Bugatti EB110

Bugatti EB110 front Bugatti EB110 back

Bugatti was one of the finest car manufacturers of the 1920s and 1930s, but after the death of founder Ettore Bugatti in 1947, the company ceased production. In an attempt to revive Bugatti, Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli bought the rights to the legendary name. In 1989 he announced the return of Bugatti. A state of the art factory was constructed just north of Modena, Italy. So just like Ettore himself, Artioli's Bugatti was Italian.

No expense was spared in designing the new Bugatti and from scratch one of the most advanced vehicles of its day was designed and built. Launched on the day of Ettore's 110th birthday (09-15-1991), the new car was aptly named 'EB 110'. Scene of the launch was the Versailles Palace, the former domicile of the French royal family.

Much like its predecessors the EB 110 featured a uniquely styled body complete with the characteristic horse-shoe shaped grill. Responsible of the design was the Italian designer Marcello Gandini. Unlike his previous wedge-shaped designs like the Lamborghini Countach and Lancia Stratos, the EB 110's body is round and voluptuous. To save weight, the entire body was made of aluminum.

The aluminum body panels are bonded to a carbon fibre monocoque chassis. The EB 110 was the first road car to use a monocoque using this exotic material. Due to the difficult production process of the composite material, the tubs were constructed by French aviation company Aerospatiale. It was suspended all around by double wishbones. The front suspension features push-rod operated shock absorbers and the rear dual shock absorbers on each side.

Not just the chassis was advanced, the engine was as well; it remains as one of the most complex powerplants ever constructed. Being a 60 degree V12 engine, its configuration was very Italian, but the ancillaries are what make the 3.5 litre V12 extraordinary. The dual overhead camshafts operated five valves per cylinder, a setup only seen in the Ferrari F1 racers of the day. Four IHI turbochargers were mated the high revving engine, giving the EB 110 an unprecedented output of over 550 bhp.

To best suit the turbocharged engine's characteristics, a 6 speed manual gearbox was fitted. It ensured that the revs could be kept in the 3500+ rpm area after shifting up. The incredible amount of horsepower and torque were delivered to the road through all four wheels. The permanent four wheel drive delivers 27% of the power to the front wheels and the other 73% to the rears. Plenty of stopping power is provided by large ventilated Brembo discs.

Complementing the initial EB 110 GT, was the EB 110 SS, for Super Sport. The SS took the GT's performance one step further. With 650 bhp on the tap, the SS was a genuine race car for the road. Some styling cues distinguished the GT and SS, most notably the air holes behind the side windows on the SS. Seven spoke alloy wheels replaced the BBS wheels found on the GT.

All this did not come cheap, but when the project was started, money did not seem hard to come by. Unfortunately for Artioli, the world economy crashed and with it the demand for steap priced exotics. Five years after its introduction and after a production run of only 126 cars, Bugatti filed for bankruptcy. The remaining tubs were sold to Jochen Dauer, who used them to construct around a dozen more EB 110s.

This was not the final chapter in Bugatti's history. In the late 1990s the rights to the Bugatti name were snapped upped by Volkswagen. After a number of concepts were shown on motorshows around the world, production was started of a new Bugatti. Much in the EB 110's tradtion, the German Bugatti was again the most powerful car available.

engine Quad Turbo 60o V12
valvetrain DOHC 5 Valves / Cyl
displacement 3500 cc / 213.6 cu in
bore 81.0 mm / 3.19 in
stroke 56.6 mm / 2.23 in
compression 8.0:1
power 455.6 kw / 611.0 bhp @ 8250 rpm
hp per litre 174.57 bhp per litre
torque 650.8 nm / 480.0 ft lbs @ 4200 rpm
redline 8500 rpm
drive wheels Mid Engine / AWD
body / frame Aluminium / Carbon Fibre
front brakes Vented Discs w/ Vacuum Assist & ABS
f brake size 333 mm / 13.1 in
rear brakes Vented Discs w/ Vacuum Assist & ABS
r brake size 333 mm / 13.1 in
front wheels F 45.7 x 22.9 cm / 18.0 x 9.0 in
rear wheels R 45.7 x 30.5 cm / 18.0 x 12.0 in
front tire size F 245/40ZR-18
rear tire size R 325/30ZR-18
steering Rack & Pinion w/ Power Assist
weight 1787 kg / 3940 lbs
wheelbase 2550 mm / 100.4 in
front track 1549 mm / 61.0 in
rear track 1618 mm / 63.7 in
length 4399 mm / 173.2 in
width 1941 mm / 76.4 in
height 1115 mm / 43.9 in
transmission 6-Speed Manual
gear ratios 3.76:1, 2.52:1, 1.83:1, 1.42:1, 1.15:1, 0.95:1
final drive F 3.09 / R 3.18 :1
top speed 333.1 kph / 207.0 mph
0 - 60 mph 4.4 seconds
0 - 100 mph 9.1 seconds
0 - 1/4 mile 12.5 seconds