At the Quail – A Motorsports Gathering in California in summer 2019, Bugatti presented a few-off project reflecting its excellent coachbuilding expertise: the Centodieci. Highly exclusive, distinctive, and high-performance, this limited-edition hypercar was sold out within hours of its launch. Two years later, the luxury carmaker has unveiled the prototype for series development, thus getting set to begin the production.
Inspired by the best
The flat front, low-slung front spoiler, and three-part air intakes are inspired by the brand’s super sports cars of the 1990s, like La Voiture Noir and Divo (both represented different philosophies yet were based on Chiron). Limited to only 10 examples, Centodieci translates 110 in Italian, thus signifying Bugatti’s 110 anniversary. The hypercar also pays tribute to the legendary EB 110. The EB 110 was a key milestone on the road to the revival of the Bugatti brand in 1998 at Bugatti’s historic headquarters in Molsheim, ultimately resulting in the first hyper sports car of the modern era – the Veyron.
The Centodieci also pays its respects to the Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli and architect Giampaolo Benedini, the men who created the EB 110 some 30 years ago. It carries the signature angular silhouette and the same glass engine cover, small horseshoe grille, and five round side air vents. “We aimed 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,” says Achim Anscheidt, Design Director at Bugatti. The Centodieci also has some exclusive features like the light bar at the rear of the car instead of the traditional oval lights and the four exhaust pipes instead of two.
The First Phase
The Bugatti Centodieci is an ambitious passion project. Despite bring a limited edition production, the Centodieci must meet all the same technical requirements as a Chiron. After well over a year of design and simulation, the team has now developed the prototype. Given the hypercar’s complexity, every Centodieci went through numerous calculations for the body, aerodynamics, engine, and transmission and checked all components down to the smallest screw. Meanwhile, the design team checks the styling in close collaboration with the developers before finalizing this and designing the surfaces. The entire team needs to assess and ascertain the chassis can bear the drivetrain functions while the exteriors can carry this powerful engine. “With the newly designed body, there are changes in many areas that we had to simulate using special computer programs. Based on the data, we were able to establish a basic set-up as a starting point for series development and the prototype,” explains André Kullig.
Under the hood, the Centodieci is equipped with a powerful W16 engine that would be responsible for churning out a staggering 1,600 hp! The EB110 possesses a 3.5-liter V-12 engine that produces 603 hp – not even close to half of the Centodieci offers. To manage the thermodynamics, the Centodieci has a wide air outlet opening and modified air flows. Additionally, guide flaps around the five circular air inserts – positioned in the form of a rhombus – ensure sufficient air intake for the 16-cylinder power unit. Aerodynamically speaking, the vehicle is about 44 pounds lighter than the Chiron.
But even if the development team can simulate and test so much data on the test rigs, the Centodieci will also undergo dynamic testing. “In the next few months, in addition to building the exterior and running more advanced simulations in the wind tunnel, we’re very much looking forward to going out on the test track to start tuning the chassis,” says Kullig.
The Bugatti Centodieci is a hypercar with a state-of-the-art design, a powerful mechanical heart, and an unbelievable speed range. The 10-units-only car is sold at a net 8 million euros (9.6 million dollars). The highly exclusive, hand-crafted small series will be delivered to its owner by the end of next year.