The limited-edition, track-only Bugatti Bolide uses the familiar 8.0-liter W16 engine, but writing it off as merely a rebodied Chiron would be a cruel understatement. The French company is highlighting the new monocoque it developed for the model to show some of the differences.
While nothing suggests that Bugatti will enter the Bolide in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the model’s carbon fiber monocoque is capable of withstanding such an arduous race because it was designed to the meet the same requirements that apply to LMDh cars. Starting with a blank slate allowed engineers to move the quad-turbocharged engine forward by about 2.4 inches to better integrate it into the monocoque.
Bugatti then turned its attention to what it calls one of the most difficult requirements to meet: rollover protection. LMDh regulations require a car to withstand a 7.5-metric-ton load on each A-pillar without bending more than approximately two inches. Additionally, the car fails this test if the A-pillar breaks within about four inches of the impact point. The upcoming Bolide passed this test as well as two other roll-over tests.
There’s more to safety than the ability to withstand one hell of an impact. Bugatti installed an automatic, military-grade fire extinguisher system and integrated the outer section of the headrests into the doors to facilitate the task of getting in and out of the cockpit. It also added six-point harnesses for the two passengers but it didn’t forget about comfort: a high-performance climate control system comes standard.
Running the air conditioning at full blast shouldn’t have a noticeable effect on performance, as power comes from an 8.0-liter W16 engine that’s quad-turbocharged to develop 1,578 horsepower. The Bolide weighs under 3,200 pounds and develops 6,600 pounds of downforce.
Bugatti will continue testing the Bolide in the coming months, and deliveries are scheduled to start in 2024. Production is limited to 40 units, and pricing starts at approximately €4 million (about $4.29 million at the current conversion rate). Every example is already spoken for.