When car enthusiasts think track cars, Bugatti probably isn’t the first marque that comes to mind. They’re fast, sure, buy they’re also heavy. Those W16 engines move a lot of weight to achieve the speeds they do. So, what would happen if Bugatti decided to build, you know, something not as heavy as your average aircraft carrier? The answering to that question may be found in a track special called the Bolide.
The Bolide pays tribute to the Type 35 racecar that helped bring Bugatti to fame fame in the 1920s. The engine and drivetrain come from the Chiron, though it’s been improved. The 8-litre W16 now produces 1,361kW. Moving a car that’s only 1,240 kg dry, it’s projected top speed is more than 483 km/h.
The engine makes that power using four new turbos, and it deals with the extra stress with a redesigned the oil system, from the check valves down to the design of the pump. Intercooling is revised to an air-to-air system to help keep the intake charge cool.
Based on Bugatti’s simulations, the Bolide would get around the Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans in 3:07 and the Nürburgring in 5:23. For those of you keeping score, that’s faster than an LMP1 car, at least theoretically.
That kind of pace isn’t just a product of increased power. The Bolide also gets “F1-inspired” brakes, magnesium wheels and a pushrod suspension. The interior is racier too, making extensive use of carbon fibre.
The car’s got another trick: a morphing roof scoop. At slow speeds the scoop is smooth, while at high speed a field of bubbles should form and reduce aerodynamic drag by 10 per cent and a reduce lift by 17 per cent.
I know you’re wondering about the X motif on the headlights, taillights and elsewhere. Bugatti says it’s “indirectly reminiscent” of Chuck Yeager’s Bell X-1.
With all that said, at least one of these does actually exist. It’s been spied testing around a racetrack and supercar-loving YouTuber Shmee150 got to explore the Bolide in person!
If you read all of this and can’t wait to open up your wallet, I will have to stop you here. Bugatti notes that it has not decided to put the Bolide into production. Don’t expect to be showing up to your next Cars & Coffee in it. This will be an expensive track toy and as of now, only one is known to exist.