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Bugatti has gone full mental in the development of the Bolide, it weighs 1240kgs and with the spaceship level power it can propel itself to well above 500kmph, is this the dawn of a new era in the penultimate track cars.
Over the years as Bugatti made the record smashing Veyrons and Chirons, there was something auto enthusiasts around the world urged the French marque to do, cue the Bolide, a car which possesses the W16 with a staggering 1842hp-much much more than the production spec Chiron engine, approx 363hp more which rests on a total body weight thanks to the fighter-jet inspired wraparound design a smidge, at 1240 kilograms. These numbers translate to a power-to-weight ratio of 1471hp per tonne which is Formula 1 territory, add the 500kmph plus top speed and the Bolide is the easily the craziest car to come out of Molsheim.
The Bolide is the result of an experiment, “The mighty W16 engine as a technical symbol of the brand in its purest form – with solely four wheels, engine, gearbox, steering wheel and, as the only luxury, two seats.”, according to Stephen Winkelmann, Bugatti boss. The track-focused hypercar joins the ranks of Ferrari FXX-K, McLaren Senna GTR, Aston Martin Vulcan and a few others in the penultimate category, cars which are not road-legal, which is not a complaint as these cars perform their tyre-shredding best on the racetracks. The Bolide for example can lap the Nurburgring in 5:23:1! And has a 0-60 time of 2.17secs.
Let’s Talk about the powertrain, yes the massive 1824 hp (1,850 PS) producing monster, which was achieved by taking the standard Chiron engine off the assembly line and playing around with it. The engineers dethrottled the the intake and exhaust system to get a livelier engine, with precise and immediate response times. The Quad Turbo setup now has new turbochargers with better blades, to perform better under higher speeds. The weight of the whole powertrain has been cut down, and now uses an air-to-air intercooling system with water pre-cooling, which is fed via the internal and external air ducts. The big ceramic discs are cooled by the new hybrid titanium turbofan radial compressors which keep the temperatures low for effective braking during long sessions.
The extremely low weight of the car is another reason for the chart-topping numbers, and this was achieved with some technological eccentricity-titanium screws all around and hollow titanium alloys used in aerospace which were 3D printed and have a material thickness of 0.5mm. A marvel is the roof mounted scoop which is made up of morphable material which deforms to optimize the airflow. The diet Bugatti put the Bolide on resulted in a loss of 755kgs! The body is not only light but has each inch designed to optimise airflow, reduce drag and improve downforce as and when required with tensile strength numbers for the materials rated at those which are used in spaceships, the high-strength stainless steel rear frame has thickness of only 1mm.
Design of the car is extreme even by Bugatti standards, quotes Achim Anscheidt, Director of design, “In my 16 years at Bugatti, I have never worked on a more extreme concept.” The designers had full freedom to create the most minimalistic structure around the W16 powertrain to result in the most technically advanced car they have ever designed, while maintaining the unique style of Bugatti. The front end is a classic example of seamless design, and with the massive air ducts which look more like missing portions projecting immense knowledge of the aerodynamics of the car. In terms of comfort, well the car doesn’t have any except the seats. The car lives up to the heritage of the Bugatti Type 35, laid down by Ettore Bugatti himself!
If there are enough orders, customers interest, Bugatti Bolide might go into series production, but nothing has been decided yet…
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