It’s future within the Volkswagen Group reportedly hanging by a thread, Bugatti, in what would be the most dramatic automotive send-off of all time if proven true, have unveiled a track-day only concept hypercar with more power than any of its previous models.
Based on the Chiron, but completely redesigned with styling seemingly having come from a Le Mans prototype, the Bolide, which Molsheim rates as a case study, boasts a lightweight carbon fibre monocoque, a kerb weight of 1 240 kg and an overall height of 995 mm that mirrors the iconic Type 35 from the 1920s.
Sitting 300 mm lower than the Chiron, and conforming to various FIA regulations, the one-seat Bolide utilises the same quad-turbo 8.0-litre W16 engine, but with output raised from 1 103 kW to 1 360 kW with torque increasing from 1 600 Nm to an outrageous 1 850 Nm. Track optimised from the get-go, the output, combined with the Bolide’s weight, translates to a power-to-weight ratio of 0.67 kg per PS with Bugatti claiming a top speed of over 500 km/h and in sight of the recently established 508 km/h average record by the SCC Tuatara.
Based on its own simulation, the Bolide will get from 0-100 km/h in 2.1 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 4.3 seconds, from standstill to 300 km/h in 7.3 seconds and from naught to 400 km/h in twelve seconds. The magic sprint from standstill to 500 km/h will reportedly be completed in 20.1 seconds. Bugatti also states that the Bolide would need five min 23.1 seconds to round the Nürburgring and three minutes 7.1 seconds to complete one lap of Le Mans.
The lightweight nature of the Bolide doesn’t stop at its sci-fi-like body with numerous air vents, ducts and distinctive x-shaped rear facia said to have been indirectly derived from the Bell X-1 experimental jet Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier with in 1947. In addition to it’s height, the ceramic brakes weigh 2.4 kg each, the forged magnesium rims at the front 7.4 kg and those at the rear 8.4 kg, while the front control arms are made from “aerospace grade” stainless steel with a reported strength of 1 200 newtons per square millimetre.
What’s more, the pushrods have been designed to be as thin as possible and weigh only 100 grams, while at 320 km/h, 1 800 kg of downforce is being produced at the rear wing, which is made out of titanium and weighs a mere 325 grams. According to Bugatti, the Bolide’s skin changes when driven as maximum in that a series of bubbles appear, which helps reduce drag by a claimed 10% while at the same time reducing lift force by 17%.
For now though, the Bolide remains a concept with no plans to put into production.