- bugatti has announced it will produce the bolide, first introduced as an 1825-hp concept in december 2020.
- these images show that it will look just about as outrageous as the concept, at least on the outside (interior details and images have not yet been released).
- horsepower is down a bit for the production model but the w-16 still makes a respectable 1578 hp, the same as bugatti's centodieci and chiron super sport.
you can color us unsurprised that bugatti has just confirmed it will be producing a production version of last year's bolide concept. it was hard to imagine that the hypercar maker's customer base of speed-seeking billionaires would not demand the right to buy their own example of the outrageous 1825-hp track-only one-off, albeit in what is set to be modestly downtuned form.
bugatti has announced at the quail motorsport gathering that it will be producing no more than 40 of the production bolide, set to cost the equivalent of about $4.8 million. by our reckoning, that makes the bolide the most expensive track special so far, considerably more than it would cost for a couple of seasons as a gentleman driver in a top-flight gt3 championship. but that’s not the point, of course; this is a car designed for those with the financial means to scratch any automotive itch.
according to the official images, the production bolide is set to keep most of the outrageous aero-sculpted design of the concept, notably a skeletal front end that has been built around a carbon-fiber version of bugatti's trademark horseshoe-shaped radiator grille. it isn't just a stripped-back chiron; it's built around a carbon-fiber monocoque that is clearly lower and smaller than that of its roadgoing sister. bugatti hasn't released any detail views of the bolide's interior yet.
the rear view is dominated by both a substantial dual-element wing and a quartet of exhaust pipes, these between what look to be lotus evija–style venturi tunnels and above a huge diffuser. there is also an intake periscope mounted to the cockpit roof together with an extended in-line wing element that runs over the engine cover. bugatti hasn’t released any claimed aerodynamic downforce figures, but the car seems certain to produce substantial negative lift.
power comes from bugatti’s long-serving quad-turbocharged w-16 engine, a developed version of the powerplant that has been used in all the company’s modern era products since the veyron launched in 2005. in the original "experimental vehicle" concept, this ran on 110-octane race fuel and was claimed to be capable of producing up to 1825 horsepower. for the production bolide, the company has opted to keep the engine tune compatible with commercially available premium gasoline, restricting output to a more modest 1578 horsepower, the same as in the chiron super sport and centodieci. this is accompanied by 1180 pound-feet of torque, available from just 2250 rpm.
while bugatti hasn’t confirmed what transmission the production bolide will use, the concept was built around the all-wheel-drive system of the company's roadgoing cars, featuring a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. bugatti says the finished car will have a curb weight of 3200 pounds, svelte by the company's modern standards, giving a power-to-weight ratio superior to that of any earlier bugatti except the concept version. the bolide's structure is being designed to deliver protection equivalent to fia safety standards and will include an automatic fire extinguisher system, a bladder fuel tank, and six-point safety harnesses.
as with similar programs, including the lamborghini scv12 essenza and ferrari fxx, bugatti says it is planning to offer buyers exclusive track days to experience the bolide in conjunction with fellow owners, and without any of those vulgar gt porsches. we still think that a race series would be more fun, though.
one thing conspicuously missing from the latest release is any mention of the previous claim that the concept was designed to be capable of a 5:23 lap around the nürburgring nordschleife—more than a minute inside the current "production car" lap record. we’d love to see some bolide owners attempt that, too.