• Bugatti and the Bolide - Stepping Outside the Box

Having doubts that the Bugatti Bolide is a masterpiece?

With the Bolide, Bugatti virtually took the W-16, 8-liter engine and developed an ultra-light body around it. And while modern Bugattis and the term ‘ultra-light’ do not go hand in hand, the Bolide fits the description, as it tips the scales at just 1,240 kilos (2,734 pounds).

Sure, it is so easy to take things for granted these days, and simply expect such contraptions to simply happen from a brand like Bugatti. However, the truth is that, in developing the Bolide, Bugatti had to give its absolute best.

Bugatti and the Bolide - Stepping Outside the Box
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Now, inside the Bolide, the 8-liter W-16 was massaged to crank out 1,850 PS, which is about 1,825 horsepower. Add in the Bolide’s weight and you get a weight-to-power ratio of 0.67 kilos per PS, or 1.49 pounds per horsepower.

Bugatti Bolide specifications
Engine W-16
Horsepower 1,824 HP
Torque 1,364 LB-FT
Weight 2,733 lbs
0 to 60 mph 2.2 seconds

Why is this so important? Well, the Bolide – the name means large meteor, or fire ball but also race car or fast car in French – is built for the track. Which means it needs too be lightning-quick as it exits a corner and equally nippy in a straight line.

Bugatti and the Bolide - Stepping Outside the Box
- image 968542

Other facets of its nature are at play here. It needs a lot of downforce to extract as much grip from its tires as well as offer the stability and agility needed on a snake-y circuit. Obviously, there is no room for error or mediocrity. This is not just Bugatti we are talking about, but a carmaker that has its roots deeply fixated in racing.

In addition, the claims are bold with the Bolide. Bugatti says it can reach a top speed of “well-above” 500 km/h (310 mph) and get this: the Bolide is also good for a 5:23.1 lap time around the Nurburgring Nordschleife and a 3:07.1 lap time on the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans. Mind you, there is no video or documented attempt towards these milestones, but hopefully we will see some in the near future.

Bugatti and the Bolide - Stepping Outside the Box
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In the meantime, Bugatti just released a 13-minute video where it discusses the challenges and solutions it had to consider while developing the Bolide. Think of it as a mini documentary of sorts worth watching a couple of times over.

Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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