Rediscovering Bugatti's Italian Overture
The story of Bugatti, often overshadowed by its modern era hypercars, reemerges in the 90’s with the EB110; and without which, the modern hypercars would simply not exist. The EB110 is an essential movement in this opus – the Italian overture – conducted by Romano Artioli.
Artioli, a entrepreneur with keen vision, acquired Bugatti and established Bugatti Automobil S.p.A. in Campogaliano, near the automotive Mecca of Modena. This strategic move nestled the reborn marque in the midst of Italy’s vehicular virtuosos. And it stood as a testament to the technical virtuosity and ambition of this new chapter in Bugatti’s history.
The EB110 was unveiled on Ettore Bugatti’s 110th anniversary in 1991. The curtain rose on a magnum opus of automotive engineering and design sculpted by Italian legends, with a nod to Gandin’s scissor doors and assertive lines – a crescendo to this symphony of design.
Under the skin is a 3.5-liter V12 featuring four turbochargers. Performance was staggering for the time. It was the era’s fastest production car and a harbinger of technical advancements to come.
Initially conceived with an aluminum chassis, the EB110 was later reimagined in carbon fiber in collaboration with Aérospatiale. This touch of aerospace refinement introduced carbon monocoque construction to production cars. The body is made of aluminum, carbon, and fiber-reinforced plastic and fastened together with titanium screws – combining lightness and strength.
The advanced aerodynamics, all-wheel-drive, rear limited-slip differential and automatic rear spoiler choreograph sublime handling and stability at speed. The cabin is a duet of luxury and sport featuring leather and wood trim worthy of Bugatti’s rich heritage.
Despite the EB110’s technological brilliance, production ceased in 1995 with only 139 examples – including prototypes – due to the early 90’s recession. But its legacy continues as the pivotal link between historic pre-war examples and its modern hypercars.
This stunning 1994 example was offered at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2023 auction, but didn’t sell: