Love It or Leave It - The 2019 Bugatti Divo
When Bugatti launched the Veyron back in 2005, it was difficult to imagine a more ridiculous supercar. But the Veyron became much more ridiculous over the years and its successor, the Chiron, added more to that status. But the Chiron lacks a very important feat; it has yet to set a new world speed record for production cars. Whether this will change or not remains a mystery, but Bugatti just moved into a rather surprising direction with the supercar. The French firm redesigned the shell, added more downforce, and renamed it the Divo.
Named after a racing driver from the past, the Divo is essentially a more track-focused version of the Chiron. This is a big thing actually, as both the Veyron and the Chiron are far from agile on the race course. But the Divo retains the luxurious status of the Chiron and, more importantly, it revives Bugatti’s coachbuilding program. How do we like it? Let’s find out below.
From tip to tail, the Bugatti Divo is a massively impressive machine. The numbers and specs on this thing are utterly otherworldly - the power, the speed, the price tag… I could write a book on just how ridiculous this thing really is. But that’s to be expected, right?
As an evolution of the Chiron and the successor to the Veyron, the Divo is supposed to be outrageous. That said, I think Bugatti went the wrong direction with this one.
Let me explain. I understand what Bug’s trying to do here - up the aero ante, cut some weight, name it after a racing driver, and charge a premium. Bam - easy money.
So it makes sense, that much is for sure, and few folks will criticize a sharper, more track-focused iteration of the performance superstar. Regardless, I feel like the Divo has lost the spirit of its predecessor. When it first hit the scene in 2005, the Veyron wowed the car world with its absurd quad-turbo W-16 engine, 987 horsepower, and 250+ mph top speed. But on top of all this, the Veyron wrapped its passengers in a cocoon of top-shelf comfort. This wasn’t some high-strung racing machine slightly detuned for the road. Rather, it was a true luxury ride infused with the power of the gods.
And that’s why I think the Divo is headed in the wrong direction. Rather than cutting weight and adding aero, I would have preferred it if Bugatti upped the opulence, making the Chiron even more comfortable and over the top inside the cabin. I would have preferred more power and top speed, once again just for the sake of bragging rights.
I would have preferred more elegance, not more downforce.
Am I glad the Divo exists? Absolutely. But I’m still skeptical any owner will actually put it through its paces on the track. At its heart, this is still an ultra-premium road car.
Jonathan couldn’t have said it better. I’m a fan of everything the Divo stands for, but I also think that Bugatti may have gotten ahead of itself in launching the Divo so soon after the Chiron. That’s my issue with Bugatti. I know that it built a performance machine for the ages in the Divo. That much is clear. This is really not about the Divo as much as it is about Bugatti.
I don’t think it was smart for Bugatti to launch the Divo because it has the potential to completely overshadow the Chiron. I know the purpose of both models is different, but it’s hard to look at the Chiron the same way when there’s a lighter and hotter version on the premises.
It’s like having a crush on this really hot girl, only to find out that she has an even hotter sister.
Bugatti could’ve waited a few more years before launching the Divo. Nobody would really care because the Chiron is that special. Nobody was even pressuring Bugatti to come up with a tighter, lighter, and more dynamic version of the Chiron. We were all surprised, maybe even shocked, when all those teasers started dropping. We didn’t know what it was, then, and we certainly wouldn’t have cared if Bugatti left the Divo to develop on the sidelines for a few more years. The Chiron had that much equity.
Now it’s a different story, or at least for me, it is. The Divo is the new crown jewel in Bugatti’s mantle. It certainly deserves that spot. But if it got there at the cost of shoving the Chiron in the background, does that still make it a good move on Bugatti’s part? Not for me.
If you want to put me in a difficult spot as a journalist, all you need to do is ask me to put together an "X reasons to love the Veyron/Chiron" review. I’m not kidding, I’m not a fan of these cars, and I see no reason to like them. Sure, I’d jump in the passenger seat to be driven up to 250 mph, but other than that, I find them useless, ugly, and way too heavy.
My biggest gripe with the Veyron, and now the Chiron, is that they weigh significantly more than a proper supercar should. This thing tips the scales at a whopping 4,400 pounds. So, unlike its competitors, it fails when it comes to track agility.
Bugatti tried to fix just that with the Divo by adding more downforce and cutting down on the car's weight, but I can't say the French were successful.
Sure, the Divo generates a whole lot of downforce, but it’s not significantly lighter than the Chiron. It still tips the scales at around 4,300 pounds, which makes it as heavy as a full-size sedan like the BMW 7 Series.
Yes, I appreciate Bugatti’s intention, and I’m willing to give the French a hand for trying, but every other supercar out there with more than 1,000 horsepower weighs less than 3,500 pounds. I know electronics and luxury items are heavy, but this is ridiculous.
Okay, I started my blurb with the bad, but the Divo is not awful. I actually like its exterior design, and I’m glad to see Bugatti step away from the potato-on-wheels styling that it created with the Veyron in 2005. The Divo looks like a proper exotic car, and I hope Bugatti will use this design language in the future as well.
What, for the love of god, should I hate about a $5.8 million car? The price? Honestly, I don’t hate that the Bugatti Divo costs this much. This is Bugatti we are talking about. No errors, no improvisation, no cutting corners, no saving. This is perfection on wheels attainable only by those who didn’t make any mistakes in their lives and appreciate all that Bugatti represents. However, I will try to be an internet warrior and nitpick stuff not to like.
First off - the looks!
While it does scream Bugatti, I feel that the company slightly “underkilled it” (well, if there is a word like overkill, let there be an underkill as well) in the sophistication department. I don’t find it as refined looking as I’d like it to be. Somehow, that Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo concept looked more in the line of Bugatti despite all the added aero pieces.
For the Divo (there is a lot of history in its name which is awesome), Bugatti wanted to create the ultimate car, but I find it lacking the drama, stature, and poise such a car should have.
Again, take all of this with a grain of salt as I did not actually see the Divo in person. I witnessed before that Bugatti cars in photographs and in person leave such a different impression. It’s kind of disturbing, really. Seeing a Bugatti is like witnessing Mona Lisa talking to you in the Louvre. An acid trip, obviously. The aftermath is much the same. After witnessing a Bugatti, you become slightly depressed when you get back in your average Camry, M5, 488, or whatever.
So, while I am trying to nitpick stuff not to like about the Bugatti, maybe unintentionally lying to you in the process, I actually did find one thing to be concerned about - the interior. See, it’s not that I don’t like it. I mean it is the Chiron interior - possibly the best in the business, but that is just it. The ultimate Bugatti received an interior that is much the same as in the Chiron. I would like it to be somehow different, not only it its color choice. Bugatti really did all it can to produce as much downforce by reinventing the exterior without actually destroying it with numerous spoilers and what not. I feel like the company should have reinvented some pieces inside as well. But, hey, who am I to contradict Stephan Wilkenmann, Bugatti CEO, who sold all 40 units of the Divo even before the car was unveiled.
As I feel that Bugatti somehow should have done more to the interior, I am stumped that they did not do anything to the engine and the drivetrain.
I am not talking about a power increase, because I would be mad to propose, I don’t know, 1,600 horsepower instead of 1,500 horsepower. Ludicrous. So, what then… A better exhaust tone (I feel this may be possible)? That’s the only thing I could think of.
In the end, I may let my mind wander and think hard about what to like and what not to like about the Divo, but I would just be nitpicking something that is already perfect.
You know what. Don’t dislike anything. It’s a freaking Bugatti. Like it. That’s the only thing you can do with it after all.
When I first saw the car, I had conflicting thoughts. While I loved the Bugatti Divo and even went WOW, I was a little confused, skeptical, and surprised. What is Bugatti trying to pull here? They are not a mainstream brand to launch cars in quick succession. We lovers were still in awe of the Chiron, and before the hangover could die down, BAM! – the Divo was at our disposal. Honestly, I still don’t know how I feel about the Divo; I love her, but I wouldn’t marry her. It’s complicated.
The car may have jacked up its muscles and gotten more flexible, but it’s obese. Even though Bugatti tried to make this the Chiron’s track-spec car, the roots indicate otherwise. Instead of making it a car for the track, Bugatti could have attempted to make it a better road car; with ultra luxurious interiors, and everything, like Jonathan said. Yes, it would kill the whole purpose of a ‘fast’ car, but who would mind a hybrid (pun intended).
From making a car with track-like specs for a street car, Bugatti did a 180-degree turn and is now creating a track car out of a car that was made for the streets, inspired by track cars. The Divo is one complicated machine!
Despite all my rants, the Divo is one smart car, and I’d go to the extent of saying that it’s perhaps the best-looking Bugatti to date. But if I had the equivalent moolah, I’d instead go for a Chiron and a Koenigsegg Regera. For a car that costs upward of $5 million, the Divo does not justify its price tag.
Read our full review on the 2019 Bugatti Divo.
Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron.
Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron Sport.
Read our full review on the 2016 Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo.
Read more Bugatti news.