Bugatti Bolide weighs less than a Subaru BRZ and has over nine times the power
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Since Bugatti rose from the ashes for the second time in 1998, he has specialized in developing cars that are as fast and powerful as they are luxurious. And yet, where luxury is superfluous, competition is a big part of his DNA. With the construction of a two-seater just for the racetrack around the powerful 16-cylinder engine, he continued his legacy in racing.
Bugatti proudly calls the bolide - which means "a very fast car" in French - the fastest and lightest concept it has ever built. Concept is the key word here; The bolide is unique and has not yet been approved for production. It's a proof of concept that shows what a modern successor to the victorious Type 35 could look like.
Stephan Winkelmann, the boss of Bugatti, said that driving the bolide is "like riding a cannonball". Do you remember the number of 0.67 that the mysterious company floated? That is the power-to-weight ratio of the car achieved using the kilogram-per-horse-power formula used in Europe. It tips the scales dry at 2,734 pounds, and it has 1,824 horsepower. In other words, it weighs a little less than a Subaru BRZ, but has more than nine times the power.
To unlock the full cavalry, the 8.0 liter W16 engine with four turbochargers and 110 octane racing fuel must be fed. It has 1,600 horsepower (a number comparable to that of Centodieci limited edition) when burning 98 octane gasoline, which is dispensed to virtually every pump across Europe. Computer simulations indicate that the top speed of the bolide is somewhere north of 300 km / h and that it can lap the Nürburgring track in 5: 23.1.
Although the W16 is closely related to the unit that powers the Chiron, it received a number of modifications that reflect the fact that the bolide was not designed for road use. Thanks in part to four newly developed turbochargers, it develops 1,364 pound-feet of torque. The intake and exhaust systems are restricted to allow more air to pass through, and the oil system has been redesigned to accommodate the high centrifugal forces on the track.
Developed in eight months, the bolide benefits from a number of weight-loss techniques, including some not found in production cars. All screws and fasteners used in construction are made of titanium, for example. The auxiliary drive shafts are made from a mixture of carbon fiber and 3D printed titanium. Aerodynamic innovations are also part of the package. Bugatti points out that the outer skin of the air scoop mounted on the roof remains smooth at low speeds, but a so-called bubble field grows at higher speeds to reduce air resistance.
To get into the bolide, you have to sit on a threshold, put your feet in the footwell and move the rest of your body on one of the carbon fiber seats. It's a quick and easy process unless you're over 6'5 ", according to the company. While the seat is locked in place, the pedals provide nearly 6" of travel. Once inside, the rider is in front of you rectangular steering wheel and a flat screen that provides important information about the car and its surroundings. It's not a stripped-down rail vehicle, but certainly not as opulent as a Chiron. Soft, diamond-quilted leather? Not here.
Achim Anscheidt, the head of the design department at Bugatti, explained that form follows performance. His team was faced with the challenge of making the body as minimalistic as possible to keep weight in check, incorporate the necessary aerodynamic add-ons and still draw something that looks like a Bugatti. At the front, the shape of the fenders and the horseshoe-shaped grille create a subtle visual connection between the bolide and other recent additions to the company's offering such as the Divo. It's a different story in the background where X-shaped lights flank four exhaust tips. Anscheidt noted that it was a styling catchphrase that was loosely inspired by the Bell X-1, which was the first aircraft to break the sound barrier.
"For the first time we really show what the W16 engine is capable of," summarized Winkelmann.
Bugatti has still not decided whether to build the bolide. When it hits production it will no doubt be available as a multi-million dollar limited edition model. It complies with the FIA's safety requirements, so in theory it is allowed to compete, although we don't yet know which series it would participate in.
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