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Here's what's under the skin of the Bugatti Bolide

TG dissects Bugatti's remarkable track-only hypercar

Bugatti Bolide
  • Carbon Tub

    Bugatti Bolide

    Entirely new carbon monocoque, built to LMH and LMDh FIA safety requirements – not because it’ll go racing, but because they’re reassuringly difficult to meet. In testing, a 7.5-tonne force is applied to the A-pillar and only 50mm deflection is allowed... it passed easily without cracking. Engine and transmission have stiffer mounts than the Chiron and are actually embedded deep into the monocoque – not just bolted to the back of it.

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  • Downforce

    Bugatti Bolide

    At top speed the Bolide produces almost three tonnes of downforce – 1,000kg at the front, 2,000kg at the rear. “We could have got more” says Andy Wallace. “But then it would have been pitch sensitive.” Here it’s totally benign. No active aero, other than the faster you go the lower you’re squashed to the ground.

  • Gearbox

    Bugatti Bolide

    Uses the same seven-speed dual-clutch as the Chiron, except without the auto mode. So the only way to change gear is with the paddles fixed to the back of the yoke steering wheel... or by keeping your foot in and letting it auto upshift at the limiter – handy for full-bore launches.

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  • Engine

    Bugatti Bolide

    An 8.0-litre, quad-turbo W16 producing 1,578bhp (same as the Chiron Super Sport) and 1,180lb ft of torque (a Rimac Nevera produces 1,741lb ft but weighs 550kg more). Rev limit now “a few hundred rpm higher” than the Chiron’s 7,100rpm, but the sequential turbo system has been ditched to save weight, so max torque arrives at 4,000rpm, not 2,000rpm. You’ll cope.

  • Launch

    Tesla Model S Plaid

    Come to a stop, squeeze the brake with your left foot and press the ‘LC’ button on the wheel. Mash the throttle, wait about two second for the boost to build... and hold on for dear life.

  • Brakes

    Bugatti Bolide

    Carbon-carbon Brembos are pure race tech and designed to operate without fade, lap after punishing lap, but not when you’re trundling around at slow speeds, so beware. Brembo’s biggest ever eight-piston calipers grab the 390mm discs at the front and there’s a five stage ABS system built in.

  • Suspension

    Bugatti Bolide

    Pushrod style with horizontal dampers – and the 3D printed titanium pushrods weigh only 100g, but can take up to 3.5 tonnes of load due to an internal structure that’s beyond our understanding.

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  • Weight

    Bugatti Bolide

    Dry weight of 1,450kg, around 1,600kg with fluids. The powertrain weighs around 600kg, making it 38 per cent of the total mass.

  • Performance

    Bugatti Bolide

    Top speed is 236mph in the low downforce setting, or 227mph in the high downforce mode. No 0–62mph time is quoted, but considering it weighs 500kg less than a Chiron Super Sport and that does it in 2.4secs... less than that.

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  • Wheels

    Bugatti Bolide

    Wheels are BBS 18-inch cast aluminium, so they fit off the shelf Michelin Pilot Sport slicks on the front. The 340mm section rear slicks are LMDh tyres and need to be ordered specially through Bugatti.

  • Training

    Bugatti Bolide

    Each owner will get pointers from chief test driver Andy Wallace on how to use their Bolide properly, plus access to two track days a year – the first is at Paul Ricard in October. Own your own track? Want to drive it when you want without full race support? That’s fine, says Bugatti, you can push the start button and go – just get some heat into those tyres and brakes before giving the full send.

  • Sound

    Bugatti Bolide

    No particulate filters or catalytic converters so this is the W16 in its rawest, loudest form. At this point, may I direct you to the YouTube video so you can hear it for yourself...

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