Only ten Bugatti Centodieci1 vehicles will be built. The French luxury car manufacturer puts the same effort into development and testing for them as for its 'series product', the Bugatti Chiron2. And that's what Bugatti's customers expect, after all, coachbuilding vehicles are the most exclusive thing the brand has to offer: minimal quantities, exceptional design with a unique driving dynamics setup. Over a period of months, Bugatti test drivers and engineers collect technical data and valuable experience in the high-speed sector, on handling and circuits, country roads and in city traffic, which is forwarded to Bugatti Engineering for meticulous evaluation. The close-to-production prototype of the Centodieci completed more than 50.000 test kilometers after returning from the final endurance tests in Nardò in Apulia in southern Italy according to a detailed test process.
The white prototype does its rounds there for hours. Kilometer after kilometer. Three drivers take turns testing all of the Centodieci's functions around the clock, registering and logging even the smallest anomaly. You drive on different route profiles and in every speed range, from walking speed to maximum speed, during the day and at night. Endurance testing requires drivers to have a high degree of technical know-how, maximum concentration and sensitivity, and precise control of the vehicle. Even after hours on the high-speed line, they must perceive minimal abnormal noises, movements, bumps. Everything is examined one last time: driving on different surfaces, wet and dry, every little steering movement, braking, acceleration, cornering stress, functionality of the driver assistance systems. Everything has to come together to create a unique, typical Bugatti driving experience.
"With the high-speed circuit and the handling course, the test site in Nardò offers ideal conditions for intensive endurance tests," says Steffen Leicht, who is responsible for endurance testing at Bugatti. The 12,6 kilometer circular track with a diameter of 4 kilometers is considered to be the fastest car circuit in the world - perfect for the 380 km/h Centodieci. The 6,2-kilometre-long handling course on the inside of the site allows tests to be carried out at the highest load levels for longitudinal and lateral dynamics. On the more than 700 hectare area of Nardò there are also 70 kilometers of slopes with different surfaces for extensive testing and checking of all components in the vehicle.
up to 1.200 kilometers a day
During the tests, the Centodieci covered up to 1.200 kilometers a day, only interrupted by technical checks, refueling and driver changes. During the entire period, Bugatti's engineers analyze engine and vehicle data and make adjustments if necessary. "We test every element on the vehicle one last time, paying particular attention to functionality and durability before the first Centodieci vehicles go into production," explains Carl Heilenkötter, project manager for one-off and few-off projects at Bugatti. All functions must interact flawlessly with one another, withstand overloads and harmonize stably and safely even with the most unusual driving behavior. Bugatti has had the highest quality requirements for its products for over a hundred years. The brand lives on to this day. And so the Centodieci must still give its owner a unique driving experience in 100 years. In order to achieve this level of quality, Bugatti goes well beyond the legal requirements.
perfect even in extreme situations
“The Centodieci is deliberately driven to its load limit in order to guarantee perfect and absolutely reliable handling at the highest level even in extreme situations. Even if most vehicles never penetrate this load range, it is tested. That's the philosophy of the brand, that's why we do this enormous testing effort. Bugatti simply stands for the highest quality requirements, durability and customer satisfaction,” says Carl Heilenkötter. The endurance tests in Nardò are the final act of extensive testing. Hardly have all the tests been completed than the first highly exclusive vehicles are already going into production at unit prices starting at eight million euros net. It will begin in a few weeks in the workshop in Molsheim, Alsace, and will be implemented with the same care that the engineers used during development. All ten units will be delivered to their owners later this year.
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Bugatti Centodieci shortly before the start of production - more than 50.000 kilometers in the endurance test
Photo credit: Bugatti
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