“Unleashing the Bolide: Bugatti’s Spectacular Debut of the High-Performance Hyper Sports Car at Le Mans Centenary.
On the centenary of one of the most revered motorsport events in the world, Bugatti returned to Le Mans, showcasing the Bolide to the public for the very first time with a legendary and highly decorated driver taking to the wheel of the brand’s high-performance track-only hyper sports car.
Bugatti, the iconic luxury car manufacturer, made a grand entrance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans centenary event, showcasing their highly anticipated track-only hyper sports car, the Bugatti Bolide. The public was treated to an unforgettable spectacle as the Bolide made its debut, with the legendary and accomplished driver Andy Wallace behind the wheel.
Bugatti’s history is deeply intertwined with the Le Mans 24 Hours, a motorsport event that has seen numerous milestone moments for the Molsheim brand over the past century. To mark the event’s 100th anniversary, Bugatti delivered yet another magical moment for spectators.
The Bolide took to the hallowed asphalt of the Le Mans 24 Hours circuit on Saturday afternoon, generating an electrifying atmosphere among the crowd. Not only did the public witness the Bolide in all its glory for the first time, but they also witnessed Andy Wallace, a Le Mans winner from 1988, showcasing the track-only hypercar with a showstopping lap.
Andy Wallace, a Bugatti Pilote Officiel since 2011, is one of the few drivers to have achieved the illustrious Triple Crown of Le Mans 24 Hours, 24 Hours of Daytona, and the 12 Hours of Sebring. With his impressive racing track record, Wallace was the perfect choice to oversee the Bolide’s first public outing. After driving the Bolide, he expressed his awe and admiration, stating that the car looks and feels like a true racing car with outstanding high-performance capabilities. With its exceptional downforce generating twice its weight at maximum speed, the Bolide offers remarkable grip and stability in high-speed corners. Combining this prowess with Bugatti’s powerful W16 engine, producing 1,600 PS, takes the Bolide to a whole new level of performance.
Christophe Piochon, President of Bugatti Automobiles, expressed his pride and joy in debuting the Bolide during the 100th anniversary of Le Mans. Bugatti’s association with the iconic race dates back to its inception, making this historic and unique moment even more significant.
At the heart of the Bolide is Bugatti’s iconic quad-turbo 8.0-liter W16 engine, housed within an aerodynamically optimized carbon body. To achieve its maximum track performance, the Bolide relies on a cutting-edge braking system. Developed by Brembo S.p.A, a world leader in automotive brake technology, the system features 390 mm brake discs and unique calipers with 8 pistons on the front axle and 6 pistons on the rear axle. This advanced system ensures that the Bolide’s impressive dynamic driving capabilities are complemented by exceptional stopping power.
In addition to the Bolide’s public debut, Bugatti presented two extraordinary automobiles to commemorate the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Following Andy’s drive in the Bolide, a one-off blue Bugatti EB110S “Le Mans” took to the circuit, participating in the highly acclaimed Parade of the Grande Exposition Du Centenaire. This legendary car had previously raced in the Le Mans race in 1994, marking 55 years since Bugatti’s last victory at the event. Despite encountering technical problems and an unfortunate accident, the blue Bugatti EB110S LM left an indelible impression on motorsport enthusiasts. Its appearance at the event added another historic moment for Bugatti fans to cherish.
Moreover, the prestigious Bugatti Type 50S was on display at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Museum as part of a special centenarian exhibition. In the early 1930s, multiple Type 50S cars participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with three of them competing in the 1931 race. As a protest against racing officials, Ettore Bugatti had the cars start the race in black instead of the customary French Racing Blue. Notable racing drivers, including Louis Chiron and Albert Divo, drove for Bugatti. Despite initially battling for leading positions, the Type 50S cars faced tire-related challenges that hindered their performance. Ultimately, due to a tragic accident involving one of the racers, Ettore decided to withdraw the remaining two cars from the race. The Type 50S on display at this year’s event, adorned with starting number 5, was a thrilling sight for fans eager to experience motorsport history firsthand.
Bugatti’s presence at the 24 Hours of Le Mans centenary event was a testament to their enduring legacy and commitment to pushing the boundaries of automotive engineering. The debut of the Bolide, accompanied by the remarkable Bugatti EB110S “Le Mans” and the iconic Type 50S, served as a celebration of Bugatti’s rich heritage and its continued pursuit of automotive excellence.