Bugatti Centodieci: EB110 homage revealed after controversial leak

French firm’s limited-run hypercar labelled a “shit box” by Top Gear presenter

Bugatti Centodieci
(Image credit: Bugatti)

Bugatti has taken the covers off its new Centodieci, days after the hypercar leaked online to the disapproval from critics.

Revealed at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, in California on Friday, the Centodieci is a homage to Bugatti’s EB110 supercar from the early 1990s, with its name meaning “110” in Italian.

As seen in leaked images that were circulating the web last week, the Centodieci sports a radical look that blends styling cues of the 30-year-old EB110 with new elements that have never been seen before on a Bugatti model.

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Underneath its striking exterior is the same platform as the Chiron, Bugatti’s higher-volume hypercar. The Centodieci is therefore powered by the same W16 engine, although the French carmaker has extracted even more power from the motor.

While the prospect of an EB110-inspired Chiron had some fans “giddy with excitement” ahead of its reveal, says Motor1, initial impressions suggest that Bugatti’s homage may have missed the mark.

How it calls back to the EB110

The original EB110 [above, right] was an unconventional car when it launched back in 1991, looking drastically different to the sleek McLaren F1 and Jaguar XJ220 that it competed against some 30 years ago.

While not being a like-for-like remake of the EB110, the Centodieci takes several design cues that made the 1990s supercar a hit with fans and critics.

According to Evo, the Centodieci “diverges from Bugatti’s curvaceous yet ornate aesthetic”, adopting the “blockier” look of the original model. The “horseshoe grille”, for instance, is almost identical to the EB110, yet is drastically different to the vast vents found on the Chiron it’s based on.

The “wraparound” windscreen is also new, as are the “streamlined take on the EB110’s vented headlights”, the magazine says. But the most obvious nod of them all are the “five portholes” located behind the side windows, which serve to channel air into the engine bay.

The back of the car features fewer EB110 motifs, yet is still radical in its design. The body-wide tail lights, for example, are separated into eight smaller sections and the quartet of exhausts protruding from the rear diffuser are arranged as two separate clusters of vertical outlets.

So how much power does it make?

A lot. In fact, it’s even more powerful than the Chiron it’s based on.

Behind the driver’s head sits the same 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 engine as the Chiron, although power has been upped from 1,478hp to 1,577hp, notes PistonHeads.

Power is sent to all-four wheels, meaning a dash from 0-62mph can be completed in just 2.4 seconds, while a sprint from 0-186mph only takes 13.1 seconds, the motoring site says. Top speed is limited, however, to 236mph - 25mph less than the regular Chiron.

How much does it cost?

Top Gear notes the Centodieci’s list price as £9m.

That makes it significantly more expensive than £2.5m Chiron, yet it’s still cheaper than the one-off, $19m (£15.7m) La Voiture Noire model shown off at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

And how many will be made?

Only ten examples are expected to reach the production line, all of which have already sold, TechCrunch reports.

What’s been the reaction?

Initial impressions were poor when the first images of the car appeared online.

Top Gear’s Chris Harris wasn’t at all that impressed with the car’s design, describing the Centodieci as a “shit box” on Twitter.

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He said that company boss Stephan Winkelmann, who moved from Lamborghini to the French hypercar maker last January, had taken “longer than expected to properly sod-up a Bugatti, but this shambolic EB110 homage makes up for that lost time.”

Harris wasn’t the only critic to take issue with the Centodieci.

“I don’t think I can ever think an $8m car is cool, because it’s not”, argues Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky. “It’s just expensive and stupid.”

“I guess it at least looks striking, and the EB110s were significant cars worthy of some sort of homage,” he admits, but he adds that car collectors “could buy four original, perfect EB110s for the same stupid money”.

But the mood appears to have changed now the official shots are out in the open.

One fan described the Centodieci as “weird” yet “beautiful” on Twitter, while another named it as their new favourite car.

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