Performance built from luxury – the Bugatti Divo story
With Bugatti Divo models now being delivered, let’s take a look at how the idea came about.
Since the Chiron was unveiled in 2016, Bugatti has been on a roll of even more exclusive models based on the 1,500hp car’s chassis. One of these is the Divo for which Bugatti is currently beginning deliveries.
The Bugatti Divo is very much of a different philosophy to the car on which it is based. While the Chiron is all about getting from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time whilst remaining in the most luxurious seat one could imagine, the Divo is more of a track-destroying monster.
The project came about when the French company was placed under the new leadership of Stephan Winkelmann. The brand then wanted to resurrect its tradition of coachbuilding sparking a project to create new vehicles based on the Chiron chassis. In 2018, the decision was taken to create a model focusing on cornering agility and track time, by request of many of Bugatti’s customers. However, that emphasis on sportiness wasn’t going to sacrifice on comfort.
After much deliberation within the Bugatti team as well as with its customers, the Divo project took shape. “Every Divo customer owns a Chiron, knows what the brand stands for and is a true Bugatti enthusiast. Our customers instantly understood the sporty approach of the Divo and supported our project,” said Winkelmann in a press release.
Today, the first of the 40 examples of the almost racecar-spec, Chiron based Divo are about to be delivered. Each example will feature the same 8.0-litre, quad-turbo W16 engine that sits in the Chiron’s engine bay putting out around 1,500hp and 1,600Nm of torque.
Under the downforce producing shell sits a highly tuned chassis capable of making plenty of mechanical downforce. The entire suspension geometry was reworked from the Chiron to the Divo including spring rates to damper control settings. Even the steering system had to be modified to optimise on-track feel and performance.
All the necessary changes were achieved thanks to testing both virtually thanks to load data simulation software, and in the real world thanks to a little track called the Nurburgring.
With so many changes, one would expect massive performance gains from the Chiron to the Divo, and that would be a correct assumption. The Divo is able to get from 0km/h to 380km/h – its limited top speed – eight seconds faster than the Chiron, pulling 1.6 g whilst doing it. Furthermore, the restyled body means the Divo gets an additional 90kg more downforce than the Chiron for a total of 456kg at 380km/h.
The Divo is named after French pilot and racing driver, Albert Divo who claimed several wins in his motorsport career. The race that inspired Bugatti to name its car after him was his performance at the Targa Florio, a race the brand won five times in a row. The now idle race with its infamous twisty course is the perfect example of what the Divo is designed to do.