Bugatti channels early ‘90s supercar swag in new auto

Ten Centodieci coupes will be hand-built in Molsheim, France, with deliveries starting in 2021


LAST Friday in Monterey, California, Bugatti unveiled the yang to its yin: The Centodieci, an all-white coupe, complements Bugatti’s US$12.5 million (RM52.23 million), jet-black La Voiture Noire.

As with many luxury car manufacturers these days, the 110-year-old French brand chose the Quail Gathering during Monterey Car Week for the world debut, rather than a traditional auto show. And given the current climate, where cars from the 1980s and ’90s are heating up the collectors’ market, its new model is refreshingly retro and very on point.

“We’re demonstrating a powerful contrast with the La Voiture Noire, the black car just presented in March,” said Stephan Winkelmann, Bugatti’s president, in a statement.

The W16 engine is visible in the car’s rear, underneath a clear glass cover

On the outside, Centodieci, meaning the number 110 in Italian, takes cues from the EB110 supercar that was developed in the late 1980s and debuted in 1991.

It was inspired by the Bauhaus style and was extremely wedge-shaped — almost to the point of looking two-dimensional from some angles — and is the next step in the company’s stated strategy of building highly unique, even one-off cars for the world’s wealthiest car collectors.

Inside, it has a 8.0-litre W16 engine and a whopping 1,600hp at full thrust. It’s also fast, as you might expect, with a sprint time of zero to 62mph in 2.4 seconds, faster than the Chiron.

(It’s 44lb lighter than the Chiron, too.) Top speed is electronically controlled to 380kph (236mph).

The design is quite a divergence from the scooped, sculpted bodies of the Veyron and Chiron.

Instead of the dominant “Bugatti” line that curves from their backs and swooshes to the front, Centodieci has an almost completely flat roofline that blends into a mechanical rear spoiler — edges along its sides as crisply pressed as an envelope — and what look like 22-inch wheels have seven angled rectangular blades on them.

The rear of the car is basically a single ventilation hole with 8 rear light elements, 2+2 exhaust tailpipes and a performance diffuser

The rear end has a single ventilation hole and eight rear lights, four matte black exhaust tailpipes stacked two-by-two on top of each other and a performance diffuser to improve downforce.

Toward the rear fender are five round air inserts set in the shape of a diamond. These were inspired by the ones also present in the EB110 Super Sport — along with an additional air inlet near the oil cooler, they’re used to help regulate the temperature of the engine.

Ten Centodieci coupes will be hand-built in Molsheim, France, with deliveries starting in 2021. Prices start at US$8.9 million, plus tax.

And yes, customers can have their Centodieci painted in the colour of their choice. — Bloomberg