Bugatti Centodieci ready for production

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Limited-run Chiron spin-off was driven 1200km per day to gather data in a multitude of environments.

The Bugatti Centodieci will soon go into production ahead of customer deliveries beginning this year, the production-based prototype having completed more than 50,000 kilometers of endurance tests.

Bugatti says the 1160kW Bugatti Chiron-based hypercar was driven 1200km per day so that technical teams could gather data on handling routes, circuits, highways, and in city traffic. The testing concluded at the Nardò test track in southern Italy.

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The £7.4 million (AUD$12.89m) tribute to the 1991 Bugatti EB110 was driven “day and night” by three drivers on rotation who tested for “atypical noises, movements and irregularities” in wet and dry weather.

“The Centodieci is deliberately driven to its limits in order to guarantee reliable handling at the highest level, even in extreme situations. Even though most cars never enter this range, it’s nonetheless tested,” said Carl Heilenkötter, product manager for Bugatti’s limited projects.

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“This is the philosophy of the brand, and that’s why we put such a huge amount of effort into all this testing. Bugatti is committed to the highest quality standards, durability and customer satisfaction.”

Only 10 examples of the Centodieci will be built. The limited-edition model uses the same quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 engine as the Chiron for 1160kW and 0-100km/h in 2.4sec. However, it’s limited to 380km/h, whereas the Chiron tops out at 420km/h.

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It will go into production once final assessments have been completed, Bugatti said. All cars will be delivered to their respective owners later this year.

The Centodieci was previously subjected to “extreme” temperatures approaching 50deg C, with a 27-strong team of engineers who ran checks on the car’s electrics, telemetrics, radio frequencies, fuel system and air conditioning system.

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Starting in California, US, the team’s route followed the Central Pacific Highway to Arizona via San Diego, before “rapid” ascents up Mount Lemmon tested the hypercar at an altitude of 2800 metres.

The Centodieci was also tested in “low-speed stop-start traffic”, left stationary under the sun with the air con at full blast and even driven at 319km/h on a closed road.

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It was accompanied throughout by three Chiron Pur Sports and four Chiron Super Sports.

“Testing in the hot, dry desert is a huge help for us in the development process,” explained Stefan Schmidt, one of Bugatti’s engineers in the Overall Vehicle Development department.

“All Bugatti models have to function perfectly, no matter how high the temperature, including the few-of Centodieci. Even if we’re only creating 10 cars, as with the Centodieci, the testing procedure is just as grueling. Every model has to run flawlessly in all weather and in all traffic conditions.”

“The Centodieci’s newly developed bodywork, airflow changes and its engine bay cover manufactured from glass mean the temperature behavior is quite different, especially in such extreme, 45deg C-plus heat conditions,” said André Kullig, technical project manager at Bugatti.

“This hot-weather endurance test is fundamental for us, as it’s the only way we can ensure that the Centodieci, like every Bugatti model, offers a flawless, reliable and safe drive in extreme heat, too – even though our customers may never subject their cars to such extreme conditions.

“The new tests prove that our existing set-up for the Centodieci works optimally for hours on end even in extreme heat.”

Jack Warrick

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