Manufacturer: Bugatti Automobili SpA
The Bugatti EB110 was a mid-engine sports car from Bugatti Automobili SpA, the 1990s successor to one of the most celebrated marques in automotive history. It was unveiled on September 15, 1991, in both Versailles and in front of the Grande Arche at La Défense in Paris, France, exactly 110 years after Ettore Bugatti’s birth.
The car had a 60-valve, quad-turbo V12 powering all four wheels through a six-speed gearbox. The 3.5 L (3499 cc) engine had a bore of 81 mm (3.2 in) and a stroke of 56.6 mm (2.23 in) and was capable of 542 hp (404 kW) at 8000 rpm. Acceleration to 100 km/h (62 mph) took 4.5 seconds, and the GT has a top speed of 213 mph (343 km/h).
The car used a double wishbone suspension, with the chassis built by Aerospatiale, an aircraft company, and made from carbon fibre. Equipped with Gandini’s famous lifting scissor doors, it had a glass engine cover that provided a view of the V12 engine along with a speed-sensitive electronic rear wing that could be raised at the flick of a switch. The shift-knob was placed closer to the driver so that less time would be taken to shift. No expenses were spared when it came to speed. Five pre-production prototypes with aluminum chassis were built, followed by eight with composite chassis. Following these, it is believed that only 95 GT and 31 SS production models were constructed.
In 1992, a lighter and more powerful model with 592 hp (441 kW) at 8000 rpm, the EB110 SS (SuperSport) was introduced. This car was capable of 216 mph (348 km/h) and 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.2 seconds.
At a price of more than US$350,000 for the SS model, the car wasn’t going to be anything but exclusive. Early in 1994 Formula One driver Michael Schumacher purchased a banana-yellow EB 110 Super Sport, giving the company a great deal of publicity. Derek Hill, son of American Formula One Champion Phil Hill, was one of the three drivers on a team that competed with an EB 110 in the United States at the 1996 24 Hours of Daytona.
Hard times hit the company in 1995 and, as result of chairman Artioli’s over ambitious purchase of Lotus in addition to the company’s quest to develop the EB112 a four door car, the company was bankrupt. Dauer Racing GmbH of Nuremberg, Germany, bought the semi-finished EB 110 cars in the assembly plant plus the parts inventory through the bankruptcy trustee. The remaining chassis and a version of the engine were later developed by B Engineering into their Edonis sports car.
Despite later racing for Ferrari 1996 onward and a high profile collision with a truck the previous year which he took the blame on the braking system, Schumacher continued to retain the EB110SS. Schumacher sold the car in 2003 to Modena Motorsport, a Ferrari garage specialising in service, race preparation and sales of classic Ferraris in Germany.
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