In just under a year from its initial showcase, French automaker Bugatti is moving its Bolide experimental car into production, according to a recent announcement from the company. As its name suggests, bolide, meaning "race car" in French, the car will be limited to the race tracks and is not meant for the road.
Just last December, the company had released images of the Bolide as an experimental car. In a world that is going all-electric with its cars, the release of a gas-powered hypercar would not interest many. Understandably, Stephan Winkelmann, the President of Bugatti, got feedback from car collectors and enthusiasts who wanted to see the car in real life and so the company decided to work on a production model for the interested few.
Underneath the hood, the Bolide will carry its signature 8.0-liter W16 engine that can generate 1578 hp. While Bugatti tested this 110-octane racing fuel, the production vehicle will work with the more widely available 98 Research Octane Number (RON) fuel.
Taking inspiration from the aerodynamics of a Formula 1 car, Bolide has multiple air ducts in the front, sits close to the ground, and offers a sporty driver's seat. The rear diffuser and rear wing deliver the high downforce needed for this car which has a reduced curb weight of almost 3200 pounds (1,450 kg). Bugatti has increased the revs per minute on the car and modified the engine, turbochargers, and transmission for optimal power development.
The company's engineers are now working on improving the aerodynamics and handling of the car and ensuring that the car is developed in line with FIA's (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) safety standards. The car has an air intake scoop on the roof that can deform and reduce aerodynamic drag at high speed. Bugatti also plans to pack the Bolide with a pressure refueling system, central wheel locking, an F1-styled six-point safety harness, along with a Hand And Neck Support (HANS) system and an automated fire-extinguishing system.
Bugatti plans to produce only 40 units of the Bolide that will be delivered by 2024. "We are proud to have succeeded in keeping the production vehicle so close to its technical demonstrator both visually and technically while also enhancing the design, quality, and vehicle safety," said Winkelmann.
While Bugatti still has to reveal the car's real-world performance figures, it has revealed the real-world price tag of €4 million ($4.71 million). But there are always other ways of owning a Bugatti, like hand carving it.