Bugatti has revealed their most extreme hypercar concept to date – the Bugatti Bolide, boasting a weight-to-power ratio of 0.67 kg per PS and a top speed in excess of 310 mph.
A week ago, Bugatti started teasing an incoming new reveal, which we now know to be the extreme lightweight Bugatti Bolide.
Throwing around the question, “What if we developed an extreme, track-focused only hyper sports car?” Bugatti’s design team fast set about answering their own question in the form of an experimental study.
“We are perpetually aiming for new and exciting goals, and the question that we always keep in mind is: what if?” shared Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “We asked ourselves how we could realise 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. Important aspects of our considerations were fine-tuning our iconic powertrain without any limitations as regards the weight-to-power ratio. These considerations resulted in the Bugatti Bolide. An uncompromising experiment, a thoroughbred, a Pur Sang that, in its brute exclusivity, impresses above all with high performance, low weight, and a driving experience in a whole new dimension. Driving the Bolide is like riding on a cannonball.”
Taking inspiration from historic X-Planes like the Bell X-1 jet flown by Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager in 1974 (the first person to break the sound barrier at Mach 1.06), the Bugatti Bolide is an ultra-sporty vehicle with distinct “X” references throughout the design.
Like previous Bugatti models, the design team have once again applied its iconic color split to the Bolide with the lower half in exposed carbon (increased to 60% of the vehicle) and the remaining 40% painted in historic French Racing blue.
Featuring a modified version of Bugatti’s iconic 8.0-liter W16 engine, the Bolide is a track-focused hyper sports car with a stripped-down body for maximum downforce and an optimized gearbox for higher engine speeds.
Considered Bugatti’s most extreme, fasted, and lightest vehicle concept to date, the Bugatti Bolide boasts a weight-to-power ratio of 0.67kg per PS, made possible by the combination of the W16 engine with 1,850 PS and Bolide’s vehicle weight of 1,240 kilograms (as a comparison Koenigsegg’s One:1 power-to-weight ratio is 1,360 PS to 1360 kg for a 1:1 ratio).
“In my 16 years at Bugatti, I have never worked on a more extreme concept,” says Achim Anscheidt, Director of Design at Bugatti. “The design of the Bolide is radically tailored to the idea of lightweight construction, and the design principle therefore follows on from the overriding goal of achieving a fascinating weight-to-power ratio of 0.67 kilograms per PS.
“It is the very first time that my team had the freedom of creating an absolutely minimalistic design around the W16 engine. The result is the most provocative proportion of a modern Bugatti ever and the distilled quintessence of our Bugatti design ethos that form follows performance,”
To achieve a lighter bodyweight for the Bolide, Bugatti has completely overhauled the materials and production processes used, beginning with the screws and fastening elements made entirely out of titanium and 3D printed aerospace titanium alloy components.
“The Bolide is the ultimate answer to the question of what if Bugatti built a track-focused hyper sports car that met the FIA’s safety requirements,” explained Stefan Ellrott, member of the Board of Management of Bugatti and Head of Technical Development. “Designed around the W16 powertrain with the minimum body structure and unbelievable performance data. The result: the smallest possible shell for a breathtaking performance vehicle that allows the W16 to truly come into its own.”
Currently revealed as a vehicle concept, no price has been announced yet, and it remains to be seen whether the Bugatti Bolide with go into series production in the future.