Few marques have the stature that Bugatti has achieved. For years, Bugattis have been among the world’s most desirable automobiles, and then some investors decided to revive the name for a modern iteration that just may be the world’s most expensive new car. But let’s be honest: modern Bugattis have been kinda ugly. It almost seems they are designed around a horseshoe grille and let the cards fall where they may, so it is with some surprise to see that Bugatti has created an almost attractive car with the Centodieci.
Of course, being a Bugatti, the Centodieci has more horsepower than all the Greek gods combined: 1,578 at last count. Remember when 425 was considered a lot of horsepower and insurance companies were getting their collective panties in a bunch? They practically killed the great American muscle car, but now we have cars that go 0-60 in … well, already.
Oh, and we put a man on the moon too!
Centodieci means “110” in Italian. Sure, the Bugatti Brothers were born in Italy, but the company was based in Molsheim, France. How do you say 110 in French? Molsheim also was considered part of Germany a bit over 100 years ago so, as such, Bugatti is a holy trinity of “automobiledom” of sorts. And why the 110? Because it’s a homage to the first Bugatti of its original rebirth: the EB110, though the lightweight Supersport version. The 110 designation also is an acknowledgement of the number of years since Bugatti’s birth as an automobile company.
“The EB110 is unique in the Bugatti history. With the brand’s rebirth in the late 1980s the EB110 emerged with timeless sports car proportions. Its design was finished by Giampaolo Benedini, the architect responsible for the Bauhaus-inspired Campogalliano factory of the period, and the EB110’s memorable graphics and sophisticated shapes certainly reflect that architectural approach,” says Achim Anscheidt, Bugatti Design Director. “But what was true of the EB110 Supersport is true for us today: form follows performance. So we wanted to look at why this car looked the way it did, and reinterpreted that for a modern era Bugatti.”
Influences of the EB110 Supersport that have been reinterpreted for the Centodieci to include B-pillar cooling holes, glass engine cover, rear vents, silhouette and proportions.
Head of Special Projects in the Bugatti Design Team, Nils Sajonz, adds, “When designing a car that is able to reach safely the speeds the Centodieci is capable of, you have to take into account many different considerations. It must be safe, it must be aerodynamic and it has to direct air effectively around the powertrain components for cooling. We used the Chiron powertrain and monocoque as a base, but the development of the Centodieci was so wide-ranging that we were essentially designing an entirely new car. To achieve the desired levels of performance and stylistic perfection, this is the only way.”
Only 10 of the Centodieci will be built. They each will cost about $8,000,000, which is insane.
Achim Anscheidt continues, “Some have argued that without the EB110, the Bugatti brand would not be in the position it is today. The car helped to shape the new vision of the company following its acquisition by the Volkswagen Group in the late 1990s. We have engineering geniuses such as the recently departed Nicola Materazzi to thank for its incredible performance, but we also recognize the amazing vision of its designers. The timeless shape provided us with endless inspiration to create a fitting homage to this very significant piece of Bugatti history.”
And, yes, all 10 are already sold. Time to find a Plan B! Ducati, anyone?