One-of-Few Bugatti EB110 SS Prototype Hides Record-Setting V12 Under Carbon Hood

First established in 1909 and discontinued in 1963, Bugatti returned to the spotlight in 1987. That's when Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli acquired the brand and set up Bugatti Automobili S.p.A.
1994 Bugatti EB110 SS prototype 10 photos
Photo: CuratedTV/YouTube
1994 Bugatti EB110 SS prototype1994 Bugatti EB110 SS prototype1994 Bugatti EB110 SS prototype1994 Bugatti EB110 SS prototype1994 Bugatti EB110 SS prototype1994 Bugatti EB110 SS prototype1994 Bugatti EB110 SS prototype1994 Bugatti EB110 SS prototype1994 Bugatti EB110 SS prototype
The new company saw a different revival of the iconic brand. Previously famous for successful race cars, streamlined coupes, and ridiculously luxurious sedans popular among kings and dictators, Bugatti returned as a supercar manufacturer. Artioli rolled out just one, the EB110, which was built from 1991 to 1995 in just 139 units.

The company ceased operations in 1995 due to financial difficulties, but Bugatti was restored in 1998 under Volkswagen Group ownership. But I'm not here to talk about the newer Veyron and Chiron. Instead, we're going to take a look at a very special Bugatti EB110.

Featured by John Temerian of "Curated TV," this low-slung supercar in Grigio Metallic may look like a regular EB110 at first glance, but it is, in fact, a very special SS version. Already a scarce iteration of the EB110 at only 30 units built, this SS stands out thanks to a long list of unique features. And also because it's one of a handful of prototypes that were built to test the beefed-up Super Sport configuration.

For starters, you're looking at the only EB110 fitted with a carbon-fiber engine hood. Yes, the SS did have carbon body panels, but the hood wasn't one of them. It also appears to be a U.S.-spec development car because it has a pair of lights on the lower rear fenders. And while the regular SS came with fuel caps on both sides, this one features just one behind the driver's door.

Does it also have a single fuel tank? Well, it's also a dual-tank car, but they are connected, so this EB110 takes up the same amount of gasoline. But does it have any special features inside? As John shows in the video below, it comes with a one-off shifter and blue seat belts, but it's a standard EB110 Super Sport beyond that.

But it's the engine that really sets this prototype apart. Because the quad-turbo, 3.5-liter V12 heart that pumps power and torque to all four wheels is a world record-setting powerplant. Specifically, this mill, sporting number 0026, propelled an EB110 to a top speed of 212.5 mph (342 kph) in 1992.

The engine isn't entirely stock, though, because it features a unique final six-speed gear and a unique ECU setup. And this pretty much explains why the EB110 wasn't officially recognized as a record-holding production car. It's also worth noting that the engine was originally fitted in a different car and moved into this EB110 SS prototype after the speed run.

But the production Super Sport was quicker than the test car fitted with the experimental V12. With 603 horsepower at its disposal (exactly 50 more than the EB110 GT), the SS needed 3.26 seconds to hit 62 mph (97 kph) on its way to a top speed of 220.6 mph (355 kph) according to Bugatti. Independent tests revealed that the supercar was capable of reaching the 62-mph benchmark in 3.3 seconds, to go with a top speed of 218 mph (351 kph).

But that's enough history for today. Hit the play button below to learn more about this cool and unique prototype. The video also includes a one-of-33 Ferrari 550 Maranello World Speed Record Edition and a low-mileage 2002 Lamborghini Murcielago, so you might as well watch it all the way.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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