Bugatti unveils super light hypercar that can travel 300 miles an hour

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The Bugatti Bolide – a name that comes from French slang for “very fast car,” according to Bugatti – is a concept car designed only for track driving, not for use on public roads. The Bolide has a modified version of the enormous 8.0-liter 16-cylinder engine found in Bugatti’s Chiron, the brand’s base model. It’s built to be super light and can reach a top speed of over 300 miles per hour, according to Bugatti.

Bugatti has not said whether it will sell the Bolide, but performance brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini offer track-only cars for wealthy customers who want to experience driving in their own private race cars. Cars like this don’t have a lot of crash safety equipment required in road cars, like airbags, but they do have the specialized safety equipment required on many racetracks, like cars. accessories for racing harnesses.

Designed for optimum aerodynamics, the Bolide stands just over three feet tall, about a foot shorter than the Chiron. To enter, occupants must sit on the door sill and put their legs inside before sliding into the seat.

When designing the Bolide, emphasis was placed on reducing weight and improving aerodynamics. The air intake that rises from the roof is covered with a special skin that forms blister-shaped bubbles at high speed. The bubbles improve airflow over the excavator by 10% while reducing aerodynamic lift by 17%, according to Bugatti.

All of the car’s screws and fasteners are titanium, according to Bugatti, and much of the rest of the car is made from lightweight alloys of carbon fiber and titanium. The Bolide weighs a little over 2,700 pounds, compared to 4,400 pounds for the Chiron. A lot of weight has also been saved in the Bolide by paying no attention to luxury and very little to comfort. The interior is extremely sparse and simple with thin and light racing seats instead of the nicely padded seats used in the Chiron.“All of Bugatti’s expertise has been condensed in the Bugatti Bolide,” said Stefan Ellrott, Development Manager at Bugatti.

The engineering of the Bolide was an opportunity to try new techniques with the aim of reducing weight and increasing performance, he said. For example, the turbochargers attached to the engine have been specially designed to deliver more power at high speeds. Bugatti’s already successful lubrication systems have been redesigned to cope with extremely high cornering forces which can cause the oil to drift away from where it is needed.

If Bugatti decided to sell the Bolide, the price would certainly be in the millions of dollars, depending on the price of other Bugatti cars and the cost of similar car types from other car manufacturers.

The Chiron, the Bolide is based on costs more than $ 3 million and only 500 will be made. In recent years Bugatti has introduced a number of other cars based on Chiron engineering, including the Divo, a version designed for lower top speeds but better corners, of which only 40 will be made. There was the Centodieci, a car designed to celebrate Bugatti’s 110th anniversary. of which only 10 will be built. The Centodieci has a starting price of $ 9 million and the Divo of $ 6 million.

A more practical Bugatti?

Interestingly, Bugatti engineers and designers had been working on something radically different for the brand: a cheaper and more practical model. But this work has been suspended due to the pandemic.

“We were looking for a four-seater with a completely different design – not an SUV, not a sedan, something really, really unique in terms of design and creating a new segment,” Cedric Davy, COO of Bugatti of the Americas said in a recent interview. “It’s not dead, but for now, no one is working on it. ”

Adding a more practical model to the lineup is something other supercar companies have embarked on to attract more customers and increase their profits.

Bugatti’s sister brand Lamborghini – both owned by Volkswagen – began selling the Urus SUV in 2018, quickly doubling Lamborghini sales. And Ferrari has been working on something he calls the Purosangue which is due to be unveiled next year. Executives insist it won’t be a traditional crossover SUV, but will be roomier and more comfortable for passengers than any previous Ferrari.

The reason for the temporary halt in development of the four-door model is not some kind of financial constraint, insisted a Bugatti spokesperson, but simple uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Developing a new model involves working with and verifying suppliers, creating prototypes and assessing what the market might be after the pandemic ends, which is difficult to do right now.

To gain weight, the interior of the Bugatti Bolide, illustrated in an illustration, has no shiny metal or quilted leather found in some other Bugatti cars.

But even bigger changes are underway for Bugatti. According to media reports, Volkswagen is considering selling the brand to Rimac, a Croatian company that makes electric supercars. A Volkswagen spokesperson would not comment on these reports. Rimac did not respond to a request for comment on the reports.

Either way, Davy said he wasn’t very worried.

“I’ve been with Bugatti for four years and this is probably the fourth or fifth time I’ve heard the company has been sold, so I’m not too worried,” Davy said.

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