As a child of the 90's, the EB110 is something that fascinated me since first seeing it, probably in one of those "Supercars of 1993!" calendars. After that little was seen or heard of Bugatti, until the Veyron showed up. What always confused me is how rarely they seemed to discuss the Bugatti EB110 and its many iterations produced from 1993-2003, (the original GT followed by the SS, as well as the perfected Dauer versions).
Regardless of popularity or pedigree, this does not change what the car was and is: an amazing feat of engineering and a direct predecessor to the Veyron in spirit, technology and performance. Contemporary cars such as the Diablo were as advanced as Conestoga wagons. Not here...the EB110GT/SS/Dauer is a car that came with everything we would hope to have in a Hypercar in 2015. What else would any self-respecting Ulysse-Nardin-wearing enthusiast drive in 1992 with all these Rolex-wearing Lambo Yuppies clogging the valet lines?
Check this old review to why it is practical for those who like to "happily take away someone else's girlfriend away for a nice weekend at a country house hotel":
It's tiny! The thing looks like it is the size of a Porsche 991, yet has: 4 turbos, 12 cylinders (only 3.6 liters!), 4WD, carbon fiber tub, active aero, custom-built tires, credible (139) numbers built, and 213-221 mph top speed.
Looking at the EB110 performance-wise, it is rightfully 3rd in line to the original yet people forget it. They seem to go 959-F40-F1-Veyron.
In my opinion, the Hypercar history SHOULD be a nice Bugatti-McLaren sandwhich:
3. Bugatti Veyron
Why is history so quick to dismiss the EB110? The model eventually lasted as long and came with as many attempts to facelift it as the Veyron too. Goes to show those who can afford a Bugatti show up early and stay late.
The reason I feel this failed to get traction while the F1 accelerated (had to do it) was the simplicity of the car and sound business practices of McLaren. Bugatti sold the EB110 for about $200,000 new whereas the F1 cost $800,000. No wonder they went bust after two years in production. A car of Bugatti's pedigree needed VW's blank check to make another car possible. After all, VW loses millions on each Veyron whereas Bugatti, SpA had no way to absorb those costs by selling Beetles.
Sadly, the EB110's buyer will only get about $400,000 if he sold his car today while a McLaren buyer would have made millions on their purchase, enough to buy an EB110 and a mansion. That's also good news for those of you debating whether or not to buy that top-of-the-market 930 Turbo or risk those Benjamina on something with CHARACTER!