The Bugatti Centodieci has completed the hot-weather testing phase of its development programme ahead of customer deliveries beginning next year.
The £7.4 million tribute to the Bugatti EB110 was subjected to "extreme" temperatures approaching 50deg C, as a 27-strong team of engineers ran checks on the car’s electrics, telemetrics, radio frequencies, fuel system and air conditioning system.
Starting in California, the team’s route followed the Central Pacific Highway to Arizona via San Diego, before "rapid" ascents up Mount Lemmon tested the hypercar at an altitude of 2800 metres.
The Centodieci was also tested in "low-speed stop-start traffic", left stationary under the sun with the air con at full blast and even driven at 198mph on a closed road.
It was accompanied throughout by three Chiron Pur Sports and four Chiron Super Sports.
“Testing in the hot, dry desert is a huge help for us in the development process,” explained Stefan Schmidt, one of Bugatti’s engineers in the Overall Vehicle Development department.
“All Bugatti models have to function perfectly, no matter how high the temperature, including the few-of Centodieci. Even if we're only creating 10 cars, as with the Centodieci, the testing procedure is just as grueling. Every model has to run flawlessly in all weather and in all traffic conditions."
Only 10 examples of the Centodieci will be built. Based on the Chiron, the limited-edition model uses the same quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 engine for 1577bhp and 0-62mph in 2.4sec. However, it's limited to 236mph, whereas the Chiron tops out at 261mph.
“The Centodieci’s newly developed bodywork, airflow changes and its engine bay cover manufactured from glass mean the temperature behavior is quite different, especially in such extreme, 45deg C-plus heat conditions,” said André Kullig, technical project manager at Bugatti.
“This hot-weather endurance test is fundamental for us, as it's the only way we can ensure that the Centodieci, like every Bugatti model, offers a flawless, reliable and safe drive in extreme heat, too – even though our customers may never subject their cars to such extreme conditions.
"The new tests prove that our existing set-up for the Centodieci works optimally for hours on end even in extreme heat.”
The Centodieci will now move on to its final shakedown in Europe, where Bugatti expects it to cover 186,000 miles during high-speed and endurance testing.