Super Street Network

 |   |   |  Bugatti Chiron, Veyron, and the EB110: Evolution of the Species
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

Bugatti Chiron, Veyron, and the EB110: Evolution of the Species

Before Veyron, there was the EB110

Angus MacKenzie
Mar 28, 2017

I have driven all three modern-era Bugattis—the Chiron, the Veyron, and the EB110. The Chiron and Veyron were the result of VW Group boss Ferdinand Pich's steely determination to build the fastest, most powerful supercars in history. The EB110, of which just 139 were built between 1991 and 1995, was a more quixotic proposition.

Unveiled on the 110th anniversary of the birth of Ettore Bugatti, the EB110 was the brainchild of Italian businessman Romano Artioli. He built a factory just outside Modena, Italy; convinced Marcello Gandini, the man who designed the Miura and the Countach for Lamborghini, to sketch a concept; and hired a team of engineers to build a car to outperform the Ferrari F40.

Like the Chiron and the Veyron, the EB110 had four turbochargers and all-wheel drive, but instead of a hulking 8.0-liter 16-cylinder engine, it was powered by a jewel-like 3.5-liter V-12. Like all high-performance Italian V-12s, the EB110 engine loved to rev despite the 450 lb-ft of turbocharged torque it developed at 3,750 rpm. Peak output of 552 hp came at a dizzying 8,000 rpm.

Read our First Drive review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron right HERE.

Bugatti EB 110 magazine feature 02 Photo 2/2   |   Bugatti EB 110 magazine feature 02

"Above 6,000 rpm it accelerates like an F16 on afterburner," I wrote of the EB110 GT I drove in early 1994. "The V-12's basso low-speed growl changes to a hard-edged scream as the revs build, punctuated by the metallic fissst-pshaw of the wastegates blowing off excess boost as you lift off to shift." Zero to 60 mph in less than 3.6 seconds and a 209-mph top speed might be run-of-the-mill supercar territory these days, but 25 years ago it was breathtaking. Only the McLaren F1 and Jaguar's XJ220 were faster, and not by much.

I also remember the EB110 GT as easy to drive. Fast or slow, on a winding road or a crowded city street, the Bugatti was smooth and civilized, the ride remarkably compliant and the power steering beautifully weighted. The all-wheel-drive system's 27/73 front/rear torque split helped deliver prodigious traction and near-neutral handling with just a touch of controllable oversteer right on the limit.

A quarter century on I sense distant echoes of the EB110 in the coolly composed Chiron. Then it clicks: Loris Bicocchi. The affable Italian test driver who helped tune the Chiron's chassis—and has sorted supercars for Lamborghini, McLaren, Pagani, and Koenigsegg—also worked on the EB110.

By Angus MacKenzie
24 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

Proving that JDM style has a lasting power that requires only small updates to stay relevant
Austin LottAug 17, 2018
Preview the October 2018 issue of Super street, featuring a VIP widebody RB26DETT Cima; 1,000hp pro drift E30 M3; Nissan vs. Toyota turbo inline-6s; and much more!
Bob HernandezAug 17, 2018
While Infiniti's previous Pebble Beach concept was inspired by race cars from the 1930s, the Prototype 10 is more of a reimagined speedster from the 1950s.
Collin WoodardAug 16, 2018
A Viper Green Metallic paint job isn’t just for the Lamborghini Huracán anymore. Soon you can order a 2019 Volkswagen Golf R in one of 40 custom colors.
Ed TahaneyAug 16, 2018
Super Street Network has teamed up with ENEOS to offer one lucky fan the chance of a lifetime - a spot for his or her vehicle to appear at the largest aftermarket trade show in the world: SEMA!
StaffAug 15, 2018
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP