1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS
Laying the foundation for the Bugatti Veyron, four turbos at a timeby Jonathan Lopez, on
When Bugatti launched production of its world-beating, 1,000-horsepower, 8.0-liter, quad-turbo Veyron in 2005, the auto world went just a little bit of crazy. And rightfully so. That said, the Veyron owes a good deal of its success to this – the EB 110. Produced in limited numbers throughout the ‘90s, it was the only production model created during Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli’s short stint as Bugatti head honcho. Considered one of the very first street-worthy mid-engine supercars of the ‘90s, the EB 110 was a true technological tour de force in its own right, with a high-revving, quad-turbo, 60-valve, 3.5-liter V-12 engine mounted behind the cabin, an active rear wing, and lightweight carbon fiber body. Indeed, prior to the release of the legendary McLaren F1, the EB 110 was in contention for fastest production car on the planet.
Continue reading to learn more about the Bugatti EB 110 SS.
1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS
Horsepower @ RPM:604 @ 8250
0-60 time:3.1 sec.
Top Speed:216 mph
- * Styling focuses on broad, flat surfaces
- * Glass engine cover shows off V-12 engine
- * Speed-sensitive rear wing
- * Smaller than the Veyron
Stylistically, the Bugatti EB 110 focuses primarily on broad, flat surfaces, with the horizontal dimension emphasized thanks to drawn-out lines front to back.
Stylistically, the Bugatti EB 110 focuses primarily on broad, flat surfaces, with the horizontal dimension emphasized thanks to drawn-out lines front to back. The nose is a speed-wedge type of look, with large dividing slots placed in the central intake, plus the requisite arched center intake shape front and center. Smaller side intakes stretch up and out through outlets near the corners of the headlight housings, while the headlights themselves use square-shaped housings.
Moving to the flanks, we find a roofline that angles at a crisp point just above the windshield, leading back into a long tail and sculpted rear. Circular intakes are placed just behind the windshield. The lower side sills are straight indentations that bring the car closer to the ground visually, while the shoulder character line connects the fenders in a single, unbroken line.
In the rear, the EB 110 looks particularly horizontal, with rounded, yet stretched taillight housings, wide lower vents and diffuser, and of course, a big rear wing. Several smaller vents make up the center insert between the two taillight housings. Looking just ahead of the wing, we find a large glass engine cover showing off the impressive V-12.
One of the more interesting features is the active aero, with that sizable rear wing either rising or falling for either more downforce or less drag, as needed.
One of the more interesting features is the active aero, with that sizable rear wing either rising or falling for either more downforce or less drag, as needed. The feature is speed-sensitive, although drivers can alternatively choose to manually raise the wing by using a switch in the cabin. The stock wheels are from BBS, and use a seven-spoke design and race-inspired center lock, as well as an alloy construction.
Placed next to the Bugatti Veyron, there are some clear design similarities, with the older EB 110 taking a more squared-off approach, while the Veyron is more rounded.
Dimensionally speaking, the EB 110 is also quite a bit smaller than its successor. Check out what we mean below.
|Bugatti EB 110 SS||Bugatti Veyron|
- * Scissor doors
- * Tight cabin
- * Luxury features
- * Lots of carbon fiber trim
These are the kinds of characteristics you’d want from a super sports car. Unleash the performance potential, and you don’t wanna be flopping around everywhere
The first things you’ll notice as you climb into the Bugatti EB 110 are the doors. Aiding ingress and egress are scissor hinges, a classic Gandini design characteristic you’ll find elsewhere in his work, including the Alfa Romeo 33 Carabo prototype and Lamborghini Countach.
Once settled into the cockpit, the next thing you’ll notice is the somewhat tight cabin compartment, with form-hugging bucket seats and a low seating position. Of course, these are the kinds of characteristics you’d want from a super sports car. Unleash the performance potential, and you don’t wanna be flopping around everywhere.
That said, the EB 110 was also known for being surprisingly useable and compliant when driven around town, particularly when considering its hyper-powered supercar pedigree. The cabin comes equipped with nice features such as hide upholstery and wood trim, all of which is very much in line with Bugatti’s luxury past.
Behind the three-spoke steering wheel is a set of analog gauges, with a center-mounted tachometer and a speedometer on the right. Controls for the climate control and stereo occupy the center console, while leather covers just about every other surface not finished in either wood or carbon fiber.
- * 3.5-liter V-12
- * Four turbochargers
- * High-performance AWD grip
- * Supersport variant makes over 600 horsepower
- * Top speed of 216 mph
Fully unleashed, the Bugatti EB 110 produces as much as 550 horsepower at 8,000 rpm, while peak twist is rated at 450 pound-feet at 3,750 rpm
Take a peek behind that glass engine cover and you’ll get a glimpse of the mid-mounted V-12 engine, complete with carbon fiber elements and brightly colored details. Displacement comes to 3.5 liters (3,499 cc’s), with an 81 mm bore and 56.6 mm stroke. The cylinders are set at the usual 60 degrees, while multipoint electronic fuel injection, 12 individual throttle bodies, and no less than 60 valves (that’s 5 valves per cylinder, for those of you keeping track) keep the good stuff flowing in just the right proportions.
The compression ratio comes to 7.5:1, while lightweight titanium connecting rods add extra rev happiness. Boosting the extra go is no less four turbochargers, similar to the Veyron’s quad-turbo set-up. The turbos come from IHI, and produce a maximum of 1.05 bar (15 psi) of added pressure.
Fully unleashed, the Bugatti EB 110 produces as much as 550 horsepower at 8,000 rpm, while peak twist is rated at 450 pound-feet at 3,750 rpm. What’s more, redline is set at 8,200 rpm, which is rather impressive for the application.
Routing the power to the ground is a high-performance viscous-coupling AWD system. The system is primarily rear-biased, with 27 percent of the torque sent to the front and 73 percent of the torque sent to the rear, all of which helps to keep the car balanced without too much of the usual AWD understeer. A six-speed manual transmission swaps the cogs. Interestingly, Bugatti actually mounted the gearbox ahead of the engine, allowing for a more balanced weight distribution.
The EB 110 can hit 60 mph in the mid-3-second range, while top speed clocks in at around 213 mph. The standing kilometer is accomplished in about 20 seconds.
As you might expect, several prominent outlets tested the car’s acceleration and speed claims. The general consensus is that the EB 110 can hit 60 mph in the mid-3-second range, while top speed clocks in at around 213 mph. The standing kilometer is accomplished in about 20 seconds.
The follow-up to the standard EB 110 was the SS “Supersport” edition. Upgrades included a reprogrammed ECU, more boost, bigger injectors, and a free-flowing exhaust system, all of which contributed to a substantial increase in power. Peak output got an increase to 604 horses at 8,250 rpm, an increase of 54 horses.
Impressive no doubt, but complementing the extra motivation was a decrease in curb weight. The net result was a whole lot more go, both in terms of acceleration and top speed. The 0-to-60 mph benchmark drops to the low-3-second range, while top speed increases to 216 mph. Meanwhile, the quarter mile is completed in the low 12-second range at around 120 mph.
The follow-up to the standard EB 110 was the SS “Supersport” edition. Upgrades boost peak output considerably, up to 604 horses at 8,250 rpm, an increase of 54 horses
And that’s mighty fast, even measured by today’s standards of what a modern supercar should be. What’s more, the EB 110 was still surprisingly civil on the road. The powerband provided enough low-end torque to adequately maneuver through traffic, while fuel returns looked as good as 20 mpg. Not bad compared to the Veyron’s 15 mpg on the highway and 7 mpg in the city.
Chassis And Handling
- * Carbon fiber chassis
- * Supersport weighs just 3,100 pounds
Curb weight for the EB 110 comes to 3,571 pounds, nearly 600 pounds less than the ground-pounding, 4,162-pound Bugatti Veyron.
Under the skin of the Bugatti EB 110, you’ll find a carbon fiber chassis. Responsible for its production was Aerospatiale, a French-owned aerospace manufacturer that makes aircraft, rockets, and satellites for both civilian and military applications. An integrated roll cage keeps it all appropriately safe and stiff, while aluminum body panels are laid on top to keep the weight as low possible.
Curb weight for the EB 110 comes to 3,571 pounds, nearly 600 pounds less than the ground-pounding, 4,162-pound Bugatti Veyron. The EB 110’s SS variant widens the gap even further, cutting away as much as 471 pounds with a 3,100-pound curb weight.
Most of that weight is centered on the rear axle, with a 40/60 front-to-rear distribution. In conjunction with the rear-biased AWD system, this keeps the EB 110 relatively lively in the corners, flicking its tail out rather than scrubbing the front tires in terminal understeer.
Managing the heft is a double wishbone suspension with actuated spring/dampers in front, as well as double coil springs and dampers in the rear. According to several reviewers, the set-up does a fantastic job soaking up any and all road aberrations, despite its racing and performance pedigree.
Managing the heft is a double wishbone suspension with actuated spring/dampers in front, as well as double coil springs and dampers in the rear.
Hauling the whole thing down to a stop are 332-mm (13.07-inch) brakes, utilizing drilled and vented discs, plus calipers from Brembo. Performance data in this area looks like 2.8 seconds in the 60 mph to 0 test. Helping it all turn is a rack-and-pinion steering system.
Finally, the tires measure in at 245/40ZR18 in front and 325/30ZR18 in rear.
- * Only 139 produced
- * Cost $380,000 when new
- * Now costs about $650,000
When it was first produced back in the ‘90s, the Bugatti EB 110 originally sold for 285,500 pounds (roughly $380,000, give or take), which was far less than competitors like the Jaguar XJ220 and McLaren F1.
Only 139 units were produced, 33 of which were the more-powerful, lightweight SS models.
These days, interested buyers and collectors can find the Bugatti EB 110 on the used market and at auction. Depending on factors like the car’s condition, heritage, etc., prices can eclipse the seven-figure mark. However, more common (i.e., more affordable) examples cost around 500,000 pounds ($664,283 at current exchange rates, 10/13/2017).
Produced for just two years between 1992 and 1994, the XJ220 was a major challenger to the Bugatti EB 110, offering low-slung, hyper-powered styling, a sumptuous interior, and oodles of power and speed. Providing the go is a 3.5-liter V-6, which is fed by twin turbos to produce as much 540 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. Properly applied, it’s enough motivation to hit a top speed of 212 mph.
Read our full review on the Jaguar XJ220.
Making its debut in the spring of 1992, the F1 was the Woking-based company’s take on bringing its motorsport know-how to customers on the street. Using exotic materials like titanium, magnesium, Kevlar, and even gold, the F1 was a major innovator of its day. A carbon fiber monocoque chassis, aero-efficient exterior, and central driving position all gave it that definitive race car vibe, while mounted behind the cockpit is a V-12 engine producing as much as 627 horsepower, enough to set a new top speed record in excess of 240 mph.
Read our full review on the McLaren F1.
While the Veyron is often considered the go-to option when it comes to bedroom posters and Internet adulation, the EB 110 is very much deserving of high praise in its own right.
While the Veyron is often considered the go-to option when it comes to bedroom posters and Internet adulation, the EB 110 is very much deserving of high praise in its own right. Not only is it extremely fast, but additionally, the EB 110 stands out thanks to its lovely handling, inspiring tons of confidence with its rear-biased AWD grip. Unlike other supercars of its time, drivers can attack unfamiliar roads without issue, including wet surfaces if desired.
Not only that, but in addition to its absurd speed and high technology, the EB 110 managed to be a respectable road car, with a relatively comfortable ride, manageable power band, and even surprisingly solid mpg figures.
Not that fuel returns are all that important in this segment, but the point is this – the EB 110 broke the mold and set the standard for better-known Bugattis that would follow. Inspired by the French classics and revived by Italian enthusiasts, the EB 110 was a true classic of the ‘90s.
History And Background
- * Only model produced under ownership of Romano Artioli
- * Developed by ex-Lamborghini employees
- * Debuted on September 15th, 1991
- * Upgraded SS “Supersport” iteration introduced in 1992
Ettore Bugatti established the automaker that bears his name in 1909, and almost immediately, the Italian-born designer set about creating some of the fastest cars of the day. Chief among Bugatti’s early successes were wins in Grand Prix racing, such as a first-place finish in the first-ever Monaco GP and a duo of wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 1924 Bugatti Type 35 alone boasts more than 2,000 race wins to its name.
However, after the destruction of Bugatti’s Molsheim factory during World War II, the automaker struggled to get back on its feet. The company’s problems were compounded by the death of Ettore Bugatti in 1947, and in 1952, Bugatti shuttered all operations.
The 1924 Bugatti Type 35, one of Bug’s most successful racers.
After a few failed attempts at revival, the Bugatti brand went to Romano Artioli, an Italian entrepreneur, Ferrari dealer, and Japanese car importer. Artioli personally owned several Bugattis, and at the personal encouragement of Ferruccio Lamborghini, he decided to buy the Bugatti trademark in 1987, subsequently becoming chairman of Bugatti Automobili S.p.A. soon thereafter.
Atrioli’s aim was simple, albeit quite ambitious – the reemergence of the Bugatti name as a major player in the modern world of supercars. In order to accomplish that lofty goal, Artioli went about scooping up former Lamborghini employees to help him build a world-beating production vehicle. One of the most noteworthy ex-Lambo workers was automotive designer Marcello Gandini, best known as one of the driving forces behind such incredible machines as the Lamborghini Miura, Lamborghini Diablo, and Lamborghini Countach.
Atrioli’s aim was simple, albeit quite ambitious – the reemergence of the Bugatti name as a major player in the modern world of supercars.
With Gandini’s prototypes in hand, Paolo Stanzini, another ex-Lamborghini employee, best known for his work on the Miura, Espada, and Countach, went about engineering the thing. Giampaolo Benedini, Artioli’s cousin, finalized the design.
Bugatti revealed the EB 110 to the world on September 15th, 1991, in front of major French monuments like Versailles and the Grande Arche de la Defense in Paris. The day was symbolic as well, given it was Ettore Bugatti’s 110th birthday, hence the “EB 110” name.
When it was first released, the Bugatti EB 110 made a serious claim for fastest production car on Earth, a title challenged only by the 210+ mph Jaguar XJ220. Unfortunately, McLaren spoiled the party when it released the outrageously fast F1, a car that would continue to hold the highly sought-after record for over a decade thanks to its otherworldly 240-mph top speed.
When it was first released, the Bugatti EB 110 made a serious claim for fastest production car on Earth, a title challenged only by the 210+ mph Jaguar XJ220.
Nevertheless, Bugatti continued to develop the EB 110, introducing an upgraded SS “Supersport” iteration in 1992. Upgrades for the SS included even more power, as well as a substantial cut to the car’s curb weight.
In 1994, legendary Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher decided to buy a bright yellow EB 110 for his personal collection, bringing Bugatti some much-needed publicity in the process. Schumacher eventually sold the car in 2003.
Of course, while big spec numbers and celebrity sponsorship are all par for the course in this segment, the EB 110 was also expected to heed the call of competition in motorsport. As such, the EB 110 was entered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1994, managing to qualify 17th overall and 5th in the GT1 class. Taking the help was Eric Helary, a winner at Le mans in 1993, as well as Alain Cudini, and Jean-Christophe Boullion. Despite the talented roster, the EB 110 failed to finish due to a damaged fuel tank.
While big spec numbers and celebrity sponsorship are all par for the course in this segment, the EB 110 was also expected to heed the call of competition in motorsport.
A few years later, the EB 110 went on to compete in the 1996 24 Hours of Daytona. The team included driver Derek Hill, son of Formula 1 champion Phil Hill. Unfortunately, the car once again failed to finish, getting a DNF due to a broken gearbox.
Things never really improved for the newly christened Bugatti. Chairman Artioli decided to purchase Lotus from General Motors in 1993, stretching funds to the limit and compounding financial problems for the brand. Making things worse were development costs for a new four-door called the EB 112. The end result was bankruptcy for Bugatti in September of 1995. Production of the EB 110 lasted just four years.
Bugatti went bankrupt in September of 1995. Production of the EB 110 lasted just four years.
Following the bankruptcy, Volkswagen bought the brand in April of 1998. As for the remaining EB 110s stuck in mid-production, the German performance company Dauer Racing GmbH bought up the unfinished models and parts inventory through a bankruptcy trustee and built the Dauer EB 110. Later, B Engineering, an Italian small-volume manufacturer staffed by former Bugatti employees, developed the chassis and engine into a new model dubbed the Edonis.
Finally, in 2005, a decade after production of the EB 110 ground to halt, Bugatti (under the VW umbrella) introduced a successor – the now-legendary Veyron.
Read our full review on the Bugatti Veyron.
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