The 1,500bhp Bugatti Divo is a Chiron for the track
Going very fast in a straight line is all well and good, but… eventually the thrill wears off. Going fast around corners, however, is surely what real driving is all about. Just ask Bugatti…
The kings of the autobahn have discovered corners and come up with a new version of the Chiron with which to tackle them. Meet the Divo – ironically the slowest new-generation Bugatti with a top speed of “only” 236mph but the quickest where it counts most: around a circuit.
“The Divo is made for bends,” said Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann at the new model’s unveiling in California. “To date, a modern Bugatti has represented a perfect balance between high performance, straight-line dynamics and luxurious comfort. Within our possibilities, we have shifted the balance in the case of the Divo further towards lateral acceleration, agility and cornering.”
Turning a Chiron into a Divo involves saving weight (down 35kg), increasing downforce (up 90kg) and tweaking the suspension. The result, says Bugatti, is that cornering forces now peak at 1.6g which translates on the Nardo handling circuit to a substantial eight seconds a lap advantage over a Chiron.
The intensive fine-tuning of the aerodynamics to increase downforce threw up challenges of its own, such as keeping the brakes, tyres and engine from overheating. They were solved with lots more air intakes in the new-look front end as well as a NACA duct on the roof. Along with a striking new light signature, new splitter, rear diffuser, colour scheme and of course the car’s calling card – its big new rear wing – the Divo comes across with a look all its own. It certainly appears a more purposeful track machine, although still homologated as a road car.
And that bigger new rear spoiler? It might live up to its name and “spoil” top speed a bit but at its most aggressive (it is height adjustable depending on drive mode) it is said to be responsible for generating the lion’s share of the extra 90kg of downforce. It also acts as an air brake like the wing on the Chiron.
Weight saving measures include new lightweight wheels, less insulation, a lighter sound system and the binning of some oddments. Steering and suspension have been tuned to be more direct and sportier, in all the car’s drive modes. Bugatti says the car now offers a “perceptibly different driving experience on winding roads”.
What hasn’t changed is the mighty 8.0-litre W16 engine. One thing for sure, with its 1,500PS (1,479bhp) the Divo hardly needs more power.
And why call it Divo? It’s another model in the esteemed line of Bugatti’s anciens pilotes, a driver who twice won the Targa Florio driving Bugattis in the 1920s.
The Divo is a five million euro (£4.5m) car and Bugatti says it is making 40 of them only. It also says they are all sold out