It’s not uncommon for automakers to turn to past glories to seek inspiration for limited editions; however, Bugatti’s newest ultra-limited model unveiled at Pebble Beach during Concours d’Elegance week came as a surprise to many. Called the Bugatti Centodieci (which is Italian for 110), the new hypercar is a tribute to one of most underappreciated Bugatti cars ever made – the EB110. Before Bugatti was bought by Volkswagen in 1998, the brand was owned by Romano Artioli, who created the EB110 as a special model to celebrate Ettore Bugatti’s 110th birthday in 1991. Powered by a 550bhp, 3.5-litre quad-turbo V12, it was one of the fastest of its time competing directly with the McLaren F1. And the quirky design of the car was the work of none other than Marcello Gandini, the famed Italian car designer. It had all the necessary ingredients to be a historic supercar but failed to make its mark. But Bugatti thinks it’s the right time to pay homage to the forgotten hero of the ‘90s.
Just like the Bugatti Divo that debuted at Pebble Beach last year, the Centodieci is also based on the Chiron but with mechanical changes and a completely different bodywork inspired by the EB110. It is meant to look like a modern rendition of the EB110 with design attributes adapted to the proportions and dimensions of the Chiron’s chassis. The front is the most eye-catching angle of the hypercar which gets a much smaller sized Bugatti horseshoe with three-section air intakes and the brand logo on the hood instead of the grille. On the side, the unique C-shaped B-pillar of the Chiron has been replaced by five round air intakes in a diamond shape that reference the EB110. At the rear, the exhaust tailpipes are stacked two by two within the huge diffuser and the beautiful eight taillight elements give a three-dimensional look to it.
The 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine has been retuned to produce 1577 horsepower, which is almost 100 horses more than the Chiron. The weight has also been reduced by a modest 44 pounds, which gives the Centodieci a better power-to-weight ratio. Bugatti claims the new hypercar can do the 0-62mph sprint in just 2.4 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 236 mph. Only 10 examples will be built and all of them have already been sold despite a price-tag of about $8.9 million.