With that much power, it’s unsurprising that La Voiture Noire rockets from 0 to 60 mph in a face-reshaping 2.5-seconds, and keeps on surging to a top speed of 261 mph. As I said, nothing makes the eyes water or the lips dry faster than reading the fine print of a Bugatti vehicle. But the La Voiture Noire isn’t the solo limited-edition Bugatti coming out at the Molsheim factory right now. Echoing the historic EB110 super sports car of the 1990s is the Bugatti Centodieci, making its debut this week.
“With the EB110, Bugatti catapulted itself to the top of the automotive world once again after 1956 with a new model,” said Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “With the Centodieci we pay homage to the EB110 super sports car which was built in the 1990s and is very much a part of our tradition-steeped history.” Centodieci is Italian for 110, which also means the car inherited some DNA of the original EB110 sports car. From a styling perspective, this is quite a challenge. The EB110 has a glorious wedge-shaped design, and Bugatti needed to integrate this philosophy into what is essentially a Chiron. “We faced a number of technical challenges in terms of the development and design of the Centodieci,” Achim Anscheid, Head Designer at Bugatti, explains. “Transporting this classic look into the new millennium without copying it was technically complex.” “The challenge was not to allow oneself be captivated too much by the design of the historic EB110 – we had to create a new way of combining the complex aerothermal requirements of the underlying Chiron technology with a completely different aesthetic appearance,” Anscheid concludes. The end result is a sportier, more aggressive, and undoubtedly more extreme version of the Bugatti Chiron and Divo, borrowing a little of the timeless appeal of the La Voiture Noire. Unlike the aforementioned hyper sports cars, though, the Centodieci takes a different route with its grille design. Bucking the trend of oversized radiator grilles, the Centodieci makes do with a smaller and less pronounced horseshoe grille, more reminiscent of the nose of the classic EB110. The Macaron Bugatti logo is now relocated to the hood, while the deep-seated front spoiler and three-section air intakes are a direct nod to the Centodieci’s 90s inspiration. The front section is dropped close to the ground to give the car a prowling stance, further accentuated by narrow LED headlamps and daytime running lights. “Thanks to the newly developed lighting elements, we were stylistically free in the front and rear sections to pay respectful homage to the EB110 while at the same time transposing this appealing visual reminiscence into modern technology,” says Anscheidt. The thing that stands out in terms of body design, though, is the missing C-line on the B pillar, which happens to be the most iconic styling element of the Bugatti Veyron, Chiron, Divo, and even the La Voiture Noire. You can think of the Centodieci as the black sheep in the family. The longer you look, though, the easier it is to understand the Centodieci’s design. It’s totally familiar yet entirely different at the same time. It looks serious and quite playful, although it can undoubtedly bite your hand if you’re not careful.
Instead of having a dominant and sweeping C-line in the B pillar, the Centodieci has five round air inserts that are positioned in the form of a diamond. More than just a design flourish, however, those air inserts feed vast amounts of air to the hungry W16 engine underneath. Yes, the Bugatti Centodieci has an 8.0-liter W16 motor producing 1,600 horsepower at 7,000 rpm, allowing the car to reach 60 mph from a dead stop in 2.4-seconds, 124 mph (200 kph) in 6-seconds, and 186 mph (300 kph) in 13.1-seconds. They’re not just impressive numbers, they’re positively mind-boggling.