Bugatti's rare EB110 racer returns to the track after 25 years
And it looks brilliant
Bugatti has been keeping busy in recent years with the usual plethora of Chiron spin-offs and the La Voiture Noire and then, as a cherry on top of the proverbial cake, the French supercar maker (part of VW) is also gearing up to launch the amazing Centodieci, a modern tribute to the iconic EB110 SS from the early 1990s. Only 141 EB110 SS models were built, 139 of which were road legal, while the other two were factory race cars built by Bugatti themselves and powered by a highly-tuned 690 hp engine. And this is one of them.
The first example they built, dubbed the 'EB110 LM', was painted blue and built for the 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans. The other one (pictured) was built on commission to enter official races in America's IMSA series and Bugatti decided to take it the track for the first time in 25 years to celebrate the upcoming Centodieci. It looks rather splendid today but back then, in the best tradition of supercar manufacturers in 1990s, all sorts of things went wrong.
The company originally planned to build three SC (Sport Competizione) models but they only managed to make one due to financial issues. Gildo Pallanca-Pastor (CEO and founder of Venturi racing) entered the EB 110 Sport Competizione in various IMSA races but while the car did well on the track, it actually performed horribly in terms of sales, ultimately leading to Bugatti's bankruptcy in 1995.
About a year later, Pallanca-Pastor managed to acquire the EB 110 SC, which had previously been seized as part of the company's assets after bankruptcy, but the car was damaged during a high-speed crash around Dijon Circuit in France. The EB 110 SC was in disastrous conditions but it was eventually acquired by a private collector and miraculously brought back to life.
The Centodieci was received with mixed reviews - based on some of the comments I've been reading both here on DT and other outlets and websites, and some of the (p)reviews I've seen - but I personally like it a lot. Yes, the front looks a bit odd and yes, it'll probably never fully capture the spirit of those days but it is, when all is said and done, as close as you can get. And that's good enough.