Bugatti Says Its 1,600-HP Bolide Can Pull on Formula 1 Cars


Bugatti has finally completed testing on the production-spec Bolide. The wild-winged, track-only hypercar looks as extreme as the concept that debuted four years ago, and after considerable evaluation on a plethora of race tracks, customer deliveries will soon commence. Should those few buyers actually take their Bolide to a track, they could get a taste of what it’s like to drive a Formula 1 car—according to Bugatti, anyway.

It’s not a stretch. The production Bolide has 1,578 horsepower from its W-16 engine, matching the output of its street-legal siblings. It’s considerably lighter though, weighing approximately 3,200 pounds versus 4,300 for a full-fat Chiron. The current crop of Formula 1 cars are said to have around 1,000 hp, so the Bolide certainly has a power advantage. But weight favors F1 by a significant margin.

Bugatti Bolide Track Testing
Bugatti Bolide Track Testing
Bugatti Bolide Track Testing

But it’s apparently close enough to give the Bolide some off-corner bragging rights. Bugatti driver Andy Wallace says the performance is on a completely different level from other cars he’s driven, immensely capable yet still easy to handle at the limit. And oh yeah, it’s fast too.

“The feeling when you come out of a corner, press the throttle, and experience that relentless surge of power is incomparable,” he said. “You come out of that corner at 100km/h, and from there to 200km/h and then 300km/h is an absolute revelation. In that specific scenario, the Bolide would pull away from a Formula 1 car.”

The production Bolide is a bit tamer than the concept. Originally packing 1,826 hp with a theoretical top speed over 300 mph, the version folks can buy only tops out at 236 mph. Sticking with the F1 comparison, Bugatti points out that’s faster than the current F1 speed record (231 mph), but as we all know, racing isn’t just about flat-out thrust. Engineers tuned the Bolide to handle. Engineers claim it can pull 2.5 g in turns. That’s impressive, but far below the 5 g turns F1 drivers experience.

Still, the Bolide should be quite a machine on a track. And for what it’s worth, we hope these cars are driven to the max at least once in their lives. But with a $4 million price tag and just 40 slated for production, we suspect most will go into climate-controlled collections.

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