carbonfibre’s tensile strength is matched only by that used in the aerospace industry.
Furthermore, all screws and fastening elements are titanium, while super-thin aerospace-grade hollow titanium alloy, originating from 3D printers, is used for many components.
The dramatic bodywork itself is shaped, unsurprisingly, with aerodynamics in mind. Bugatti claims 1800kg of downforce on the rear wing and 800kg on the front wing at around 321.8 kph.
Highlights include a “worldwide innovation” in the roof-mounted intake scoop, which is claimed to provide active aerodynamics: the surface of the scoop is smooth at low speeds but bubbles bulge out at higher speeds to reduce drag and downforce.
Bugatti claims a theoretical top speed of “well above” 500.50kph, without compromising handling. More strikingly, it claims the Bolide can do a lap of Le Mans in 3:07.1 minutes and a lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 5:23.1 minutes – barely a few seconds off the lap record posted by the Porsche 919 Evo LMP1 car. The car features safety equipment designed to meet FIA racing regulations.
Developed over the course of just eight months, the Bolide doesn’t have a price tag (yet). That’s because Bugatti hasn’t decided whether to put the “absolute pinnacle in terms of combustion engines” into production.