Despite nearly 30 years of separation, Bugatti's modern supercars are surprisingly similar.
Bugatti hasn’t built many cars throughout its history, but each model is extraordinarily memorable. In recent times it can be argued that the French company pioneered the hypercar – the class above mere supercars where technology and performance simply transcend to a completely different level entirely. We’re well-acquainted with the Chiron and Veyron, but the EB110 often falls under the radar.
Past, present, future:
- 1992 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport: Supercar Revisited
- Bugatti says extreme Chiron able to hit 310 mph is a 'possibility'
- Exclusive: Former Bugatti Boss talks EB110 and possible successor
- Last Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Ever Built Is Heading To Auction
Bugatti recently reminded us of just how amazing the EB110 was for its day, and we simply had to share with this brief-but-interesting comparison of Bugatti’s holy trinity from the last 30 years.
We’ll start with the latest production-level Bugatti, and yes, we know that’s technically the Divo. Underneath the snazzy bodywork, however, is the same Chiron that took us all by storm a few years ago and still stirs hearts around the world. The big Bugatti’s showpiece is, of course, its quad-turbocharged, 8.0-litre, W16 engine producing 1,479 bhp and 1,180 pound-feet of torque.
All that power goes through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to all four wheels, and with launch control engaged, the Chiron can officially go from 0-62 mph in 2.4 seconds. Its top speed of 261 mph is electronically limited, but many believe it can get close to 300 mph given enough room to run, not to mention tyres that can withstand the stress. Chiron production continues at a slow-but-steady pace, with 500 examples ultimately planned.
Throughout automotive history, there are very few cars that can be identified as true game-changers. When the Veyron appeared in 2005 with upwards of 1,000 bhp, there was absolutely nothing even remotely comparable to it. Reborn under the guidance of Volkswagen, the Bugatti's 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 with a seven-speed DCT and all-wheel drive (same basic platform as used in the Chiron) was a tremendously capable powertrain that could send the hyper to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds. And yet, the Bugatti could also be driven casually around town without any fanfare.
The Veyron held the absolute speed record for production vehicles for years at 253 mph, and then Bugatti notched it up to 267 mph with the Veyron SS – a speed that the Chiron hasn't even beaten. Just 450 Veyrons were built from 2005-2015.
Ironically, Bugatti’s modern revival came at the hands of the Italians, specifically Romano Artioli. He acquired the defunct brand in the late 1980s and dropped roots in Campogalliano, where the EB110 would be built. Yes, it looks quite a bit different from the VW-era Bugattis, and with a maximum output of 603 bhp in the SS model, it’s certainly not as powerful as its predecessors. That said, the first modern-era Bugatti is actually surprisingly similar to W16 twins in many ways.
For starters, the EB110’s 3.5-litre V12 wielded quad turbochargers similar to the big W16 engine. It shifted gears the old-fashion way with a six-speed manual, but like the Chiron and Veyron, power went to all four wheels. It also incorporated active aero features, something far ahead of its time, and though its 0-62 mph time was only 3.3 seconds, it could still run well beyond the 200 mph mark with a top speed of 221 mph. Just 128 examples were built, making it the rarest Bugatti in a trio of very rare, exclusive machines.