The Bugatti Bolide is ready. Born for the track, the French hypercar presented in 2020 as a concept is now a reality. After test after test - strictly between the kerbs of various circuits the development is finished. Now production of the 40 units will begin, with delivery of the first model scheduled in a few months. 

Thus the lucky customers will be able to begin to taste the qualities of the Bugatti Bolide, born from the Chiron - with which it shares the engine - but then set off in a completely different direction. To be fast, certainly, but to do so with a purely track-oriented efficiency. While remaining 'accessible'.

In search of the limit

"Bugatti engineers have created a track-only hyper sports car that invites drivers to explore their limits". So goes the press release, describing the Bolide as a super-fast car, but one that is suitable for everyone. Certainly not because of the price (it starts at a price of €4 million / £3.5 million) but because of its ability to adapt even to those who do not - yet - have track driving experience.

With 1,852 PS W16 pushing about 1,240 kg in weight (less than  a Volkswagen Golf) brings many things to mind, but not the adjective 'easy'. Yet to hear Andy Wallace, Bugatti's official racing driver, "The Bugatti Bolide remains extraordinarily easy to drive". Then you remember that Wallace has won a 24 Hours of Le Mans, three 24 Hours of Daytona and twice the 12 Hours of Sebring and then that "easy" takes on a whole other meaning. Perhaps the adjective is due to the presence of ABS and ESP, which are not usually available on track cars. Who knows.

Bugatti Bolide

Bugatti Bolide

But back to us. Or rather, her. The hypercar for the track at Molsheim is based on a new carbon fibre monocoque, developed in collaboration with Dallara, designed according to the specifications of the FIA LMH and LMDh classes for single-seaters racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A true racing car held at bay by a Brembo-designed carbon-carbon braking system with monobloc callipers 8-pot at the front and two 6-pot units at the rear, all milled from a single block of aluminium and nickel-coated. 

Faster than a Formula 1 car

This may come as a surprise to you, but the Bugatti Bolide is slower than the Chiron: 'just' 236 mph top speed. But enough to leave behind a Formula 1 car, which has never gone faster than 232 mph. All this with downforce that glues it to the asphalt. Too bad, though, that there are no straights longer than 1.2 miles on FIA homologated tracks. A limitation that does not allow the Bolide to express its full potential. 

Bugatti Bolide

Bugatti Bolide, the interior

But the real thrills, according to Wallace, come in the corners, 'You press the accelerator and feel a relentless surge of power. Coming out of the corner at 62 mph, passing at 124 mph and then at 186 mph is incredible. Curves at breakneck speed with a peak of 2.5 Gs. Fast yes, but above all efficient. And with an interior designed down to the smallest detail. The interior of the Bugatti Bolide is in fact a mix of sartorial care and minimal style. With acres of exposed carbon fibre.

A hypercar to die for, and the last Bugatti in history powered by the W16. The Chiron's heir will still have 16 cylinders, but in a V shape, and it will be electrified.

Gallery: The latest tests of the Bugatti Bolide