Bugatti Centodieci in the Wind Tunnel

When you’re engineering a car to go fast, you don’t want the vehicle to suddenly—literally—take flight

By Gary S. Vasilash

The photo shows the Bugatti Centodieci. It is undergoing wind tunnel testing, determining how the vehicle will behave at high speeds.

Bugatti Centodieci undergoing wind tunnel testing. (Image: Bugatti)

When they begin the testing, they start at a mere 140 km/h (87 mph).

Start at.

Then they dial it up, making adjustments to the adjustable aero bits to make sure that the vehicle is stable when traveling at, say, 300 km/h (186 mph).

Other things the Bugatti engineers need to know about is whether the 1,600 PS (1,578 hp) 8.0-liter W16 engine gets enough air, and whether the brake cooling is sufficient to make sure the binders don’t bake.

You are likely not to be able to see a wind tunnel test. In this case, there is a propeller that is 26-feet in diameter that is powered by a 9,300 PS (9,173 hp) motor.

And you are not likely to see a Bugatti Centodieci.

The car stickers at 8 million euros, or about $9.45-million. (I don’t know about your neighborhood, but the houses cost a fraction of that, so clearly no one is going to be rolling along in a multi-million super sports car.)

What’s more (or less), Bugatti is building 10 Centodiecis.

So the odds of seeing one. . . .

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