ROME – Time that grinds and swallows everything has also done its job on the Bugatti EB110, the car that was hailed as the fastest road car in the world at the 1991 Paris Motor Show. It was September 14 exactly 30 years ago, just as many as it takes to make it fall within the classification of “vintage cars”. Everything was born from an idea of Ferruccio Lamborghini and Paolo Stanzani, who started the design of the 12-cylinder then called FL12. In order for the car to outperform the competition, a number of factors were necessary: first of all, the central powerplant grouped together the engine, friction clutch, gearbox, central and rear differentials in a single body. The suspensions were provided with variable flexibility, the monocoque frame was in “honeycomb” and the aluminum bodywork with highly aerodynamic profiling. The fuel tanks were arranged centrally.
Stanzani’s project envisaged dimensions of 4100-4200 mm in length and 1850 in width, with a weight that should not exceed 1300 Kg. Power to be reached: 525-550 Hp, deliverable with usable progression from 1000 up to 9000 rpm. , for a speed exceeding 330 km per hour. However, it was necessary to distribute all the weights in a central position: not only the engine and gearbox, but also the tanks, while the power had to be discharged to the ground on four-wheel drive. The development of the style was entrusted to Marcello Gandini, from whose pencil came the most beautiful cars in the history of the automobile, including the Lamborghini Countach.
The arrival of Romano Artioli, owner of the Autexpò Gmbh that bought the Bugatti brand, led to some substantial modifications of the EB110. In place of the rear wheels chosen by Stanzani, the much wider ones indicated by Michelin appeared, with the logical consequence that it was necessary to widen the car from 1800 to 2000 mm. Another modification was to commission Aérospatiale for carbon frames, which led to an increase in production costs. Despite this, in 1991 the EB110 was the fastest production car in the world, thanks to Formula One performance: acceleration per kilometer, starting from a standing start, in 21.3 seconds and a maximum speed of 336 per hour.