* Exterior Designer Frank Heyl walkaround of The Centodieci, Bugatti’s most powerful car at 1,600 horsepower.
* For the 110th anniversary, the design of the Centodieci honors the 1990s Bugatti EB110
* Ten Centodiecis will be made at about $10 million apiece, and all of them have already been sold
Bugatti Centodieci Exterior Designer Frank Heyl walked around the Centodieci car unveiled at The Quail Lodge in Monterey, California. “With the Centodieci, we pay homage to the 1990s.
Bugatti is celebrating its 110th anniversary with the aptly named Centodieci. The company was started by Italian born Ettore Bugatti in 1909 and is now part of the Volkswagen Group. Bugatti started in Molsheim, situated in the heart of the Alsace, France, in 1909, but the EB110 was built in Campogalliano, Italy under the tutelage of the former owner Romano Artioli.
Artioli presented the super sports car EB110 to the public on Ettore Bugatti’s 110th birthday – hence the type designation: EB for Ettore Bugatti, 110 for his 110th birthday.
New three-dimensional design
There are many areas in which the new special-edition Bugatti Centodieci echoes the former super sports car of the 1990s. “The challenge was not to allow oneself to be captivated too much by the design of the historic vehicle and work solely in retrospect, but instead to create a modern interpretation of the shape and technology of that time,” says Achim Anscheidt, Head Designer at Bugatti.
Even sportier and more extreme than the Bugatti Chiron2 and Divo3 hyper sports cars, yet elegant and timeless like the La Voiture Noire4, it is a one-of-a-kind Bugatti for the enthusiast.
“We faced several technical challenges in terms of the development and design of the Centodieci,” says Achim Anscheidt. The EB110 is a very flat, wedge-shaped and graphically quasi-two-dimensional super sports car of the late 1980s. “Transporting this classic look into the new millennium without copying it was technically complex. We had to create a new way of combining the complex aerothermal requirements of the underlying Chiron technology with a completely different aesthetic appearance.”
The flat, horseshoe-shaped radiator at the front reveals its depth only from the side view, with the newly developed, deep-seated front spoiler and the three-section air intakes providing a perfect match. The front of the Centodieci drops very low. The iconic Bugatti horseshoe has been reduced accordingly, while the Bugatti logo Macaron sits on the hood, which is interrupted at the center by a black element. “This allowed us to rekindle memories of EB110,” says Achim Anscheidt. The optimized front section with the extended front splitter and the airflow through the hood further improve the car’s aerodynamics.
The front is subordinated to the generally low geometry of the vehicle, despite its original, predominant cooling surface. The newly developed, sophisticated, and very narrow headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights to provide the perfect match. Thanks to the freshly prepared lighting elements, we were stylistically free in the front and rear sections to pay respectful homage to the EB110 while at the same time transposing this appealing visual reminiscence into modern technology,” says Achim Anscheidt.
“We incorporated the wedge-shaped design in the development process, but we took it in a new direction,” says the designer. Instead of copying the classic Italian wedge in which the muscle runs from the rear to the front wheel, suggesting a dynamic leap forward, Bugatti strikes out on a new path in the Centodieci. The otherwise dominant Bugatti line, the C-line on the B-pillar, gives way to a new design Significantly smaller than the Chiron2, five-round air inserts – positioned in the form of a diamond – ensure sufficient air intake for the iconic 16-cylinder engine. In this way, Bugatti has brought forward the visually leaping wedge of the EB110 SS into a new millennium.
Instead of the two-dimensional graphic rear of the EB110 with its two pill-shaped tail lights, the Centodieci relies on a wide air outlet opening for more efficient engine thermals, bringing to life the flying tail light elements in graphic kinship with the EB110. It took several months to develop solutions to ensure a balanced temperature. As in the EB110, the engine is seen behind a transparent glass surface. The rear is formed into a single ventilation hole, characterized by the eight rear light elements, 2+2 exhaust tailpipes positioned on top of each other in a black matt anodized finish and a performance diffuser to improve downforce. The overhanging rear wing is permanently attached in the style of the original EB110 SS. This attachment increases downforce. Downforce is supported by the aerodynamic tailgate and a laminar flow-optimized rear window.
16-cylinder engine now delivers 1,600 horsepower
Instead of the V12, the Centodieci features the iconic 8.0-liter W16 engine with 1,176 kW/1,600 hp at 7,000 rpm. An additional air inlet in the area of the oil cooler reliably regulates the temperature of the performance-enhanced engine. The Centodieci sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.4 seconds, to 200 km/h in 6.1 seconds and 300 km/h in 13.1 seconds; the top speed is electronically cut off at 380 km/h. “It’s not just the top speed that makes a hyper sports car. With the Centodieci, we once again demonstrate that design, quality, and performance are just as important,” says Stephan Winkelmann.
Compared to the Chiron2, the Centodieci saves 20 kilograms of unladen weight. Among other things, the car uses a lightweight windscreen wiper and stabilizers made of carbon. This carbon enhancement enables a sensational power-to-weight ratio of just 1.13 kilograms per horsepower. “The increased power and lower weight further improve performance – for even better acceleration at high speeds. The Centodieci offers our customers an improved power-to-weight ratio and even more dynamic handling,” says Stephan Winkelmann.
The new paint tone matches this. “With the communication paint finish in white, we’re demonstrating a powerful contrast with the La Voiture Noire – the black car just presented in March: two completely opposing yet related forces, like yin and yang,” says Stephan Winkelmann. He says that this was what continues to set Bugatti apart after 110 years.
Naturally, customers can have their special-edition Centodieci painted in the Bugatti color of their choice. The small series, limited to ten vehicles (and already sold out) and handcrafted in Molsheim, France, will be delivered in two years at unit prices starting at EUR 8 million-plus VAT. After its short period in Italy, Bugatti has now been back at its old headquarters in Molsheim, France, for almost 20 years, where Ettore Bugatti produced the very first vehicles that bore his name at the end of 1909.