While it may boast a top speed of 261 mph, there apparently are people – very, very wealthy people – who think the Bugatti Chiron isn’t fast enough.
So, for those folks, the French arm of the Volkswagen Group is rolling out the Bugatti Divo, all $5.78 million of it. The ultra-exclusive hypercar is making its debut this weekend on the Monterey Peninsula, ahead of the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The 1,500 horsepower Divo isn’t a ground-up project, starting out as a Chiron that has been fed plenty of steroids. But it is lighter and boasts far better handling, Bugatti officials promise, especially during aggressive cornering maneuvers. On a straight road, however, it actually loses a bit of speed, topping out at a mere 236 mph.
“The Divo is made for corners,” said Stephan Winkelman, who took over the Bugatti brand last year after an extensive run overseeing its slightly down-market sibling Lamborghini. “The Divo has significantly higher performance in terms of lateral acceleration, agility and cornering.”
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The Chiron and Divo share the same basic powertrain system — the 8.0-liter W-16 here making 1,500 hp. But the overall weight has been trimmed by 77 pounds, while Divo also generates an extra 198 pounds of downforce — the key to its performance. According to Bugatti, it can lap the tricky Nardo race track in Southern Italy eight second faster than the Chiron, a sizable performance difference, indeed.
The primary difference can be spotted immediately, the Divo development team primarily focued on improving aerodynamics. That includes a new, wider front spoiler – with front-end modifications offering the added advantage of feeding in more air to improve cooling. Other aero changes include optimized air curtains to reduce turbulence around the Divo’s wheels and sides. Even the roof has been redesigned to form a NACA air duct, to both improve air feeding the engine, as well as helping reduce heat.
The brakes are now cooled by four different sources of air on each side of the hypercar, a heat shield now used to direct hot air out through the wheels to prevent brake and tire overheating.
There may be some uncomfortable with all the changes made to the Chiron’s looks. And the Divo does, in some ways break away from the classic Bugatti formula first conceived for the Veyron, admits Winkelmann.
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“When I took up my position at Bugatti at the beginning of the year, I soon learnt that our customers and fans were waiting for a special vehicle which would tell a further story for the brand in addition to the Chiron,” he said. “The Bugatti team was also very eager to implement a project like this.”
As for the cabin, it also moves away from the luxury-meets-sci-fi styling of the Veyron and Chiron. Finished with Alcantara and machined metal, it adds a certain more blunt and brutal feel.
As with the Veyron and Chiron, the Divo is named after one of the great early Bugatti race drivers, in this case, Albert Divo, who drove a Bugatti Type 35 to victory – twice – in the Targa Florio.
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For those who might have the desire – and the dollars – to purchase a car like the Divo, unfortunately, you may be out of luck. Only 40 are planned, and Winkelmann says they’re all already spoken for.