If the rumors are true, Bugatti will reveal a one-off tribute to the EB110 SS at Pebble Beach.
Bugatti has something very special planned for Pebble Beach next month. Rumors suggest the automaker will present another one-off hypercar, this time inspired by the eccentric EB110 SS supercar from the 1990s. This would be a fitting follow up to the Bugatti La Voiture Noire, which was a modern-day interpretation of the iconic Type 57 SC Atlantic. Bugatti won't confirm if these rumors are true, but we've been previously told the automaker "will have a world premiere in Pebble Beach" on August 16.
A few weeks before the mystery car's debut, Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli, the man who revived Bugatti in the 1990s and launched the EB110 before the company was acquired by Volkswagen and launched the Veyron, has revealed what he thinks about a modern interpretation of the EB110.
"I have read the rumors about a new Bugatti being presented in Pebble Beach and it being inspired in the EB110. I don't know if that's the truth, but if it were, it would mean a lot to me, to my whole family, and to my old companions at Bugatti Automobili," he said. "The EB110SS was designed to last for a long time, into the future, and for this reason all the technical solutions that had been anticipated, today are present in the new Bugatti cars. I would be very pleased if even the design of the possible future Bugatti was inspired by the EB110SS, which is still contemporary. La Fabbrica Blu in Campogalliano, the EB110, but also the Lotus Elise - these were a dream come true for me, my life's work."
While Artioli doesn't know if the rumors are true, he believes the EB110 SS is long overdue a tribute car. "The EB110 was a car ahead of its time, 110% worthy of carrying the name Bugatti. I might not be the most impartial person in this matter, but no other car deserves a tribute more than the EB110."
The EB110's distinctive design was the work of Giampaolo Benedini. Artioli says he would like to see some of the car's design elements applied to a modern car. "Giampaolo Benedini finished the design of the EB110 - as an architect! That's quite uncommon in the automotive world, and it resulted in a very distinguished design of this super car," he explained.
"The styling of the EB110 - especially evident in the Super Sport version - is a very graphical one. The memorable, graphical elements make it truly iconic. This Bauhaus style inspiration before that art tendency became popular. Also, design-wise, the EB110 was ahead of its time and nothing but a trendsetter."
Today, Bugatti is better known for the Veyron and Chiron hypercars after the company was acquired by Volkswagen in 1998. But what does Artioli think of Bugatti's current design direction? "Ferdinand Piech, maybe the last "Patron" figure of today's automotive world took over the brand, and has it shaped to his idea, but always with respect of the long and proud Bugatti history. I think that's the most important point."
"The Veyron was and the Chiron are the absolute pinnacle of the automotive industry, the most powerful and the fastest supercars. By the way, the fact that Loris Bicocchi, our main test driver for the EB110 and employee number 7 at Bugatti Automobili, also helped test drive the Veyron and the Chiron, makes me proud!"
Back in January, Bugatti invited Artioli to Chateau Saint Jean, where he got to drive the Chiron. Was this when Bugatti revealed plans to Artioli to build an EB110 tribute car? "I had never been to Molsheim after Volkswagen had bought the rights to the Bugatti brand. So it was long overdue. It was an amazing experience to be received by Stephan Winkelmann and his team in the Château St. Jean and to test drive the Chiron. We exchanged a lot of ideas and stories, but no tribute or homage project was ever mentioned or presented to me."
We'll find out if the rumors are true when Bugatti unveils its latest project at Pebble Beach on August 16. Sadly, Artioli won't be at the show, but he will still watch the premiere. "I wish I could. However, it is a very long journey that would take me away from my current projects for too long. I will, however, sit in front of the laptop to watch the live stream of the Bugatti press conference, as one more Bugatti enthusiast. Maybe even still the biggest one out there…"