Curtains up for the Bugatti Divo. At the exclusive automotive event “The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering” in Monterey, California, Bugatti has presented its latest model as a world premiere. With the Divo, the French luxury brand has developed a super sports car tuned for agility, nimbleness and optimum handling performance on winding roads. The supercar is named after Albert Divo, a French racing driver who was a two-time winner of the famous Targa Florio race on the mountainous roads of Sicily with Bugatti in the late 1920s. It is powered by Bugatti’s iconic eight-litre W16 engine with a power output of 1,500 PS. The aerodynamics of the model have been intensively fine-tuned and the suspension and chassis settings have been modified. As a result, the Bugatti Divo is 35 kilograms (77 lbs) lighter and has 90 kilograms (198 lbs) more downforce than the standard Chiron. The lateral acceleration of the Divo has been boosted to 1.6 g. Its maximum speed is limited to 380 km/h (236 mph). The Divo can lap the Nardò handling circuit in southern Italy eight seconds faster than the Chiron. The series will only consist of 40 vehicles. Upon the start of presentations to selected customers, the strictly limited small series, with a net unit price of €5 million, sold out immediately. It was therefore decided to build a super sports car with a different character from the Chiron which would still be immediately recognizable as a Bugatti. With the Divo, Bugatti is also reviving its coachbuilding tradition. In its first few decades, the French luxury brand had considerable success with bodies built to its own design and installed on existing chassis.
The newly-designed, wide front spoiler provides higher downforce and guides more air to the front air inlets. The cooling system therefore receives a higher mass flow and overall cooling performance is improved. The aerodynamic properties of the Divo were improved by a considerable amount of detailed work. The front cover is equipped with air intakes which reduce the effective cross-sectional area of the vehicle at the same time as ensuring improved air flow at the front and increasing aerodynamic efficiency. An optimized “air curtain” makes for better air flow over the front and rear sections of the car’s sides. The brakes are cooled by four independent air sources on each side of the vehicle: air flows in from the high-pressure area above the front bumper, the inlets on the front wings, one inlet on the front radiator and the diffusers ahead of the tyres. Vanes direct the cold air from these areas onto the brake discs. A heat shield carries the hot air out through the wheels. This means that the brakes do not overheat and the tyre temperature is always kept in the optimum range. This system, which is already used on the Chiron, receives additional support from the vacuum generated by the air curtain on the tyres in the case of the Divo. In addition, the wheel arches are ventilated via slats on the wings.
The rear end of the Bugatti Divo features a new, height-adjustable rear spoiler which functions as an air brake when turned forwards and is set to different angles for the individual driving modes. The rear spoiler has a width of 1.83 metres (72″) and is therefore 23 percent wider than on the Chiron. The wider spoiler improves efficiency and results in higher air brake performance as well as significantly more downforce. The roof of the Bugatti Divo has been designed to form a NACA air duct, a flow-optimized air inlet. In combination with the specially designed engine compartment cover, this ensures a very high air mass flow to the engine compartment, playing a key role in temperature management in this area of the vehicle. The downforce is also boosted by the rear diffuser which has been entirely redesigned for greater efficiency and accommodates four tailpipes. The total downforce generated is 456 kilograms, 90 kg more than on the Chiron. New chassis and suspension settings as well as weight reduction make the Divo a star performer on corners. The main objective of chassis development work was to improve cornering dynamics; the Bugatti Divo was to be sharper, more agile and more nimble. For this purpose, the camber was increased. As a result the maximum speed of the Bugatti Divo is limited to 380 km/h. In contrast to the Chiron, there is therefore no Top Speed mode. As regards lateral acceleration, the Divo reaches 1.6 g. These changes alone ensure a perceptibly different driving experience on winding roads.
The lower part of the sides has more of a functional, technical design, reinforcing the car’s forceful appearance and giving it a confident stance on the road. This section features exposed carbon fibre tinted in a petroleum blue shade, “Divo Carbon”, developed especially for this model. One highlight at the rear of the vehicle is definitely the new, highly sophisticated 3-D rear light. This is actually part of the rear grille, which is partly produced by a 3-D printing process and has special lightweight fins with a variety of sizes. A total of 44 of these fins light up, forming the rear light of the Divo. At the outer edge, the fins become wider, creating a more intensive light. Towards the centre of the vehicle, they are narrower, resulting in gradual fading of the light. The result is a striking appearance which means that the Divo is also unmistakable from the rear. The NACA air inlet on the roof creates an optical connection with the air outlet in the centre of the front cover and guides the air towards the rear spoiler. The fact that the central line runs from the front over the roof to the rear spoiler is not only a reminiscence of Bugatti’s legendary past but also serves a function. This configuration prevents air eddies from forming over the vehicle, creating turbulence on the rear spoiler. The two-tone colour scheme also intensifies the forceful impression created by the rear. The fenders are painted in “Titanium Liquid Silver” with a matt finish and are optically distinguished from the parts which control airflow at the rear end. Air outlets, rear spoiler and diffuser have a carbon finish.
Albert Divo was born in Paris on 24 January 1895 under the name of Albert Eugène Diwo (he called himself Divo later). After service as a fighter pilot in the First World War, he worked as a mechanic. His career as a racing driver started with Sunbeam and Talbot-Darracq in 1919. He enjoyed rapid success and won the 1923 Spanish Grand Prix in Sitges In 1924, he moved to Delage and entered a number of sprint races in France. In 1926 and 1927, he again raced for Talbot, where he was less successful as a result of problems with an insufficiently mature design. He then returned to Delage but was not entered for any races. When Talbot and Delage retired from racing, Divo joined Bugatti’s works team in 1928. The same year, he won the Targa Florio in Sicily driving a Type 35 B. He repeated this success the following year. He took third place at Spa in 1930. Up to 1933 he entered further races for Bugatti with the Types 51, 53 and 54, as well as hillclimbs with the Types 45 and 47. From 1936, he raced for Delahaye and Talbot. He retired from racing in 1939. Following the Second World War, Albert Divo worked as racing manager for Castrol. In 1962, he was a founder member of the Club International des Anciens Pilotes de Grand Prix F1 in Villars-sur-Ollon (Switzerland). Divo received the Legion of Honour. He then led a withdrawn life and died in Morsang-sur-Orge to the south of Paris on 19 November 1966. Divo definitely celebrated his greatest success with Bugatti, whose dominance of the Targa Florio started in 1925. The legendary Targa Florio, held on a mountain circuit in Sicily each year until 1977, was certainly one of the most arduous of all the endurance races of its time. Bugatti won the race five times in succession with the Type 35.
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