Watch: The Bugatti Bolide hype

Bugatti Bolide hypercar. Picture: Bugatti.

Watch: The Bugatti Bolide hypercar is totally off the charts

It’s every ounce the hypercar you’d expect from a Bugatti “built with no restraints”.

Watch: The Bugatti Bolide hype

Bugatti Bolide hypercar. Picture: Bugatti.

Franco-German company Bugatti has always been a strange one. The producers of the fastest, most expensive cars in the world, and yet, broadly criticised for being too heavy, not engaging enough and even lifeless on the limit of 400 km/h.


Bugatti Bolide.
Bugatti Bolide hypercar. Picture: Bugatti.

Back in 2020, Bugatti unveiled a concept car called the Bolide. That name doesn’t sound too exciting, granted, but the boss at the time, Stephan Winkelmann, wanted to imagine a Bugatti developed without any restraints. Basically, a stripped-down, track-focused hypercar to silence all naysayers. Everyone saw it, rejoiced, and said: pity the producer of the world’s fastest teleportation devices will never have the kahunas to actually build it!

ALSO READ: Good news! SA vehicle exports up massively in May 2023

Well, we were all wrong, Bugatti is building them, 40 in fact. And prototypes have been out testing ahead of release in 2024, according to our colleagues at Motor Authority. Best still, the car looks remarkably close to the Bolide concept car.


Bugatti Bolide hypercar. Picture: Bugatti.

The Bugatti Bolide’s quad-turbo W12 engine develops 1 178 kW on pump fuel and 1 360 kW on high-octane racing fuel. We genuinely wonder if you’ll be able to tell the difference in this beast. The turbos are tuned to spool up quicker and the 8.0-litre W12 engine revs higher and makes more noise than in road-going Bugattis. Lovely.

The 7-speed dual-clutch transmission has been upgraded to handle the additional power. Performance is always enhanced when you lose weight, and Bugatti targeted a dry weight of 1 450 kg for the Bolide. Sounds like a lot for a track car, but that very nearly delivers the magical 1 kW per kg power-to-weight ratio.

Chassis-wise, the Bolide is made using a unique carbon-fibre monocoque with an integrated roll cage, together with special cooling and pushrod suspension all also unique to the car. The engine is even mounted differently, more compactly than in Bugatti road cars.


Bugatti Bolide chassis. Picture: Bugatti.

A few concept car elements did make it to the prototype phase. For example, there are side mirrors and not the camera-only system from the concept. There are less embellishments when it comes to aerodynamic fins. The rear wing is bigger and fully adjustable. There are even high- and low-downforce packages depending on the track you’re at.

ALSO READ: Here are the top-selling cars in SA in May 2023

Front aerodynamic elements also adjust under hard braking and check out that roof scoop … that wasn’t on the concept. The result is 2.5 g on a dry skid pan. Impressive for a Bugatti, but totally understandable when you realise it wears racing slicks supplied by Michelin. Essentially the same construction of tyre you’ll find on LMDh prototypes competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

Bugatti Bolide. Picture: Bugatti.


Just 40 Bugatti Bolides will be built, and as is the way with ridiculously rare and expensive hypercars, they’re all spoken for, even when the price tag is $4.3 million, or 84 million Rand at the current exchange rate.