Limited to just ten examples, the Bugatti Centodieci has successfully completed wind tunnel testing. Previously spied testing at the Nurburgring, this few-off Buggati was subjected to aerodynamic testing before the finalized cars are delivered to customers in 2022.
It’s a process that Bugatti says it subjects all of its cars to — even one-offs like the La Voiture Noire. “It makes no difference to us engineers whether we are developing a hyper sports car for one, ten or 500 units – the effort is the same, as we have and want to meet, even exceed the quality and safety standards applicable to mass production,” explains André Kullig, Technical Project Manager for one and few-off projects at Bugatti.
The Centodieci was unveiled at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. This limited-run car is based on the Chiron but it has a fully redesigned body that’s heavily inspired by the EB110. It’s also 44 lbs (20 kg) lighter than the Chiron, and marginally more powerful. An 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 puts out 1,577 HP (1,600 PS / 1,177 kW), which is 99 HP (100 PS / 74 kW) more than in the Chiron.
With unique bodywork, the Centodieci presented a new challenge to engineers. The smaller horseshoe upfront with a flatter front meant that airflow was quite different to any other Bugatti tested. To ensure that handling was spot-on, even at speeds above 350 km/h, the developers were able to play around with the front diffusor flaps and rear wing angles — both of which are adjustable for the prototype but will be fixed on the production car.
Also tested were the temperatures of the 1577 hp engine, with the engine, brakes, and gearbox oil coolers monitored throughout. In further tests, the wind hits the bodywork at various sideways angles to simulate the vehicle’s handling when taking corners quickly with shifting loads.
Despite costing an eye-watering $9.4 million (€8 million) to buy, all ten were sold out at launch, with Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly one of the lucky customers. However, with deliveries set sometime next year it’s been a lengthy wait, with fine-tuning still going on, and the engineers expected to clock many more kilometers out in the open over the next few weeks to select the definitive setup.