The ‘EB’ in Bugatti EB 110 stood for Ettore Bugatti – the firm’s founder. On the 110th anniversary of his birth, the new supercar was unveiled. Fittingly, the launch took place in Paris – since Bugatti was a French firm. When it went on sale – in ’91 – the EB110 had a price tag of £285,000. But, if the standard EB 110 was not to your taste, you could always stump up another £50,000 – and drive off in the Supersport version. The latter’s 611bhp output delivered 221mph! The stock EB 110’s top speed was 212mph. If you had the money – do the math!
Superstar designer Marcello Gandini was recruited to style the EB 110. His mock-up, though, was deemed too radical by Bugatti’s top brass. The brief was passed to Italian architect Giampaolo Benedini. Clearly, he was able to style cars, as well as buildings! The aluminium body he drafted was breathtaking. Even the car’s engine was a work of art. Its V12 layout took in 4 turbochargers and 60 valves. There was a 6-speed gearbox – and 4-wheel drive. Handling was precise – to put it mildly!
In ’87, entrepreneur Romano Artioli had stepped in to rescue the struggling Bugatti brand-name. He built a state of the art supercar factory – in Campogalliano, Modena, Italy. Benedini – the EB 110’s designer – had previously architected the factory in which it was built! The EB 110 thus became a sort of French/Italian hybrid – the only Bugatti model to have done so. To head up the engineering team, Artioli had hired acclaimed technical director Paulo Stanzani. The EB 110’s four-year run stretched to ’95 – when Bugatti was wound up. 139 EB 110s were built. Among their owners was a certain Michael Schumacher. The ultimate seal of automotive approval? Off hand, I cannot think of a better one!