You better Bolide it

Bugatti gives us a closer look at the track-only Bolide hypercar.

A few months ago, Bugatti unveiled its swan song to the final iteration of its W16 engine in the form of a track-only hypercar named the Bolide. Whereas that version was a prototype, we now have a closer look at what the production car will look like.

While the prototype boasted a huge 1825hp with the W16 engine being fully exploited, the production version comes with a slightly tamer 1578hp, and with Bolide translating as ‘The Racecar,’ it is only fitting that the rest of the car be as bonkers as possible to make up for it. Starting with the tub: it is still a monocoque, but now a lighter and stiffer affair than the one found in the Chiron. Furthermore, Bugatti wants to clarify that this is not a Chiron with some aero tacked on; no, this is a Savile Row tailor-made track weapon designed to shatter lap records. 

The Bolide also has a recurring theme throughout, an ‘X’. The steering wheel is an X. The seats are an X. Headlights? Nope, you get some Xs. What’s the point of all this? It’s Bugatti’s way of putting its design stamp even when stepping away from the luxury attributes of its road cars. Take the steering wheel as an example. As is the way with modern race cars, the wheel is more of a rectangular shape, providing two touch points, one on either side. However, the steering wheel’s spokes are stylised into an ‘X’ on the Bolide. Bugatti is so proud that it suggests owners could remove the wheel from the car and display it in their boardroom. This may be more telling of the clientele expected for a toy of this calibre.

Another first for a Bugatti cockpit is the seats. While still for sitting in, they are now bolted directly to the tub, with the wheel and pedals being adjustable to suit. They’re raked back so the driver sits at a more horizontal angle, as you would in an actual race car. Bugatti will allow buyers to trim their seats in several materials, including suede, Alcantara, and a very un-race-car-like Napa leather.

But no matter the covering, the main frame of the seats again features the X theme, with the base of the seat narrowing as it becomes the back support before spouting out again to complete lateral shoulder restraints. When viewed front on, the seats form that X. For full effect, the headrest also features winged helmet restraints, reminding you this is for go, not for show. It also focuses your head forward, where you will see another innovation, this time in the form of a digital multi-readout display featuring multiple metrics, including g force. 

All this culminates as more than just a track day special for the uber rich. It’s a goodbye. A farewell to the Bugatti 8.0-litre W16 that has pushed boundaries in the combustion power race for almost two decades. With a price tag north of €4 million and production limited to just 40 examples, it is perhaps the most Bugatti way to send off the most excessive engine we’ve seen in modern motoring and usher in the new era under Rimac ownership.