You got to hand it to Stephan Winkelmann, that man has a golden touch when it comes to dealing with super-exclusive, ultra-high-end cars. It could be those immaculate sideburns or millimetre-perfect suits, that gives him the power to hold sway over extremely wealthy punters to part them of their millions for heavily rebodied special edition cars – as he has so ably demonstrated before at his old job in Lamborghini with the Reventon, Veneno, and Centenario.
Though no longer peddling Lamborghinis these days, it seems that the enormous responsibility of handling Bugatti – maker of million-euro hypercars – hasn’t dulled Herr Winkelmann’s touch as exemplified with the company’s latest creation, the Divo.
Based on the already obscenely powerful Chiron, the Divo is touted as the Bugatti that is “made for corners”, but despite the striking new body, its technical changes are surprisingly modest. The Divo employes the Chiron’s monstrous 8-litre W16 quad-turbo engine that will still churn out a staggering 1103kW/1600Nm and channelled through all four wheels as before.
However in the pursuit of handling, Bugatti engineers have managed to drop 35kg from the standard Chiron’s 1998kg heft, and even though the Divo’s aerodynamics have been shaped for grip and handling – limiting the car’s top speed to a mere 380km/h with none of Bugatti’s fabled “Top Speed” mode – it only manages another 90kg of downforce over the Chiron, generating a sum total of 456kg.
Put together the Divo is said to be able to achieve a lateral acceleration of 1.6g, and lap the Nardo handling circuit eight seconds faster than the Chiron, or a mere three seconds faster than the handling-focused Chiron Sport. I
In the world of today’s harder, better, stronger, hypercar specials, the Divo’s weight-loss and performance-gains doesn’t make for great headlines. Furthermore, when you consider that the Divo will be sporting an unbelievable price tag of €5 million, more than twice the standard Chiron’s €2.4 million asking price, those figures – while certainly headline-worthy – seems hardly worth the premium.
Then again, the standard Chiron was already built to be as light as possible given the context of Bugatti’s mind-crunching engineering and luxury targets. The Divo is more of a million-euro demonstration of the law of diminishing returns than a stripped out track weapon to worry the likes of the Aston Martin Valkyrie or McLaren Senna. Not like that had deterred Winkelmann, who seems to have gotten enough buyers to snap up every one of the Divo’s planned production run of 40 examples, even before the car had seen the light of day. Bugatti couldn’t have found a better man for the top job.