The Bugatti EB 110, the super sports car of the 1990s
Let’s take a trip back to September 15, 1990, the Champs Élysées in Paris, a Bugatti EB110S drives down this famous road as a celebration of Ettore Bugatti’s 110th anniversary. With angular styling, Lamborghini style doors, and a massive amount of power … the super sportscar for the 90s was unveiled, the Bugatti EB110.
We are talking about a V12 powered supercar with a quad-turbo setup complete with intercoolers mounted on a lightweight carbon monocoque with about 550 hp being delivered to all four wheels through two differentials. If we compare that to the Lamborghini Diablo that was unveiled in January 1990, the Bull from Sant’Agata came with 492 hp and didn’t offer four-wheel drive until the 1993 Diablo VT version) … so it’s safe to say the Bugatti EB110 was very impressive at that time.
And that also reflected itself in the price, the 1990 Bugatti EB110GT was listed at 450,000,000 Lira (about $200,000 in 1990), but it did come with service and parts included for three years, the later released EB110 Super Sport had an MSRP of 550,000,000 Lira ($240,000 in 1992) compared to the Lamborghini Diablo VT MSRP in 1993 of $239,000 those numbers aren’t too crazy … but today’s values are even more impressive, only ten years ago, in 2011, a Bugatti EB110 would change hands for under $300,000, today we are talking about $3,000,000 for one that was recently sold by RM Sotheby’s.
The story of Bugatti was started in 1909 when Ettore Bugatti founded his company in Molsheim in the Alsace where he built the famous Bugatti Type 35, the Type 41 Royale, and the beautiful Type 57 Atlantic, sadly Ettore passed away in 1947, and even more unfortunate, his son Jean Bugatti was taken from him in 1939 already, so there was no successor to run the car building company and after about 8,000 Bugatti were built the Bugatti factory was bought by Hispano-Suiza in 1963 and the Bugatti cars went into the automotive history chronicles.
About 25 years later, in 1987, Romano Artioli was able to buy the rights to the Bugatti name and start building cars again, as he was Italian he opted to have Bugatti Automobili SpA located in Italy, in Campogalliano, Modena more precisely, and the design of his new factory made it unforgettable, even today, the at the time highly modern production facility was designed by a star architect and boasted state-of-the-art technology. The “Fabbrica Blu,” or blue building for the Development department sported the Bugatti emblem, and the large white ventilation ducts symbolized the heart of the factory.
But the economic collapse in the ’90s meant the number of customers for a super sports car like the Bugatti EB110 was dwindling fast, and a series of setbacks resulted in another demise in automotive history, Bugatti Automobili SpA ceased operations in September 1995, but five more EB110SS would be made by 1997 as German-based Dauer Racing obtained a license to build the EB110 and they even obtained the remaining stock from the factory grounds in Campogalliano, the factory itself was sold to a different company that went out of business before moving in, so this amazing production facility stood empty ever since.
In 1998 the Volkswagen Group came into the picture, obtaining the brand name and starting Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. with a headquarter that returned to Molsheim, back where Ettore Bugatti started this journey 90 years earlier, and some of the world’s most impressive hypercars were built, from the Bugatti Veyron in 2005 to the Bugatti Chiron from 2016, but this year, 2021, they are also finalizing the Centodiece, as an homage to the EB110 from the Nineties, a car that celebrates her 30th anniversary now.
To celebrate the fact the Bugatti EB110 was unveiled 30 years ago, owners took a total of twelve classic Bugatti EB110 back to Campogalliano to visit the famous Blue Factory again to pay tribute to their birthplace, ranging from the EB110GT to the EB110 SS and even the two factory race-spec models, this impressive collection of Bugatti EB110 was joined by the production prototype of the Bugatti Centodiece.
“With the EB 110, Bugatti developed a completely innovative super sports car 30 years ago that was pioneering not only for the brand but also for the automotive industry,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “Already 30 years ago, the technology, innovations, design, and handling were years ahead of the competition. At the same time, the EB 110 established the DNA of modern Bugatti hyper sports cars with its combination of a carbon monocoque, all-wheel drive, and four turbochargers.”
In the end, a total of 95 units of the Bugatti EB 110s and just 39 Bugatti EB 110 Super Sport cars were built in Campogalliano between 1990 and 1995, so only 135 original Bugatti EB110 exist worldwide, one of them being the famous yellow EB110 SS owned by Michael Schumacher, making the Bugatti EB110 a collector’s item for sure, and their value will only rise over the years to come.