Flat body, scissor doors and an incredible amount of power. When the Bugatti EB 15 was presented on September 1991, 110 with a large media presence, a new era began - that of the super sports car of the modern age. Around 2.000 invited guests attended the presentation in Paris, including celebrities from film, sport and current affairs. A Bugatti EB 110 drives over the Champs élysées - on Ettore Bugatti's 110th birthday. What a bow to one of the most ingenious designers in automotive history. With the EB 110, Bugatti is for the first time combining a powerful V12, four turbos with charge air cooling, an ultra-light carbon monocoque, all-wheel drive and two differentials. The EB 110 catapults the sports car into a new league.
30 years of the Bugatti EB 110
"With the EB 110, Bugatti designed a completely new type of super sports car 30 years ago that was trend-setting for the brand, but also for the automotive industry, ”says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “30 years ago, technology, innovations, design and driving behavior were years ahead of the competition. At the same time, the EB 110 defined the DNA of modern Bugatti hyper sports cars with the combination of carbon monocoque, all-wheel drive and four turbochargers."
Modern super sports cars
The monocoque, which weighs just 125 kilograms, is the first in a series car made of carbon, manufactured by the French space company Aerospatiale. For the aerodynamic and stylish body, Bugatti uses aluminum, carbon and aramid fiber-reinforced plastic; all screws are made of titanium - particularly light and stable. Bugatti is also redeveloping the drive. In accordance with the Formula 1 regulations at the time, the engineers developed a 3,5-liter V12 with four turbochargers and five valves per combustion chamber - a total of 60 valves. Particularly easy to turn: the maximum speed of 8.250 rpm. 15 liters of oil in the dry sump lubrication ensure sufficient engine lubrication and a balanced temperature balance. The four turbochargers with a boost pressure between 1,05 and 1,2 bar ensure strong acceleration. Depending on the model, they also provide an output of between 560 and 610 hp - and that 30 years ago.
Bugatti is developing an all-wheel drive with all-wheel viscous lock, locking differential at the rear and a drive torque distribution of 27:73 percent so that the immense power transmission does not generate smoke in the wheel arches, but is converted directly into propulsion. 18-inch cast magnesium wheels with 245/40 ZR18 tires at the front and 325/30 ZR18 at the rear provide the necessary grip. The driver changes the six gears of the manual transmission directly, quickly and precisely using a short lever. Brembo brakes work behind the wheels so that the EB 110 can safely decelerate even from the top speed. A rear spoiler extends automatically for more downforce and more dynamic handling at higher speeds.
Many world records for the Bugatti EB 110!
This technical combination was a sensation 30 years ago. The EB 0 sprints from 100 to 110 km / h in up to 3,26 seconds, making it the fastest production car of its time. The top speed is 351 km / h. World record for a production sports car. But not only these performance values were new at the time, but also the driving behavior. Despite the immense power development, the EB 110 drives comfortably, harmoniously and safely thanks to the all-wheel drive.
The equipment, which was not a matter of course at the time, goes well with this: power steering, electric seat adjustment, air conditioning, high-quality sound system and central locking. As in a luxury limousine, passengers can look forward to fine materials such as leather from the Italian furniture manufacturer Poltrona Frau. The side doors swing high for easy access.
When the Italian automobile importer Romano Artioli founded the traditional brand, which had been inactive since the early 1980s, in the late 1909s, Bugatti's second era began. In 1960 he bought the trademark rights and became chairman of Bugatti Automobili SpA. Looking for the right production site, he found a place near Modena in Campogalliano, the automotive Mecca of Northern Italy. His calculation: a short distance from the major Italian sports car brands, he found constructors, designers, developers and fitters known around the world. His plan works. A short time later, hundreds of new employees start working in the state-of-the-art, state-of-the-art production facility planned by a star architect. The “Fabbrica Blu”, the blue building of the development department with the Bugatti emblem and the large white ventilation pipes, symbolizes the heart of the factory.
Bugatti offers the new Coupé as EB 110 GT (Gran Turismo) and a little later the lighter and more powerful variant EB 110 S (Sport Stradale, later SS). With the EB 110, Bugatti sets four world records, including the one for the fastest acceleration, the fastest production sports car, the fastest sports car powered by natural gas and the fastest production vehicle on ice. But the market for super sports cars collapsed at the beginning of the 1990s, demand fell and the production facility was closed again after four years. By 1995, around 95 EB 110 GT and 39 EB 110 Super Sport were produced in the factory, a total of around 134 vehicles including the prototypes, including two official works racing cars with 670 hp.
At that time, the GT super sports car cost at least 450 million Lira including maintenance and wear parts for the first three years, while the Super Sport variant started at 550 million Lira. The prices for the now historic vehicles have increased significantly in recent years, from around 280.000 euros in 2011, as happened recently at the RM Sotheby's auction in Monterey, to almost three million US dollars.
In 1998 Bugatti returned to Molsheim in Alsace. To the place where Ettore Bugatti built his first automobile under his own name in 1909. Since then, unique hyper sports cars with the iconic W16 engine, four turbochargers, light carbon monocoque, all-wheel drive and lots of power have been created in the studio. Every vehicle that leaves the headquarters of the French luxury brand and is delivered to its owners worldwide is unique in its own way. Like 30 years ago.
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30 years of the Bugatti EB 110 - the first super sports car of the modern age
Photo credit: Bugatti
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