Like its predecessor, the Veyron, the Bugatti Chiron defies the laws of physics. It is a mammoth car weighing a bag of chips less than two tonnes with a drinking habit to rival an estuary, yet it offers the straight line performance of a rocket ship and, somehow, goes around corners in an anti-gravity sort of fashion. Bugatti has always proclaimed that its W16-engined super-luxury-heavyweight-hypercar would be ‘among’ the very fastest cars in the world to lap Le Mans. But now it has admitted that the Chiron isn’t the most track focused machine in existence. What?!
That’s because, the company says, it left room for a more circuit-oriented variant, which it has now been produced and christened the Divo. Boss of the Volkswagen Group-owned marque Stephan Winkelmann says Divo has been “made for corners”, as it trades outright speed for improved agility and handling. But there have been no technical changes to the car’s 1500hp and 1180lb ft of torque-producing quad-turbochaged W16 heart, so this is a bit like taking a 911 Turbo and applying GT3 logic to it, albeit in a sumo-sized package.
The car’s weight has been reduced by 35kg, leaving the Divo to tip the scales at 1961kg – 62kg heavier than a Range Rover Velar. Top speed has been trimmed by 25mph, but that still leaves the Divo capable of 236mph, which is phenomenally fast by anyone’s measure. And the body has been totally resculpted and now features an active rear wing that’s 23 per cent wider, so aerodynamic downforce peaks at 456kg, 90kg more than the Chiron.
There are improvements beneath the body as well, including all-new geometry that has encouraged more negative camber, along with a new steering system and retuned suspension to improve responsiveness. Unsprung mass has also been reduced with the fitment of lighter wheels. Combine these changes and you’re left with a Divo that can corner with up to 1.6g of lateral force and lap the Nardo test track eight seconds faster than a Chiron.
This ‘racier’ package has earned the car its new title, which is taken from French racing driver and Targa Florio winner Albert Divo, who rose to fame in the 1920s and drove for Bugatti’s works team. The name is also used for a colour featured on sections of the exterior, Divo Racing Blue, which looks remarkably like French Racing Blue. The car’s overall appearance is sharper and meaner, but the interior is still trimmed with luxury in mind so don’t expect any Alcantara or roll cage a la 911 GT3.
Sold? We have some bad news. Unless you’re one of the 40 customers with a build slot already secured, you’re not getting one. If you are, you’ll know that prices start at a cool €5 million, which is about 4.5 million sterling and around twice the cost of a Chiron.
If you missed out there’s still a chance you could bag yourself a special version of the Chiron, however, because Bugatti says the Divo is the first car to come from its re-launched coachbuilding service. So if you’ve an idea for a special Chiron, Bugatti is ready and waiting. Just don’t forget your cheque book.