The Bugatti Bolide will not be road legal in any country but will be available everywhere. For a brand that’s part experimental, part extreme, Bolide is a bolder move than usual. Why risk? The answer is simple: cash.
in an interview with Granthshala In The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, Bugatti’s deputy design director Frank Heyl made the case for Bolide explicitly by saying, “It’s a tough business. We can make a business case.” [for it] And we have responsibilities to our employees.”
Bugatti was founded in 1909. Rimac Automobili, a comparatively new electric technology and vehicle company, recently agreed to establish a joint venture with Porsche AG, which includes Bugatti, naming the new company Bugatti-Rimaq. Porsche held a controlling interest in Bugatti under the Volkswagen AG umbrella.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Bugatti was experiencing three years of unparalleled growth, making it 71, 76 and 82 vehicles in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Bugatti has committed to build 40 bolides. Each cost about $4.3 million before taxes and fees. Bugatti-Rimac has also said that they will make the Bugatti Chiron and Rimac Navarra. The Navara is the fastest production car in the world.
For the millions they’re putting down, buyers get a bolide that’s made up of 40 pieces that push the design limits of typical Bugatti features. The car is “a symbiosis of form and function,” Heil said. It’s “very functional” and looks fragmented because the flow of aerodynamics has shaped the car in another way. The new Aston Martin Valkyrie has a similarly fragmented appearance.
The track-focused hypercar complies with Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) standards and comes complete with a six-point harness and seats that have been molded to suit each customer.
Heyl quickly stated that the bolides would not be possible without Chiron. Using the Chiron as a base allows the company to explore coach manufacturing opportunities, revisiting a chapter in the company’s past that is traced directly to Divo, La Voiture Noire and Centodieci.
The car is powered by an 8.0-litre W16 engine with Centrodieci and Chiron Super Sport. In each vehicle, it gets 1,587 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque. However, those numbers are only possible using 110 octane racing fuel.
Heil sees the Bolide as the modern incarnation of the Bugatti Type 35, the most successful of Bugatti’s early models, having won over 1,000 races in its heyday. At the peak of its success in the 1920s, the Type 35 won an average of 14 races per week.
Bugatti intends to offer Bolide buyers special track days to try out its hypercar in the same fashion it was envisioned.