Fifteen years ago, Bugatti debuted the Veyron and its impressive W-16 engine. Then in 2016, the French automaker unleashed the Chiron, also running on the quad-turbocharged W-16. Neither car was a slouch, setting records, winning awards, and amassing fans all over the auto world. The most powerful iterations of the super cars cranked out an almost silly 1,577 horsepower. But now Bugatti is wondering whether it might be nice to see what that excessively cylindered engine could do if it wasn’t weighted down by pesky things like a body or interior.
OK, fine, the Bugatti Bolide Concept has a body and an interior, but just enough to pass FIA safety requirements and hold a driver (and, if you must, a passenger) but not an ounce more. According to simulations, the Bolide engine would churn out 1825 horsepower from within a hyper sports car weighing just over 2,700 pounds. Just for reference, compare that to the new record holder for fastest sports car, the SSC Tuatara at 1750 hp and a curb weight of 2,750. In fact, with an estimated top speed of “well above” 310 mph, it sounds like Bugatti’s concept is trying to pass the 316 mph average top speed reached by the American SSC earlier this year.
To get the most out of the Bolide’s power-to-weight ratio, Bugatti went for a intricate blend of components made from titanium alloy (screws, fasteners, end fittings, push rods), carbon fiber (the monocoque, front end, and underbody) and even a carbon-titanium hybrid material (aux drive shaft and brake ventilation). The windows are polycarbonate and the car stands just 3.25 feet tall, with aerodynamic drag shaved off at every opportunity — from the wings to a shape-shifting intake scoop on the roof.
Inside, there is “no hint of luxury.” This is a car built entirely for speed, no infotainment, no cup holders, just a racing seat and the controls that make the car reach its rocket speeds. They haven’t decided whether the concept will make its way into production, but if it does, drivers will finally know what it’s like to strap themselves to an engine on wheels and let it fly.
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