Bugatti makes fast cars. And its fastest yet – the Bolide – was unveiled earlier this week, with a name that’s French slang for “a very fast car”. As the French car-maker’s choice of name suggests, the Bolide isn’t about frills. It’s about speed. The Bolide can reach a top speed of nearly 500 km/h.
Developed over 8 months, the Bolide is the answer to a question the company has long pondered: what if it built a track-focused hyper sports car? According to Bugatti, the only luxury to be found inside the Bolide is that it has two seats. The one-off Bolide, painted in a classic French racing blue, more closely resembles a Le Mans endurance racer than it does a traditional sports car. The driver’s seat, for one, is slung low to keep the car’s centre of gravity as close to the tarmac as possible.
While the Bolide’s performance hinges on Bugatti’s signature 8.0 litre W16 engine, it’s achieved a remarkable weight-to-power ratio – the key to its speed – due to its ability to shed pounds. The car’s screws are titanium and its windows are a lightweight polycarbonate. Even 3D printed aerospace titanium alloy is used for other parts that require stiffness without adding pounds. As a result, the lightweight Bolide tips the scales at just over 2,700 lbs. That balance of weight and power – 1,825 hp from the W16 – has led Bugatti to estimate that the Bolide could drive the iconic Le Mans’ Circuit de la Sarthe faster than any other car in history.
Stephan Winkelman, president of Bugatti, has described driving the Bolide as “like riding on a cannonball”. While it remains unclear if the Bolide, currently a one-off, will ever be put into production, it’s already made quite the splash.
And here we were thinking the Chiron Pur Sport was the ultimate Bugatti.