It'll be three years this October since Bugatti first revealed the Bolide. We're closer to its launch than ever as Bugatti continues to test the model's aerodynamic packages and finalizes the production car. Deliveries begin in 2024, but the supercar just made its first public appearance and did it at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Bugatti first introduced the Bolide to the world in 2020, but it didn't reveal the production version until a few months ago. The gamut of tests the Bolide is going through is pushing the hypercar to the limit to ensure it creates the correct level of downforce and achieves the best possible handling. The automaker is testing it on "real, revered racetracks."
The production Bolide will generate nearly three tons of downforce and can achieve up to 2.5 G laterally, thanks to its aerodynamic package. At the front, the splitter compresses the air, then expands under the diffuser to create a suction effect that pulls the Bolide to the ground. Unique air curtains in front of the front wheels direct air around the car, reducing overall drag. Bugatti even designed the wing mirrors to divert air toward the side intercoolers for maximum efficiency.
Racers will be able to adjust the aero package to find the right balance between downforce and drag. That includes the rear wing owners can set to meet each track's unique characteristics. The track-focused design is why Bugatti incorporated a physical rear-view mirror, which allows drivers to estimate distances to the cars behind them better.
The Bolide's quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W16 engine makes 1,578 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque. It has a dry weight of 3,637 pounds (1,650 kilograms) and generates nearly 6,600 pounds of downforce at speed.
The Bolide has a bit more finalizing to complete before it arrives in customers' hands. Deliveries begin sometime next year, and Bugatti is only making 40 of the track-only hypercars. Each will cost 4 million ($4.3 million at today's exchange rates. The Bolide lapped the track at Le Man on Saturday afternoon with Andy Wallace, a 1988 Le Mans winner, at the wheel. Wallace is an official Bugatti driver.