The Bugatti Chiron has had its fair share of derivatives, but none of them have been as wild as the Bolide. A track-only monster with 1,825 bhp and a top speed of 311 mph, the concept made the headlines in October 2020 with its jaw-dropping design and equally impressive technical specifications. The Bolide is back, only this time it's no longer a one-off affair as the folks from Molsheim are unveiling the production version.
Billed as a hypercar built around the legendary quad-turbo W16 engine, the Bolide can be best described as a Chiron taken to the extreme. Without having to comply with regulations applicable to road cars, it means Bugatti has the complete freedom to squeeze every last drop of performance from the Chiron platform.
While a "regular" Chiron tips the scales at just under two metric tons, the Bolide weighs a remarkable 1,450 kg (3,196 pounds), which is roughly as much as a typical midsize saloon. It's worth noting the production version won't be as powerful as the concept since the engineers are tweaking the 8.0-litre engine to work with regular gasoline rather than the 110-octane racing fuel of last year's showcar.
The production-ready Bolide will still offer a monstrous 1,577 bhp and 1,600 Newton-metres (1,180 pound-feet) of torque to match the Chiron Super Sport and Chiron Centodieci, but in a far lighter hypercar. It has a weight-to-power ratio of 0.9 kilograms per one horsepower, which should translate into neck-snapping performance on a circuit.
Bugatti says it will need three years to complete the Bolide's development as customer deliveries are not scheduled to commence before 2024. Production will be capped at 40 units at €4 million (approx. £3.4 million) a pop before taxes. For your money's worth, the French marque will throw in "free" track days, an automatic fire extinguishing system, and a HANS (head and neck support) device.
That's certainly a lot of money for a car you can't drive on public roads, but it's half the price of a Centodieci while the unique La Voiture Noire was nearly three times more expensive. It's not the only performance machine without a license plate unveiled by the Volkswagen Group in recent times as the Lamborghini Aventador-based Essenza SCV12 is also restricted to the track.