The Bugatti Bolide, a limited-edition track-only marvel, may share its 8.0-liter W16 engine with its iconic Chiron sibling, but dismissing it as a mere Chiron with a new body would be a grave injustice. Bugatti’s latest offering showcases a remarkable feat of engineering, primarily underscored by its cutting-edge monocoque design.
This French masterpiece beckons us to look beneath the surface, revealing a carbon fiber monocoque that stands as a testament to precision and innovation. While Bugatti’s intentions to enter the Bolide into the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans race remain unconfirmed, the monocoque’s remarkable capabilities hint at its readiness to meet the rigorous standards set for LMDh (Le Mans Daytona hybrid) racing cars.
Starting with a clean slate allowed Bugatti’s engineers to make significant advancements. They ingeniously shifted the quad-turbocharged engine forward by approximately 2.4 inches, seamlessly integrating it into the monocoque structure. However, the most demanding challenge was the mandate for rollover protection—a critical requirement in LMDh regulations. These regulations stipulate that a car must withstand a crushing 7.5-metric-ton load on each A-pillar without bending beyond a mere two inches. Moreover, any A-pillar fracture within four inches of the impact point spells failure. Astonishingly, the forthcoming Bolide not only passed this formidable test but also triumphed in two additional rollover assessments, a testament to Bugatti’s unwavering commitment to safety.
Safety, of course, extends beyond resilience in the face of adversity. Bugatti thoughtfully incorporated an automatic, military-grade fire extinguisher system and seamlessly integrated the outer sections of the headrests into the doors to enhance the ease of entering and exiting the cockpit. Comfort, too, is a consideration, with the inclusion of six-point harnesses for both passengers and a high-performance climate control system as standard features.
Remarkably, the Bolide’s performance remains uncompromised even when the air conditioning is running at full throttle. Beneath the hood roars an 8.0-liter W16 engine, quad-turbocharged to generate an astonishing 1,578 horsepower. This automotive marvel weighs just under 3,200 pounds and generates an astounding 6,600 pounds of downforce, solidifying its status as a true racing beast.
Bugatti’s commitment to excellence doesn’t end with the vehicle’s engineering marvels. The company plans to rigorously test the Bolide in the coming months, with deliveries slated to commence in 2024. However, the exclusivity of this offering cannot be overstated, as production is strictly limited to a mere 40 units, each commanding a starting price of approximately €4 million (about $4.29 million at current conversion rates). Astonishingly, every unit has already found its fortunate owner.