This Rendering Shows the True Potential of What Bugatti Could do with the Divo
The open-top layout makes the Divo look almost suppleby Michael Fira, on
Bugatti’s bonkers track weapon, the Divo, is the Chiron’s mad brother that’s been conceived to break lap records. Sadly, Bugatti won’t chop the roof off the Divo but, if it did, you’d end up with something close to Rain Prisk’s render, a machine that’s bent on ruining your hair.
We know Bugatti builds some of the most amazing cars the world has ever seen. Since it was brought back to life under Volkswagen ownership, the company founded by Ettore Bugatti managed to put out two awe-inspiring cars: the Veyron and the Chiron. In 2018, Bugatti launched the Divo, a hypercar "built for corners" based on the Chiron but with a very different look to it. It will probably not be the last special edition spawned by the Chiron but, thus far, it’s the most ludicrous the French manufacturer put out.
A Track Day Beast with no Roof is Always Good News
Bugatti, a company once famous for building light, nimble Grand Prix racing cars as well as sumptuous limousines, is now one of the go-to manufacturers for the world’s super-rich. The company first went under in 1952, five years after founder Ettore Bugatti had died.
There were a number of attempts to revive the company, including one by prominent designer Virgil Exner who created the odd-looking Bugatti Type 101C that was unveiled at the 1965 Turin Motor Show. It was underpinned by the last chassis made part of the Bugatti Type 101 series between 1951 and 1952 but there was no cash flow to revive the one great automaker, and Exner moved on to other projects. Like the render we see here, the 101C built by Ghia was an open-top concept.
The first actual revival of Bugatti took place in the late '80s under Romano Artioli's guidance, the same man that owned Lotus and pushed for the introduction of the Elise.
In the ’Italian’ years of Bugatti, the company took the wraps off only one car: the EB110 which was presented on the day when Ettore would’ve celebrated his 110th birthday. The car was powered by a quad-turbocharged engine and was one of the fastest of the ’90s although it was pegged back by a number of flaws including the overly complicated engine.
Then, in 1998, Volkswagen bought the rights to build cars under the Bugatti name. Little over half a decade later the Veyron was put into production and immediately became the fastest production car with its 253 mph top speed that dethroned the naturally-aspirated McLaren F1.
The Veyron, with its luxurious interior, proved a hit and Bugatti kept building Veyron special editions as late as 2014.
In all, there have been almost 20 special edition Veyrons made, some of these being one-offs. Bugatti also made the Veyron Grand Sport, a Targa-style version of your usual Veyron 16.4. Only 150 of those were made and, with no roof in place, it could hit 229 mph. Here’s where the Chiron and the Divo come in.
Bugatti introduced the Chiron as the official replacement for the Veyron in 2016. Just like with the Veyron, Bugatti named the new hypercar after one of its drivers from the ’20s, Louis Chiron. While Pierre Veyron, who gave his name for the first ’German’ Bugatti, was an overall Le Mans winner in his own right, Chiron is undoubtedly the most talented racing driver to lend his name to a Bugatti - Albert Divo included. Chiron was one of the fastest around the city circuit in Monaco in the ’30s, before the onslaught of the Silver Arrows that is, but his sole top-level victory came in 1934 in the French Grand Prix. That day, he outmuscled even the Alfa Romeos run by Enzo Ferrari himself.
The Chiron is a worthy car of the ’Chiron’ name, more so than the 1999 concept. It boasts an 8.0-liter, quad-turbocharged, W-16 engine that’s capable of 1,479 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque.
The car's top speed is electronically limited to 261 mph, or between 233 and 236 mph without the specific key, for safety reasons related to excessive tire wear at those immense speeds.
With this being said, we don’t actually know how fast the Chiron can go and Bugatti isn’t interested to find out although some say it can reach 290 mph if a tire manufacturer is willing to give it the boots to match.
In 2016, Bugatti’s Chief of Marketing told the press that Bugatti isn’t looking into the potential of a Chiron Roadster. The Chiron with its 4,400-pound dry weight (down by 40 pounds in the case of the Chiron Sport) would most likely be stiff enough to sustain the lack of a fixed roof and, apparently, the billionaires of the world managed to make the decision-makers within Bugatti change their minds.
Late last year, after announcing the $5.8 million Divo, Bugatti announced its intentions to create more special editions on the Chiron’s platform, one of which would be, indeed, lacking a roof. There will also be a Super Sports version, a nod to both the Veyron and the EB110, as well as a ’Superlight’ model, said to be even lighter and stiffer than the Divo.
This is an insane idea to entertain since the Divo, with its Vision Gran Turismo-inspired wings, diffusers, splitters, and other aerodynamic appendages is already a machine that boggles belief. It might as well be a GTA 5 car ported in real life and nobody would question its origins.
As I said, the Divo is the track-focused sibling of the Chiron and, despite being twice as expensive as the Chiron, all 40 examples slated for production were sold within the first 24 hours that they were offered to hand-picked Chiron owners.
What’s clear is that Rain Prisk’s vision of an open-top iteration won’t materialize, but we can dream, right? The car’s quarter panel air vents blend nicely with the two roll hoops incorporated in the rear deck and, overall, it makes the car look a lot more svelte, something that the Grand Sport was not in comparison to the fixed-head Veyron.
We think a Divo Speedster won’t happen because the lack of a roof would probably mess with the aerodynamics of the car. After all, the coupe generates 1,005 pounds of downforce at top speed, 198 pounds more than the Chiron. However, the latter is quicker in a quarter-mile drag race due to having no fixed wings and a decidedly smaller splitter and diffuser. Still, the Divo reaches 62 mph as fast as the Chrion, 2.4, seconds but the Divo has a higher lateral acceleration (1.6 g vs. 1.5 g in the Chiron). Also, there’s no special key to access the 261 mph top speed of the usual Chiron because Bugatti reckoned top speed isn’t essential in a track car.
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.