Will this tempt the French carmaker to make a return to Le Mans?
Bugatti was the force to be reckoned with on Europe's pre-war motor racing scene. But those days are long, long behind it. These days the Alsatian marque doesn't race, focused instead entirely on producing incredibly expensive road cars for its wealthy clientele. The last time it did race was under its previous administration with the EB110. So now that the spirit of that 1990s supercar has been revived in the form of the Centodieci, some of our favorite rendering artists performed the inevitable and dressed up the new hypercar in the liveries of its precursor. And we kinda dig the results.
The story of the EB110's foray into motorsport competition is a troubled one. Recognizing the inherent racing potential behind the design, Romano Artioli's Bugatti Automobili SpA prepared one (in blue) for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1994, while another patron entered a second car (in silver) in the 24 Hours of Daytona two seasons later.
Unfortunately neither fared particularly well. In fact neither finished the endurance races in which they were entered, but they did show promise – the Le Mans car running sixth overall for a time before retiring. And as the first (and last) racing Bugattis in decades, they secured their own place in the history books.
Today's Bugatti still has those racing-spec EB110s in their original liveries, featuring them in the ramp up and reveal of the Centodieci. So we suppose it would only be a matter of time before someone would apply those decals digitally to the new one. Both Marco van Overbeeke and Nikita Aksyonov picked up the mantle, sharing their work on Behance.
Of course, none of this means that Bugatti is going racing again, even with the dawn of a new hypercar class approaching at Le Mans. And if it did, it probably wouldn't use the Centodieci, and certainly not in the same livery. But the renderings are food for thought and candy for the eye.