Bugatti Bolide enters final testing phase

By automotive-mag.com 3 Min Read

Before the Bugatti Bolide track car starts production, the development team is getting input from a very experienced driver.

Andy Wallace has won the triple crown of endurance racing, with victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Daytona, and 12 Hours of Sebring. He’s also been a Bugatti test driver and brand ambassador since 2011, breaking the 300 mph barrier in a Chiron Super Sport 300+ in 2019. So you could say his opinion carries some weight.

“Every Bugatti automobile is, in its own way, unique,” Wallace said in a statement, “but the Bolide is very special to me; it is simply incomparable—a true Bugatti masterpiece that has taken me back to the most exciting emotions and sensations I experienced in my racing life.”

Unveiled in 2020, the Bolide is a track-only special unbound by both racing and road-car regulations. It uses the quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W-16, a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, and all-wheel-drive system from the Chiron. But the engine is tuned to run on 110-octane race fuel, which bumps output to 1,824 hp, up from 1,577 hp on 98-octane fuel.

Andy Wallace tests the Bugatti Bolide

The Bolide also features the biggest carbon-carbon brake system yet devised by Brembo. Based on technology used in Formula 1 cars and endurance racers, the brake rotors are made from carbon-fiber-reinforced carbon, a highly heat-resistant material similar to what was used for the Space Shuttle’s heat shield.

Aerodynamic elements—including a roof scoop inspired by the humble golf ball—minimize aerodynamic drag while creating massive downforce. Bugatti has said the front and rear wings can generate 1,764 pounds and 3,968 pounds of downforce, respectively, at 200 mph.

The dry weight of the Bolide is a little under 3,200 pounds, but its immense power and track-tuned chassis elements should yield performance akin to top-level race cars, according to Bugatti. The automaker said in 2021 that simulations indicated the Bolide could beat the lap record at Le Mans’ Circuit de la Sarthe.

Bugatti will build 40 examples, all of which have already sold out despite a price of around $4 million. Deliveries are scheduled to start later this year. The Bolide and the Mistral roadster are the last production cars to use Bugatti’s W-16 engine. However, a newly developed V-16 will debut as part of a hybrid powertrain in the Chiron successor later this year.

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