The Bugatti Bolide, a new concept car is providing the French luxury automobile company with the answer to the question of what would be the outcome if a fundamentally light vehicle was built around its iconic 8.0-liter W16 engine.
The experimental study of the Bugatti Bolide is a track-oriented hyper sports car that features a W16 engine acquired from series production as the powertrain. This is coupled with a minimal body for maximum downforce. Ultimately the end result offers the pinnacle in Bugatti performance kick.
The Bugatti Bolide seeks to break all records when it comes to the company’s concept cars: it is the fastest, most extreme, and lightest vehicle concept in the company’s recent history. It has an impressive weight-to-power ratio of 0.67kg per PS. This incredible figure has been made a reality by combining the W16 engine with 1,850PS with a vehicle weight of only 1,240kg.
These breathtaking figures are near on par with Formula One with a top speed above 500km/h, and without having to concede on maximum agility and handling. The Bolide can easily complete a lap of Le Mans in only 3:07.1 minutes while it takes 5:23.1 minutes for it to complete the Nordschleife.
“Bugatti stands for the continuous quest for technological innovations – in alignment with the company’s brand values of excellence, courage, dedication. And Bugatti never stands still. We are perpetually aiming for new and exciting goals, and the question that we always keep in mind is: what if? We asked ourselves how we could realise the mighty W16 engine as a technical symbol of the brand in its purest form – with solely four wheels, engine, gearbox, steering wheel and, as the only luxury, two seats. Important aspects of our considerations were fine-tuning our iconic powertrain without any limitations as regards the weight-to-power ratio. These considerations resulted in the Bugatti Bolide. An uncompromising experiment, a thoroughbred, a Pur Sang that, in its brute exclusivity, impresses above all with high performance, low weight, and a driving experience in a whole new dimension. Driving the Bolide is like riding on a cannonball.”
Bugatti President, Stephan Winkelmann.
Bugatti Bolides Powertrain Designed For the Racetrack
“The Bolide is the ultimate answer to the question of what if Bugatti built a track-focused hyper sports car that met the FIA’s safety requirements. Designed around the W16 powertrain with the minimum body structure and unbelievable performance data. The result: the smallest possible shell for a breathtaking performance vehicle that allows the W16 to truly come into its own. All of Bugatti’s expertise has been condensed into the Bugatti Bolide. It is therefore an innovative information source for future technologies. The Bolide is thus more than just an intellectual exercise.”
Board of Management of Bugatti and Head of Technical Development, Stefan Ellrott.
The core of the Bugatti Bolide is its 8.0-liter W16-cylinder engine with 1,850PS and 1,850 newton-meters of torque. The drive was specifically designed for the racetrack, with the engine optimized, along with the gearbox, for higher engine speeds.
An example of just one of the many optimizations to have been performed was to dethrottle the intake and exhaust system so that it will have a faster and more spontaneous response characteristic. To build up more boost pressure and power at higher engine speeds, Bugatti added four newly developed turbochargers tailored with optimized blades.
Optimum lubrication was achieved under remarkably high centrifugal forces by optimizing the oil circuit, check valves, oil pressure, oil tanks, baffles, oil reservoirs, and the pump design of the dry sump lubrication. At the same time, the weight of the drive system additionally was greatly reduced.
For best performance in the race track, the Bugatti Bolide was given an air-to-air intercooling with water pre-cooling instead of water-to-air intercooling.
From the front, the inflow will take place with one internal and one external air duct on each side of the car. Arranged in front of the front axle are two water coolers that can provide a more effective radiator system in terms of flow, even compared to Formula 1.
The Bolide also has three air-cooled oil coolers for the transmission, engine, and differential with water pre-cooling which reduces temperatures even on demanding race laps.
The high-performance racing brake system is ventilated and cooled by a newly developed, hybrid carbon titanium turbofan radial compressor.
Weight of only 1,240 Kilograms
To achieve that 1,240kg dry weight, Bugatti pulled out all the stops in terms of materials and production process.
The screws and fastening materials used are composed of titanium. They also used hollow, thin-walled components from aerospace titanium alloy in many areas of the car.
These are created from a 3D printer and are extraordinarily thin with a wall thickness of up to 0.5mm, and yet they’re also immensely stable and strong with a tensile strength of 1,250 newtons per square millimeter.
The forces working on the front and rear wings are transferred by ultralight but really solid titanium components. They weigh just 600gms at the front and an astonishing 325gms at the rear.
Another impressive innovation is the morphable outer skin of the intake scoop on the roof of the Bolide. The roof provides active airflow optimization – when it is driven at a slow speed, the scoop’s surface retains its smoothness. When it is driven at fast speeds, a field of bubbles comes out. The process lowers the aerodynamic drag of the scoop by up to 10 percent and reduces the lift forces by up to 17 percent. The flow of the rear wing is also optimized. At the speed of 320/kmh the downforce at the rear wing is 1,800kg and the front wing is 800kgs.
Light Monocoque Constructed of Carbon
A light monocoque made out of carbon around the drive was developed by Bugatti, as well as the integral front end, and a fully aerodynamic underbody.
The single-fiber stiffness and tensile strength used is 350,000 newtons per square millimeter and 6,750 newtons per square millimeter, respectively. These figures are only reached by the aerospace industry. Designed as a welded steel assembly, the rear frame provides a maximum tensile strength of 1,200 newtons per square millimeter even though the wall thickness is only 1 millimeter. This has been made possible with the use of high-strength stainless steel, a material used only in aviation.
Bugatti Bolide – a Track-Focused Thoroughbred
The Bugatti Bolide is the unmatched technological concept of a track-orientated Bugatti hyper sports car. The amalgamation of 1,850 PS with 1,240 kilograms dry weight results in an impressive weight-to-power ratio. It places the Bolide and its W16 engine at the peak and forefront when it comes to combustion engines used in automotive engineering.
“For the first time, we are showing what the W16 engine is really capable of. We have freed the vehicle of all baggage and have illustrated and combined the engine with the lightest possible chassis to create the ultimate Bugatti and to ensure the ultimate driving experience. With the Bolide, we are presenting our interpretation of a Bugatti track car of modern times to Bugatti enthusiasts all over the world and finally make their most fervent wishes come true.”
It is still not confirmed if the Bugatti Bolide will go into series production.