01 Bugatti Divo

The Bugatti Divo: We’re Not In Akron, Ohio Anymore

Bugatti has decided that what the world needs is a hot rod version of its Chiron hypercar. It’s called the Divo and is, essentially, everything a “normal” Chiron is, only more so. To which I say, who cares?

Look, all modern Bugattis are amazing cars. The Veyron, Chiron, and now the Divo are technical marvels of the first automotive order. They all produce fantastic amounts of energy and apply it to the tarmac with amazing efficiency. They are the car to have if you’re a prince from a nation swimming in oil or the heir to some serious olde money or a quarter-talented marketing exercise for a record label.

The maintenance schedule is slightly worse than a Soyuz and only 3.46 times more expensive.

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Bugatti Chiron Sport. Photo: Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.

Heavy Handed

Let me put it this way: When was the last time you saw a modern Bugatti at a track? That’s right, you don’t. For all of their gee-whiz record holding and bedroom poster potential, for me, the latest Bugattis are kind of lackluster.

The reconstituted Bugatti is a division of Volkswagen and they are designed, built, and maintained by Germans. That alone is enough to make Ettore turn over in his grave, but the fact they don’t race is probably enough to make the old man flop over face down in his coffin so Der Deutsch could kindly embrasse son cul.

And so now we have the Divo, which is said to be lighter, generate more downforce, and pull higher Gs than the Chiron it’s based on. That is all very well and good, because, first off, let’s face facts: All new Bugattis are pigs. They are way heavier than they should be, the Chiron tipping the scales at an SUV-challenging 4,400 lbs. No wonder they crank out so much power, eh?

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Albert Divo won the famous Targa Florio mountain race twice for Bugatti. Photo: Public domain/provided by Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.

Whip It Good

The Bugatti Divo is named after Albert Divo, the French race car driver from the 20s. He’s best known for winning the famous Targa Florio in Sicily, twice. That is no small accomplishment, but he was driving Bugattis, Type 35Cs no less, both times, so that was a help. Oh, and just so you know, the Bugatti Divo is pronounced deeVO, not DEEvo.

Devo are those guys from Akron, Ohio. There’s no connection between the two. At least that I know of.

Bugatti says since they are naming this car after the guy that won that race, and since the Targa is like a 30 mile long AutoX course lined with rock walls, precipitous drop-offs, and crazed Sicilians (is that redundant?) the Divo will be “light and nimble and will boast enormous downforce and g-forces.” Huzzah! But since they give no specs, “light” is going to be a subjective term here. Sort of like saying Jackie Stewart is “taller” than Peter Dinklage.

“Happiness is not around the corner. It is the corner,” said Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. and I, for one, am not going to argue with that. Winkelmann continues, “With this project, the Bugatti team has an opportunity to interpret the brand DNA in terms of agile, nimble handling in a significantly more performance-oriented way.”

Sure . . . agile, nimble handling. I bet Lotus is laughing pretty hard right now.

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Targa Florio circa 1929 with Albert Divo at the wheel of the Bugatti Type 35. With the Type 35, Divo won the race in both 1928 and 1929. Photo: Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.

Limited Edition

The Bugatti Divo will be made in a limited run of only 40 vehicles, which for Bugatti, doesn’t sound all that limited. The net price is €5 million, or around 6 million dollars. And no, I have no idea what “net” price is. Does that mean that’s what it’ll run you out the door? With taxes and titles and dealer prep included? Whatever.

The Bugatti Divo will be unveiled at 11:20 a.m. Pacific (a curiously specific time) on August 24th 2018 on the lawn at The Quail – A Motorsports Gathering in California, part of the Monterey Historics. If it were me, I’d blow this off and spend more time over at Laguna Seca watching the real cars race.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. His forthcoming new book The Future In Front of Me, The Past Behind Me will be available soon. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz

Photos & Source: Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.