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Bugatti unveils a lightweight 1,825hp track monster

The Bolide makes the brand’s other cars seem utterly boring

You're probably not the only person who thinks this is a virtual racing car. IMAGE FROM BUGATTI

Bugatti is known for breaking speed records in excessive luxury, but what happens if it builds an insane track-only machine? A top speed in excess of 500km/h, an output of 1,825hp and a dry weight of just 1,240kg. That translates into a simulated lap time of 3:07.1 minutes around Le Mans, and 5:23.1 minutes around the Nordschleife. For reference, the fastest car around the Nordschleife right now is the Porsche 919 Evo with a time of 5:19.5.

Meet the new Bugatti Bolide.

Needless to say, the design of this car is neither simple nor straightforward. IMAGES FROM BUGATTI

It’s business as usual with the luxury automaker’s iconic 8.0-liter W16 engine, with upgraded turbochargers and beefier cooling to boost the output from the Chiron’s 1,500hp to the above-mentioned muscle flexed by the Bolide. And this car isn’t just fast in a straight line—it’s also very quick around corners.

You’ll find that weight savings have been made in every aspect of the vehicle. Parts of the engine are made from 3D-printed titanium; the wheels are ultralightweight magnesium; and the carbon-fiber monocoque wraps a stripped-down interior. The ride, meanwhile, is enhanced by a new pushrod suspension system and Formula 1-style ceramic brakes.

You'll need a racetrack to use this machine. IMAGES FROM BUGATTI

The innovative aerodynamics starts with an “outer skin” on the roof. At lower speeds, the surface is smooth. At higher speeds, bubbles form on the surface, reducing drag. This is aided by the amount of downforce generated by the front and rear wings.

A design quirk on the car is the pair of X-patterned headlights, which signify the Bolide’s experimental nature and is a tribute to the Bell X-1 aircraft.

How do you stop wanting to drive this thing? IMAGES FROM BUGATTI

The Bolide’s physique is no taller than the Type 35, the brand’s most successful race car. The Type 35 was from a time when Bugatti focused on making lightweight, high-powered automobiles. A fitting throwback to the company’s roots.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.