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Bugatti Centodieci has reached prototype stage, naked chassis looks wild

Over a year after its unveiling, the Bugatti Centodieci—an $8.9 million limited-edition tribute to the Bugatti EB110—has finally reached the prototype stage. A bare chassis was recently completed and started testing last week on the dynamometer at Bugatti’s factory in Molsheim, France.

The Centodieci is based on the Bugatti Chiron but still requires significant development work. The car was first shown during the 2019 Monterey Car Week, after which designers and engineers used computer simulations to ensure the Centodieci’s bespoke bodywork and the carryover Chiron chassis components would work together.

The word Centodieci means “110” in Italian, a reference to the EB110, which in turn was named in honor of the 110th birthday of company founder Ettore Bugatti. The EB110 was the brainchild of Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli and architect Giampaolo Benedini, who attempted to revive Bugatti in the early 1990s after decades of dormancy. While they were ultimately unsuccessful, the EB110 was one of the fastest supercars of its day, and kept the Bugatti name alive long enough for Volkswagen Group to purchase the brand and launch the Veyron in the 2000s.

Designers gave the Centodieci styling elements from the EB110, including a glass engine cover, five round side air vents, a smaller horseshoe grille, and a more slab-sided profile.

Bugatti Centodieci

Bugatti Centodieci

All of these changes could potentially interfere with cooling for the 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W-16 engine, while new lighting elements and a fixed rear wing could affect regulatory compliance and aerodynamics, respectively. Hence the need for extensive development work and testing, according to Bugatti.

The W-16 is also tuned to produce 1,577 hp—97 hp more than the Chiron. Bugatti previously quoted 0-62 in 2.4 seconds, 0-124 mph in 6.1 seconds, and 0-186 mph in 13.1 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 236 mph.

With dynamometer testing underway to check drivetrain components, the next step is to build bodywork for the naked prototype chassis, Bugatti said. That will followed by wind-tunnel and track testing, the automaker said. Deliveries are scheduled to start next year.

Production is limited to 10 cars, all of which sold out within hours of the Centodieci’s launch.

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