If there’s one thing we’ve always wanted from Bugatti within the Automobili Eleganza team, it is to have a hardcore, track-focused car.  With the Chiron Sport and Chiron Pur Sport, the french manufacturer offered a more involving driving experience, similar to a Porsche GT3 compared to a standard 911 Carrera. What was missing was a pure track-only car, like Ferrari’s XX series, or the Aston Martin Vulcan, which was unveiled today. It’s called the Bugatti Bolide, and hold on to your seats, because you’re about to have your whole automotive referential scattered. Text: Mickael B. © Photos: Bugatti ©

The Bugatti Bolide’s teasers: 0,67 and a question, what if?

Bugatti teased their digital Covid-19 reveal of their new car with two things. First, a number: 0,67. Then, a statement, rightfully introduced by Stephan Winkelmann as the brief of this project: what if… What if the french manufacturer built something free from any restrictions? Free from weight constraints and emissions regulations, free from homologation constraints. Is it a coincidence this reveal comes out only a few days after Shelby Supercars beat the top speed record with their Tuatara? I don’t think so, and this is the perfect opportunity for Bugatti to set things straight again.

With the Bolide, Bugatti just entered a whole new dimension

If you thought that the Bugatti Veyron changed things 14 years ago when it came out, think again. The Chiron might have only been an evolution of the Veyron, and although it continued to push high performance to new levels, it was never the breakthrough the Veyron was, compared to its competitors. In my engineer mind, there was nothing we hadn’t already seen. Things got better last year with the Supersport 300+, which showed again the french manufacturer’s supremacy, but it took less than a year to the competition to catch up. WIth this Bugatti Bolide though, I believe they might just have entered a whole new dimension. Again.

2020 Bugatti Bolide

The Bugatti Bolide’s number might make you lose your mind

Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, because we are about to start a wild ride of numbers. Numbers that will seem unrealistic and might make you lose your mind. Ready? You’re already familiar with the first one: 0,67 which is power-to-weight and torque-to-weight ratio. All this using the well-known 8 liter quad-turbo W16, pulling 1850 horsepower and 1850 Nm of torque on 110 octane while the car weighs just 1240 kilograms. Quite a diet from the almost 2 tons base Chiron. To put so much power to the ground, Bugatti chose to keep the four-wheel drive transmission and seven-speed dual clutch transmission combined with specifically designed Michelin slick tyres of 340 mm at the front, and 400 mm (!) at the back.

2020 Bugatti Bolide

The Bugatti Bolide makes the Veyron look like a horse carriage

Outcome of all this madness? 2,17 seconds to 100 km/h (62 mph). The Bugatti Bolide takes the same time to double its speed, with 2,19 additional seconds to get to 200 km/h (124 mph). Wait another 3,01 seconds and you’ll be doing 300 km/h (186 mph). That’s 0 to 300 km/h in 7,37 seconds, an acceleration which is twice what a Veyron could pull out. And I wouldn’t qualify a Bugatti Veyron as being a slow car. Yet the Bolide makes it look like a horse carriage. Something from another century. Continue with your right foot on the floor and you’ll be knocking 400 km/h (248 mph) from standstill in 12,08 seconds, and 500 km/h (310 mph) in 20,16 seconds. 

2020 Bugatti Bolide

From 500 km/h to standstill you’ll need 934 meters

Top speed? No figures. Yet. I hope Bugatti returns to it because I have a feeling this car could go for the Tuatara’s record. If you’re scared that it won’t stop, Bugatti confirms that the Bolide can brake just as well as it accelerates, thanks to huge 380mm discs. The 0-400-0 km/h is done in 24,64 seconds, while the 0-500-0 km/h gets destroyed in 33,62 seconds. Interestingly though, that means the braking distance from 500 km/h to standstill is 934 meters. Keeping one kilometer security distance at that speed seems reasonable, and you’ll need 700 meters while traveling at 400 km/h.

2020 Bugatti Bolide

The Bugatti Bolide will pull 2,8 lateral G. Better have your stomach in place

The Bugatti Bolide has not been designed exclusively for straight line performance, but with the target to obliterate lap times, just like its inspiration, the Type 35, which shares the same height. Aerodynamics and design have been reworked to have forms follow performance, providing 2,6 tons of combined downforce between front and back at 320 km/h (200 mph). Cornering performance is a big point and you’d better have your stomach well in place, as the Bolide can throw 2,8 G of maximum lateral acceleration. Get ready to be torn away in the specific lowered driving position compared to the Chiron.

2020 Bugatti Bolide

Results? The Bugatti Bolide is a record-breaking lap machine around any racetrack

Results? 3 minutes 07 seconds at Le Mans, 7 seconds faster than the fastest LMP1 car. On the Nordschleife it “only” come second, 4 seconds behind the record lap time of the Porsche 919 Evo. And 5 minutes 23 seconds on the Green Hell isn’t exactly slow. It’s 1 minute and 24 seconds faster than the Pagani Zonda R. Just that. It’s a record-breaking lap machine, whatever the racetrack their lucky owners will put it on. There aren’t any price tag nor information on how many of these Bugatti Bolide will be built, yet.

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