Bugatti would like you to know the Bolide is more than just a Chiron restricted to the circuit as the talented folks from Molsheim engineered a new carbon fiber monocoque. Not only is it stiffer and stronger, but it has also been developed to meet LMH and LMDh regulations for endurance race cars. Additional changes were necessary to comply with the different crash test requirements the track-only car must meet compared to the road-going model.
New images of the Bolide show the car naked in the sense it lacks body panels to better show the monocoque. It looks straight out of a Mad Max movie and is impressively sturdy. To get the stamp approval from the FIA, Bugatti had to pass a test that involved applying a load of 16,534 pounds (7.5 metric tons) to the A-pillar without exceeding a deflection of 1.97 inches (50 millimeters) at the point where the load was applied. In addition, the structure around a 3.93-in (100-mm) radius of that point also had to endure that heavy load.
Bugatti Bolide monocoque
The Bolide didn't exhibit any cracks at all during the test, and it also passed other evaluations with flying colors. In a rollover test, a whopping 26,455 lbs (12 tons) were applied to the B-pillar. In a different test, 13,227 lbs (six tons) of longitudinal load were applied to the carbon fiber monocoque to mimic a rollover ending with a rear impact with a barrier.
Compared to the "standard" model, the mighty 8.0-liter W16 engine with its four turbochargers sits 2.3 inches (60 millimeters) further forward in a car that has a dry weight of only 3,197 lbs (1,450 kg). Performance must be nothing short of amazing when you factor in this low curb weight and the massive output of 1,577 hp and 1,180 lb-ft (1,600 Nm). All that oomph is routed to those four center-lock wheels wrapped around in bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport. The AWD system has electronically controlled differentials to optimally distribute the immense power.
In case something goes horribly wrong, the Bolide comes bundled with a military-grade fire extinguisher. The driver and passenger are hugged by an FIA-approved six-point harness system and sit on LMH-compliant seats with a HANS system for greater safety.
Long sold out, the Bugatti Bolide is capped at 40 units and the first customers will get their cars in 2024. Along with the Mistral roadster limited to 99 examples (and also spoken for), these are the last W16 cars as the Chiron replacement will downsize to an unknown hybrid powertrain.