The Bugatti Bolide is proof that the company can build lightweight supercars

We’ve been hearing all sorts of rumors about Bugatti recently, including that it’s working on a new supercar and that it could be sold to Rimac. News about the new hypercar was also unclear. Some claimed it will be all-electric, while others forwarded the idea that it will be just another Chiron-based thing. Well, the new supercar is here, and it’s neither of them. It’s called Bolide, and it’s actually a brand-new idea. It’s a track-only vehicle with a new carbon monocoque and a brand-new design, but how extreme is it? Let’s find out!

The Bugatti Bolide is not just another Chiron

The Bugatti Bolide is a Lightweight, Ludicrous, 1,800+ Horsepower Track Weapon Exterior
- image 944572
Granted, Bugatti has been milking the Chiron for so long that we are tempted to believe we won't see a new design until this supercar goes out of production. But the Bolide is actually a brand-new car.

Sure, we can still see some Chiron in its exterior design, but it’s more than just a revised version like the La Voiture Noire, Divo, and Centodieci are. Bugatti designed a new carbon-fiber monocoque for this car, and the outer shell is significantly different too.

A track-only supercar, the Bolide is devoid of most common features you can find on the Chiron. The horseshoe grille is just an opening with a small badge (there’s no mesh grille), while the standard headlamps have been replaced with X-shaped LED lights. That’s a nod to the early days of racing when drivers used to cover the headlamps with tape. We can also see massive outlets carved into the front hood and a gigantic scoop atop the roof.

The Bugatti Bolide is a Lightweight, Ludicrous, 1,800+ Horsepower Track Weapon Exterior
- image 944573

The profile is decidedly more extreme than the Chiron. There are no standard body panels to talk about.

Nearly every surface is carved to serve aerodynamics, and both the side skirts and the rear fenders incorporate massive scoops.

The engine hood sports a big central fin that reminds of Le Mans-spec prototype race cars. The wheels also feature full covers for improved aerodynamics.

The Bugatti Bolide is a Lightweight, Ludicrous, 1,800+ Horsepower Track Weapon Exterior
- image 944571

The rear of the Bolide is as radical as they get. The fascia is basically a simple X-shaped element with the upper arms forming the decklid and the lower arms embracing the big diffuser. All four arms flow into a small and square center section that houses four massive exhaust pipes. The rear fascia’s open design doesn’t offer a view of the drivetrain as it happens with most race cars, but it reveals the rear tires’ extreme width. These are a whopping 15.7 inches wide, while the front wheels are 13.4 inches wide, around 20 percent more than the Chiron. The Bolide’s rear fascia also includes a large wing with a double center section. The diffuser is impressively tall and includes five vertical fins.

The Bugatti Bolide is a Lightweight, Ludicrous, 1,800+ Horsepower Track Weapon Exterior
- image 944574
The intake scoop on the roof is one of the Bolide's most special features. Its surface remains smooth when the Bolide is driven at low speed, but it spawns a field of bubbles when the car gains speed.

This "morphable" surface reduces the scoop’s aerodynamic drag by 10 percent and lift forces by 17 percent. The exterior generates 3,968 pounds of downforce at the rear wing and 1,763 pounds of downforce at the front splitter at 199 mph.

The Bolide is also much lower than the Chiron. At only 39.1 inches tall, the Bolide is 11.8 inches flatter than Bugatti’s road-going supercar. To get a better idea of how flat this hypercar is, a regular Toyota Supra is 51 inches tall.

The Bugatti Bolide boasts a carbon and Alcantara cockpit

The Bugatti Bolide is a Lightweight, Ludicrous, 1,800+ Horsepower Track Weapon Interior
- image 944580

The Bolide’s interior is also radically different from the Chiron. Not only has the layout has been simplified, but the Bolide is also devoid of almost all comfort features.

There's no leather, no wood trim, no analog clocks, and not a single piece of metal trim.

The steering wheel, the door panels, the center tunnel, and the seats are all made from carbon-fiber. The front of the dashboard and central sections of the door panels are covered in Alcantara, as are the race-spec steering wheel’s grip areas. The center stack is just a small element with a handful of buttons and switches, while the regular instrument cluster was replaced by a small displace behind the steering wheel.

The Bugatti Bolide is a Lightweight, Ludicrous, 1,800+ Horsepower Track Weapon Interior
- image 944579

The Bolide also features pull loops instead of door handles, and the bucket seats are fitted with six-point harness systems, as required by the FIA. Speaking of FIA safety requirements, the hypercar is also fitted with an automatic fire extinguishing system and pressure refueling with a fuel bladder. There isn’t much else to talk about here. If you’re a fan of lush Bugatti interiors, the Bolide is entirely different. That’s mostly because Bugatti focused on shedding as much weight as possible and obtaining that race-spec look that’s popular on track-only supercars.

The Bugatti Bolide is the most powerful Bugatti yet!

The Bugatti Bolide is a Lightweight, Ludicrous, 1,800+ Horsepower Track Weapon Exterior
- image 944581
Not surprisingly, the Bolide packs Bugatti's ubiquitous 8.0-liter W-16 under the hood.

Although shared with the Chiron, the quad-turbo engine features many upgrades, starting with dethrottled intake and exhaust system for improved response and newly developed turbochargers for increased boost pressure and power at higher engine speeds. It also features an optimized oil circuit, oil pressure, check valves, baffles, oil tanks, oil reservoirs, and pump design of the dry-sump lubrication. Bugatti also replaced the Chiron’s water-to-air intercooling with a new air-to-air system with water pre-cooling for improved race track performance.

As a result of these changes, the 8.0-liter W-16 engine cranks out 1,824 horsepower. That's a notable increase of 345 horsepower over the regular Chiron and 246 horses over the Centodieci and Chiron Super Sport 300+.

In short, the Bolide is the most powerful Bugatti built to date. However, this rating is achievable with 110-octane racing fuel. When fed 98-octane gasoline, the Bolide is rated at 1,578 horsepower, just like the Centodieci. Torque is rated at 1,364 pound-feet, a 184-pound-foot increase over the Chiron and Centodieci, but Bugatti doesn’t mention if this figure is available when using racing fuel or regular fuel. It’s probably for 110-octane fuel, which basically means that on regular gasoline, the Bolide is on par with the Centodieci.

The Bugatti Bolide is a Lightweight, Ludicrous, 1,800+ Horsepower Track Weapon Exterior
- image 944600

But the really big news here is that the Bolide is really light.

Tipping the scales at 2,733 pounds, the Bolide is a whopping 1,623 pounds lighter than the Centodieci and 1,667 pounds lighter than the regular Chiron.

It’s basically the lightest modern Bugatti and proof that the French automaker is capable of designing an authentic lightweight racer. However, this weight specification is "based on the theoretically possible dry weight," so it’s far from official.

The lightweight design also makes the Bolide the Bugatti with the best power-to-weight ratio. Performance figures aren’t available, but this supercar should be at least two tenths quicker than the regular Chiron and hit 60 mph from a standing start in around 2.4 seconds. On the other hand, top speed likely falls below 250 mph due to its aggressive aero package.

The Bugatti Bolide is a Lightweight, Ludicrous, 1,800+ Horsepower Track Weapon Exterior
- image 944582

Bugatti claims that the Bolide laps the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 5:23.1 seconds. That’s only 4.4 seconds slower than the Porsche 919 Hybrid EVO race car, but this lap time is "based on simulations," so there’s no real lap to back it up. The same goes for the company’s claim to a 3:07.1-minute lap on the Le Mans circuit. Such a lap time would set a new record, as it’s 10 seconds quicker than the lap set by the Audi R15 TDI Plus in 2010, but it’s not a real benchmark.

Under the Bolide’s shell lies a new carbon-fiber monocoque that’s stiffer and stronger than before. The hypercar also features a high-performance braking system with carbon-titanium turbofans used for cooling.

How many will be built and much will it cost?

The Bugatti Bolide is a Lightweight, Ludicrous, 1,800+ Horsepower Track Weapon Exterior
- image 944588

Bugatti has yet to release such information, but it’s pretty obvious that the Bolide will be an exclusive car. Some speculate that it’s just a one-off, but the French firm could build a handful of units for loyal customers. The Bolide will probably cost in excess of $10 million.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
About the author

Related Articles

This In-Depth Analysis of the Bugatti Bolide’s Aerodynamics Will Enlighten You

You Can Now Drag Race The Bugatti Bolide in CSR Racing 2

2020 Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+

2020 Bugatti Centodieci

2018 Bugatti Chiron

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: