THE BUGATTI BOLIDE IS THE MOST EXTREME HYPER SPORTS CAR OF MODERN TIMES
Incomparably fast, light and extreme. The Bugatti Bolide unveiled in October 2020 once again pushes the boundaries of what is physically possible. Never before has Bugatti designed such an uncompromising vehicle, focused solely on the race track.
Bugatti’s design ethos ‘Form follows performance’ for the Bugatti Bolide, the new hyper sports car that answers one of the great ‘what if?’ questions. What if Bugatti built a radically light vehicle around its iconic 8.0-litre W16 engine without any limitation as regards the weight-to-power ratio. The result is the most extreme, uncompromising, fastest and lightest vehicle concept in Bugatti’s modern era, with Molsheim’s famed W16 engine producing 1,850PS˚ and delivering performance akin to a Formula 1 car. Its top speed is well above 500 km/h without any compromises in maximum handling and maximum agility.
The selection of materials and production processes used with the Bolide represent a bold step forward for what is currently feasible and what will be possible in the future in hyper sports car design. A worldwide innovation is the morphable outer skin of the intake scoop on the roof, which provides active airflow optimisation. If the vehicle is driven at a slow speed, the surface of the scoop remains smooth. In contrast, a field of bubbles bulges out when driven at fast speeds. This reduces the aerodynamic drag of the scoop by 10 percent and ensures a 17 percent reduction in lift forces. The dramatic effect of the overall proportions is made clear with an overall height of only 995 millimetres – the same as an historic Bugatti Type 35.
The appearance of the Bugatti Bolide invokes the so-called X-planes of aviation history and shows a clear X signature from every perspective. This also heralds back to Bugatti’s track-bred heritage, with the X signature present on the front of the Bolide representing the taped ‘X’ that historic racing cars would use to cover headlights, preventing the spread of glass in the event of an accident. But these themes are consistent and contribute towards the overall dynamics and performance of the Bolide, which is unrivalled.
The Bugatti team developed a light monocoque made of carbon around the drive. The integral front end joined to it is also made of high-strength carbon fibres, as are the fully aerodynamically effective underbody and the monocoque itself. The single-fibre tensile strength of the fibres used is 6,750 newtons per square millimetre, the single-fibre stiffness is 350,000 newtons per square millimetre. These represent figures that are only reached in the aerospace industry.
Instead of water-to-air intercooling, the Bugatti Bolide has air-to-air intercooling with water pre-cooling for optimal performance on the racetrack. The two water coolers, which are arranged in front of the front axle, provide a more effective radiator system in terms of flow than is customary even in Formula 1. Newly developed and hybrid carbon titanium turbofan radial compressors ventilate and cool the high-performance ceramic racing brake system.
Driving the Bolide is like riding on a cannonball!
The Bolide is unique in terms of its technical elements, too: Bugatti has created a radically light vehicle around the iconic 8.0-litre W16 engine with an output of 1,850 PS and 1,850 newton-metres of torque. The monocoque chassis is made of light, high-strength carbon fibre, while all screw and connecting components are made of titanium. What is more, hollow, thin-walled functional components made of an aerospace titanium alloy are used at numerous points. In the simulation, the Bolide almost reaches Formula 1 figures with a top speed of well over 500 km/h – though without sacrificing maximum handling and agility. The Bolide takes 3:07.1 minutes to complete a lap of Le Mans and 5:23.1 minutes to get round the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Most recently the Bugatti Bolide was officially voted the most beautiful and aesthetic hyper sports car in the world.
“We are extraordinarily proud that the Festival Automobile International judges were as enthusiastic about the design of the Bugatti Bolide as Bugatti fans all around the world. The experiment to demonstrate the brute force of our W16 engine in a lightweight and high-performance car has resulted in a driving experience akin to riding on a cannonball. My thanks goes to the entire Bugatti team, who have once again demonstrated with this incredible car the full extent of their creativity and technological expertise,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “Our focus has always been on innovation and aesthetics from the very beginning. Receiving this award is an affirmation of our work.”