The air conditioning unit in the Bugatti Divo, Chiron, and all its derivatives alone draws as much power as an average 150cc commuter motorcycle!
Every component that goes into building a Bugatti vehicle is capable of stratospheric levels of performance. After all, if a vehicle is capable of hitting speeds of beyond 480km/h, then standard, run-off-the-mill components simply won't cut it. However, this discussion remains largely restricted to the car's key components, such as the engine, transmission, brakes, and tyres. But what about the supporting peripheral equipment? Or, in other words, what about the components that ensure a Buggati's everyday usability and unmatched levels of luxury? Well, one such component is Bugatti's air conditioning system that, as it turns out, has to overcome significant challenges.
In a vehicle like a Bugatti Chiron, an effective air-conditioning unit is just not enough. As explained by Julia Lemke, the designer of air conditioning systems of the new Chiron Pur Sport, Divo, and all other Chiron derivatives, 'For us, it’s important to ensure that the selected temperature is quickly established. But there mustn’t be any draughts. The air conditioning system is working best when occupants don’t notice it. We have to make sure there are no draughts or noise – only then does it make you feel comfortable.' Balancing the demands of the luxury-end with an effective performance at extremely high-speeds is definitely a challenging task.
In conventional vehicles, the air is forced into the interior through the lower end of the windscreen. However, in a Bugatti, this is applicable only up to about 250km/h. Beyond this speed, the car's sophisticated air conditioning control module takes over to regulate the airflow, with the help of an additional ram-air flap and an optimised blower.
Due to a Bugatti's super-aerodynamic shape, the windscreen inclination is kept at 21.5 degrees, compared to a conventional car's 30 degrees. This increases the glass surface area from around 0.70 sq.m. to 1.30 sq.m. Therefore, a Bugatti's interior heats up more due to a higher glass surface area. The heating intensifies further if a customer has opted for the glass roof.
To tackle this issue, Bugatti engineers have fitted the Divo and all Chiron models with an extra-powerful air conditioning system that features a compressor of up to 10kW of cooling capacity, 9.5 metres of air conditioning lines, and two condensers. The compressor, due to its placement near the exhaust system, has its own cooling system! The air conditioning system is capable of compressing about 3kg of refrigerant per minute, making it powerful enough to cool an apartment of about 80 sq.m.
All of this careful operation, meanwhile, happens in such a way that it escapes passengers' notice!