Romano Artioli & The Bugatti EB 110

The Bugatti EB 110 is among the many greatest supercars of the Nineteen Nineties and rightfully deserves a spot within the pantheon of excellent engineering masterpieces. Equally spectacular is how Romano Artioli – an Italian entrepreneur, importer, and distributor of Ferrari, GM, and Suzuki autos – acquired the Bugatti model in 1987 and went on to construct the EB 110, a supercar like no different. Extra importantly, the EB 110 integrated ground-breaking engineering options that kickstarted the hypercar race whereas constructing upon the muse of Bugatti’s biggest supercars, the Veyron and Chiron.

Bugatti EB 110: A Temporary Historical past

Milan-born Ettore Bugatti established the model in Molsheim, France, in 1909, and its first vehicles gained prominence for his or her engineering, construct high quality, and a spotlight to element. Ettore’s philosophy of “Nothing is just too stunning, nothing too costly” proved each an asset and a legal responsibility because the automaker confronted a string of economic difficulties in making the world’s greatest and quickest vehicles.

Early Bugatti vehicles just like the Kind 35, Kind 41 Royale, and the legendary Kind 57 SC Atlantic are extra Artwork-Deco items than vehicles. Furthermore, the automaker had a wildly profitable racing profession within the following a long time after the primary World Battle. Issues started heading south when Jean Bugatti, son of Ettore Bugatti and purported firm inheritor, died after crashing a Kind 57 Prototype in 1939. Three weeks later, World Battle II broke out, and Nazi Germany invaded France. Ettore Bugatti fled to Paris after refusing to make use of his automotive manufacturing facility to construct German torpedoes.

The elder Bugatti returned to Molsheim and located his beloved manufacturing facility in ruins after the warfare. He died not lengthy after in August of 1947, and the corporate closed its doorways in 1952 after making a last-ditch effort to look on the Paris Auto Present that very same 12 months. There have been makes an attempt to revive the Bugatti identify all through the Nineteen Fifties to the Seventies. It wasn’t till 1987 that Romano Artioli stepped in to ascertain Bugatti Automobili S.p.A. “I used to be 20 years outdated when information arrived that Bugatti had stopped producing vehicles, and it took me 39 years to lastly have the ability to obtain my aim,” Artioli stated in a 2019 interview with Classic Driver.

The newly-minted chairman of Bugatti instantly received the ball rolling by erecting a 240,000-square-meter manufacturing facility in Campogliano, Italy. He assembled a workforce of good engineers and designers to construct the brand new firm’s first manufacturing automotive: The EB 110.

“Romano Artioli loves the Bugatti model, however greater than that, he understands it intimately,” stated Achim Anscheidt, Bugatti Design Director. “When he purchased Bugatti, he knew that merely constructing a automotive that copied the remainder of the business was not actually within the spirit of the founder.”

Bugatti EB 110 production (Romano Artioli & The Bugatti EB 110).
 Bugatti EB 110 manufacturing. Picture: Bugatti Vehicles S.A.S.

To Ettore From Romano

Improvement work for the Bugatti EB 110 started in 1987 underneath the watchful eyes of technical director Paolo Stanzani, an Italian engineer and automotive designer recognized for imbibing magic into iconic Lamborghini vehicles just like the Miura, Espada, and Countach. But the Lamborghini connection goes additional. Few are privy that Ferrucio Lamborghini, founding father of Lamborghini, was instrumental in conceptualizing the EB 110 and Bugatti’s late-80s revival.

Stanzani despatched the chassis drawings to 4 legendary Italian auto designers: Paolo Martin, Nuccio Bertone, Girgetto Giugiaro, and Marcello Gandini. If all went in keeping with plan, Bugatti might develop a mid-engine V12 supercar to debut in 1991, simply in time to rejoice the one hundred and tenth birthday of firm founder Ettore Bugatti. The job went to Gandini, the long-lasting identify behind four-wheeled masterpieces just like the Countach, Lancia Stratos, De Tomaso Pantera, and Miura, however not with out some hassle.

Artioli discovered Gandini’s rendition a bit arduous on the eyes, however the latter was not content material to change his design. “His period was the wedge period when robust angles dominated, however he couldn’t look previous that,” Artioli defined. “I advised him this automotive was not a Bugatti and that I needed one thing softer that might attraction extra to fanatics.”

Paulo Stanzani additionally finally left the mission after having “conflicts of opinion” with the boss, one in all which stemmed from Stanzani’s insistence on an aluminum honeycomb chassis for the EB 110’s backbones. “It was silly that he selected a extra versatile honeycomb chassis slightly than carbon fiber,” Artioli stated. “He stated it was higher for the efficiency. Are you able to imagine that?”

“Whereas everybody else was creating racing vehicles for the street, his concept was to pursue the creation of the final word GT,” Anscheidt stated of Romano Artioli. “And to do it with applied sciences by no means earlier than seen in a street automotive and with a timelessly elegant design.”

Nicola Materazzi took the helm from Stanzani, and Artioli went to architect Gianpaolo Benedini – the person who constructed Bugatti’s new Campogliano manufacturing facility – to enhance upon Gandini’s earlier design. Benedini retained the scissor doorways and large greenhouse whereas bettering the façade with air ducts within the entrance bumper, the “mousetrap” Bugatti horseshoe grille, and stuck headlamps. In the meantime, Materazzi sought the assistance of Aerospatiale to develop the Bugatti EB 110’s revolutionary carbon fiber structure.

Bugatti EB 110 engine (Romano Artioli & The Bugatti EB 110).
Picture: Bugatti Vehicles S.A.S.

Quad-Turbocharged V12 Engine

Hiding behind the Bugatti EB 110’s rear seats is a 3.5-liter quad-turbocharged V12 engine with 12 throttle our bodies and 60 valves. It pumps out 553 horsepower and 451 lb-ft. of torque. Because the EB 110 weighs solely 3,571 lbs. (1,620 kg), it might rush to 60 in 3.26 seconds, in the end topping out at 212 mph, sufficient to make it the quickest series-production automotive of the time.

Bugatti later unveiled a lighter, track-focused variant of the EB 110 referred to as the SS or Tremendous Sport. It got here with a stronger model of the turbocharged V12 with 611 horsepower and 480 lb-ft. of torque.

As well as, the Bugatti EB 110 had all-wheel drive, lively aerodynamics, and titanium bolts to go together with its large engine and light-weight carbon fiber monocoque chassis, unheard-of substances for a Nineteen Nineties supercar. Aided by a six-speed handbook gearbox, the Bugatti EB 110 gained the eye and deep pockets of seven-time Formulation 1 world champion Michael Schumacher. “As soon as he drove the EB 110, Schumacher stated it was a automotive not like another and easily past evaluate,” Artioli recalled. “He got here to Campogliano and acquired a yellow Tremendous Sport with a blue GT inside, and he didn’t ask for any type of low cost.”

EB 110 & The Way forward for Bugatti

The Bugatti EB 110 debuted concurrently at Versailles and the Grande Arche La Protection in Paris on September fifteenth, 1991, 110 years after the start of Ettore Bugatti. Nevertheless, it entered manufacturing throughout a worldwide monetary disaster, which created a less-than-ideal financial local weather for a $200,000 supercar (the EB 110 SS had a base value of $240,000). Making issues worse had been allegations of espionage the place Bugatti administrators allegedly pocketed cash from rival automakers (and Romano Artioli’s acquisition of Lotus didn’t assist).

Manufacturing led to 1995 after solely 86 models of the EB 110 GT and 40 Tremendous Sport fashions left the manufacturing facility. Volkswagen acquired Bugatti in 1998 and launched the Veyron in 2005 and the Chiron in 2016 to succeed the short-lived EB 110. If not for the unlucky occasions, Bugatti would have launched the EB 112 tremendous saloon underneath Artioli’s supervision, the inspiration behind the unbelievable 16C Galibier idea that first debuted in 2009. Bugatti is now underneath the management of Croatian automaker and technology company Rimac because the automaker forges its all-electric route.

“We at Bugatti right this moment have a lot to thank Romano Artioli for. He’s such a warm-hearted man with a fantastic ardour for our model,” Anscheidt stated. “Out of his generosity in reviving Bugatti within the ’80s and defining a imaginative and prescient for it within the modern-day, he laid the foundations for the creation of Veyron and the character of Bugatti right this moment.”

Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog function columnist and an professional in sports activities and efficiency vehicles. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his youthful years and continues to be very a lot smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He additionally likes fried hen, music, and natural medication.

Pictures & Supply: Bugatti Vehicles S.A.S.