Listen to the W16 Bugatti Bolide in Lake Como

The Bugatti Bolide’s 1,578 horsepower W16 sounds killer in Lake Como.

byNico DeMattia|
Bugatti News photo

The Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este is among the most prestigious car events in the world. Every year, the most overly opulent, multi-million dollar luxury cars are packed onto a perfectly manicured lawn overlooking Italy's breathtaking Lake Como. Because of the event's prestige, automakers love to use it as the unveiling of their most impressive cars. One such car was the Bugatti Bolide, which not only made an appearance but showed off its canon fire exhaust noise.

Last year, Bugatti announced the Bolide, a lightweight version of the uber-luxurious Chiron hypercar. The idea was to pump up engine power, give it a unique carbon fiber body strip out all the luxuries from the cabin, and see what its quad-turbocharged engine could do without the burden of the Chiron's immense curb weight. What started out as just an experiment quickly became a limited-run (40 units worldwide), track-only, $4.8 million monster.

This video shows the Bugatti Bolide getting unloaded from a trailer and you get to hear its cold-start, which sounds hellacious, as its 8.0 liter quad-turbo W16 roared to life. When Bugatti first announced the Bolide, it was said to make 1,825 horsepower on 110 octane race fuel but Bugatti then decided, for the limited production cars, it would use commercially available fuel, which drops power to 1,578 horsepower. It also makes 1,180 pound-feet of peak torque at just 2,250 rpm.

Looking inside the Bolide, you won't find the same sumptuous leather or beautiful trim work. Instead, you get fixed carbon fiber racing buckets, an F1-style racing steering wheel replete with a dozen labeled buttons, a small digital gauge screen, and a few switches mounted to a carbon fiber center console. Stripping out all of the Chiron's luxuries, as well giving it an all-new carbon fiber body, drops the Bolide's curb weight to just 1,450 kilograms (3,196 pounds). So it's lighter than a Porsche Cayman GT4 RS but makes more than triple the horsepower. I guess that's why Bugatti claims it can got from 0-311 mph in just 20 seconds.

I understand if you've gotten hypercar exhaustion, and sort of roll your eyes at each new multi-million-dollar exercise in spec-sheet measuring, but it's hard to not be impressed by the Bugatti Bolide. It's completely out of the reach for anyone without a ten-figure bank account but it's the sort of car you get when you let engineers completely run wild, budgets be damned, and that's always fun to see.

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