Determined to honor one of the most iconic and influential supercars in history, the EB110, iconic automaker Bugatti set itself a seemingly impossible task. The company wanted to modernize this classic, bringing it up to standards set by the company’s groundbreaking Chiron hypercar—without losing the design inspiration and DNA left by one of the cars that defined not only the 1990s, but the arrival of the supercar in the public consciousness.
With the unveiling of the new Centodieci model, it seems like the brand has achieved the impossible. With a striking design that, despite modern lines and aerodynamic enhancements, still evokes strong memories of the pioneering EB110, the Bugatti design team has walked the fine line between honoring the past and embracing the future.
“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 Bugatti’s Head Designer Achim Anscheidt.
With a more angular and refined exterior than the marque’s recent offerings, the Centodieci (Italian for 110) balances the design concepts of the EB110 and the current models, while producing performance that ranks with Bugatti’s contemporary lineup. Small changes from the current designs, like a smaller horseshoe intake at the front and a low-slung front end inspired by the wedge shape of the EB110, give the Centodieci a unique stance compared to the other Bugattis, but all of the engineering genius that helped create the Chiron was not ignored either.
Anscheidt explains the challenge, admitting that “transporting this classic look into the new millennium without copying it was technically complex, to say the least. We had to create a new way of combining the complex aerothermal requirements of the underlying Chiron technology with a completely different aesthetic appearance.”
This usage of the most advanced aspects of the Chiron is evident, starting with the powerhouse that is Bugatti’s 8.0-liter W16 engine capable of producing 1,600 hp. Acceleration from a stop to 100 km/h is possible in a mere 2.4 seconds, .86 seconds faster than its inspirational forerunner, the EB110, while modern weight-saving advancements allow an insane power-to-weight ratio of 1.13 kg per horsepower. With only 10 vehicles scheduled to be produced, the Centodieci is already sold-out, despite a starting price of €8 million (about $8.8 million).
And it appears to be staking out a legacy of its own, one that seamlessly honors the history of Bugatti and bridges the gap between three decades of the marque’s dominance in the supercar world.