Development of Bugatti's EB110 tribute has reached a crucial stage.
Back in 2019, Bugatti presented the Centodieci at Pebble Beach as a tribute to the legendary EB110 and the automaker's rich coachbuilding heritage. Only ten examples are being built, making it much more exclusive than the Chiron that it's based on. 18 months later, the development of the Centodieci has reached a crucial stage, as the first prototype for series development is currently being assembled after over a year of design and simulation work.
Compared to the Chiron, the Centodieci's flat front, low-slung front spoiler, and three-part air intakes pay homage to the EB110, one of the most famous supercars of the 1990s that paved the way for the Veyron after Bugatti was revived by the VW Group. While the Centodieci shares design cues with the EB110, Bugatti wanted to create a modern interpretation of the supercar.
"The challenge for us was not to get caught up in the design of the legendary EB 110 itself and avoid focusing solely on a retrospective approach. Our aim was to create a modern interpretation of the shape and technology of that time: but at the same time, we didn't want to lose the charm and character of the EB 110. After all, the super sports car is still fascinating today with its distinctive design and technology," said Achim Anscheidt, Design Director at Bugatti.
One of the biggest challenges for the design team was to transform the EB 110's flat, wedge-shaped and seemingly two-dimensional body of the EB 110 into a modern, three-dimensional sculpture. After it debuted, engineers have been making calculations for the body, aerodynamics, engine and transmission, simulating the airflow, and meticulously checking the components. After the design was finalized, the first Centodieci prototype was built ahead of series production.
Mechanically, the Centodieci is identical to the Chiron, with power sourced by the same 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 engine uprated to 1,578 horsepower and 1,180 lb-ft of torque.
However, the bespoke body meant there were changes that needed to be simulated using special computer programs. Data gathered from these tests was then used as a starting point for series development and the first prototype. A rolling chassis was hooked up to a roller dynamometer to check all the drivetrain functions before work began on constructing the extravagant exterior. This was a huge technical challenge since the Centodieci's 8.0-liter quad-turbo engine requires sophisticated thermal management.
Like the EB 110, the engine is positioned behind a transparent glass surface. To improve the engine cooling, Bugatti fitted a wide air outlet opening, modified the airflows, and added guide flaps around the five circular air inserts. Other development challenges included the Centodieci's slim LED headlights and fixed rear wing.
Now that the first prototype has been built, Bugatti will continue building the exterior and run more advanced simulation tests in a wind tunnel before the Centodieci hits the track for dynamic testing to finetune the chassis. Customer deliveries are scheduled to start in 2022.