High-speed course and challenging handling course. The inspection and test tracks in Nardò in southern Italy have been the ideal place for Bugatti to set up its vehicles for decades. Here engineers test the hyper sports cars under extreme conditions. Now, for the first time, the exclusive Bugatti Centodieci1 and two Bugatti EB 110 super sports cars meet for a dynamic ride.
Bugatti EB 110 & Centodieci
Before the Centodieci is produced in small series next year, the Bugatti engineers now took the opportunity to work intensively on the final setup of the highly exclusive hyper sports car at the test site in Nardò in Apulia in southern Italy. The laps on the test track are used for dynamic control before the Bugatti Centodieci is handcrafted in the atelier in Molsheim - as a homage to the legendary EB 110 and a sign of Bugatti's coachbuilding expertise. The EB 110 was a milestone on the way to revitalizing the Bugatti brand in 1998 in Molsheim.
In addition to the high-speed course, the handling course with its many varied curves is ideal for chassis tuning. The fast right-left-right combinations on the demanding 6,2 kilometer long track challenge the vehicle and driver, just as they did today. The Centodieci does its laps on and off the test site. "Due to the different roads and different surfaces, we can fine-tune the Centodieci around Nardò in terms of comfort and further improve driving behavior," explains Lars Fischer, Head of Chassis Testing and Application at Bugatti.
A 20-person team in southern Italy works on the new model for around two weeks, including chassis experts as well as drive and body specialists. "We check all previously simulated data in real operation, at high speeds and high outside temperatures, so that the Centodieci is perfectly matched to all regions," says Lars Fischer. The engineers devote the same amount of attention to the rare Centodieci as to the Chiron. The fine-tuning always borders on the optimum of what is technically possible.
A journey back in time to 1991
Like 30 years ago. It's a time travel. “When the van unloaded the two Bugatti EB 110 racing cars, I immediately felt 30 years younger,” says Loris Bicocchi. As a test driver, he helped develop the EB 110 from scratch at the beginning of the 90s, spinning countless kilometers on test tracks, such as in Nardò in southern Italy. “Over the years Nardò has become my second home. I really know every bend and knoll here and can drive the track almost blind, ”explains Loris Bicocchi. He helped to develop the course in order to be able to set up vehicles even better.
Like the blue painted EB 110 LM, a very special model: It is one of only two official works racing cars built. Bugatti entered the Le Mans 110-hour race in 1994 with the EB 24 LM. The V660 with four turbochargers, chassis and passenger cell has an output of up to 12 hp and is geared uncompromisingly to the endurance race. The racing car accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in around 3,2 seconds. The silver-colored EB 110 Sport Competizione (SC) is also one of the special models. Gentleman Driver Gildo Pallanca-Pastor took part in the IMSA series in the USA and in other BPR endurance races from 1995. Attention during development: weight-reduced, rethought and incredibly fast.
That was exactly what we wanted when Romano Artioli brought Bugatti back to life after a long period of abstinence. On September 15, 1990, Artioli inaugurated a new factory in Campogalliano. A year later, on September 15, 1991, it would be Ettore Bugatti's 110th birthday, Artioli presented the most modern and progressive super sports car of its time - the EB 110. A coupé with 3,5-liter V12, 610 hp, four turbochargers, all-wheel drive and a lightweight carbon monocoque. The maximum speed is up to 351 km / h. World record for a production sports car.
“I associate the best time of my working life with the EB 110. Although I had worked as a test driver for another brand since 1974, I was able to learn a lot at Bugatti from 1989, and I grew with the car and my tasks, ”explains Loris Bicocchi. The super sports car is created on a sheet of paper, everything has to be redeveloped: engine, all-wheel drive, chassis, monocoque, body. The Italian worked for Bugatti until 1995, most recently in Nardò.
The three icons drive close behind one another, waving nimbly around the narrow course. Brake briefly, turn in and accelerate fully again. "For me it is really a very emotional moment to see and drive the vehicles again and to drive the new Centodieci," says Loris Bicocchi after a few quick laps in the various models.
Over 30 years of development are difficult to combine with super sports cars such as the EB 110 and the Centodieci hyper sports car. “Even if the EB 110 was a super sports car 30 years ago with an output of 610 hp, which is a lot, the Centodieci delivers almost 1.000 hp more. That's incredible. Getting them on the road and making them drivable is an immense achievement by the engineers, ”says Loris Bicocchi, astonished. The vehicles are particularly similar in terms of the permanent all-wheel drive, the four turbochargers, the carbon monocoque and, for the time, unbelievable performance. "The EB 110 has almost no electronics, it is a pure super sports car that demands everything from the driver, but at the same time can be driven good-naturedly, quickly and safely," explains Loris Bicocchi.
In modern hyper sports cars, electronic systems control the chassis almost in real time, assistance systems help convert the immense power into propulsion and thereby ensure safe driving behavior. The expert also sees the biggest difference in the tires - the grip level of modern tires such as the Centodieci is extremely high, which in turn allows high lateral acceleration. "Despite the immense performance and the incomparable design, the Centodieci ensures pure driving pleasure without filters, direct and honest," explains the expert. The test driver is happy to pass on the specialist knowledge he has accumulated over decades and supports the Bugatti team in the development of the Centodieci, especially in setting up the chassis.
The highly exclusive small series will be delivered in the coming year. Only ten vehicles of the few-off project at a unit price of eight million euros are being built for an exclusive clientele.
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Bugatti EB 110 and Bugatti Centodieci - two icons meet
Photo credit: Bugatti
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