Do you remember the Bugatti Centodieci? It was first seen around these parts in 2019, a time before the pandemic, when overpriced supercars were barely remarkable. The Centodieci was going to be a few-off, limited to just ten examples, all starting around at least eight million euros. After almost three years, Bugatti finally said Monday that it was ready to enter production of the Centodieci. Bugatti will make ten total, all this year, and they will each start at eight million euros, or around $8.8 million.
I am struck, first off, that Bugatti didn’t take the delay as an excuse to raise the price, because if you were willing to pay eight million euros in 2019, you’re probably willing to pay nine or ten million in 2022. In any case, Bugatti says that, in the meantime, it has been busy testing the shit out of the car anyway, driving the car over 50,000 kilometers, or a little over 31,000 miles, at Porsche’s track in Nardò, Italy.
The Centodieci covers up to 1,200 kilometers each day, interrupted only by technical checks, refueling, and driver changes. Throughout the entire time, Bugatti’s engineers analyze the engine and vehicle data and make adjustments where necessary. “We assess every element on the vehicle one last time, paying particular attention to functionality and durability before the first Centodieci cars go into production,” explains Carl Heilenkötter – project manager responsible for one-off and few-off projects at Bugatti. All components must interact perfectly with one another and be capable of withstanding any kind of overloading. They must also harmonize in a stable and safe manner even when subjected to the most severe handling situations.
“The Centodieci is deliberately driven to its limits in order to guarantee reliable handling at the highest level, even in extreme situations. Even though most cars never enter this range, it is nonetheless tested. This is the philosophy of the brand and that is why we put such a huge amount of effort into all this testing. Bugatti is committed to the highest quality standards, durability, and customer satisfaction,” says Carl Heilenkötter. The endurance tests in Nardò represent the final act of the extensive trials.
The car has an 8.0-liter W16, which Bugatti says makes 1,600 horsepower. It has permanent all-wheel drive, and a seven-speed direct-shift gearbox. Bugatti says the car weighs 44 pounds less than the Chiron, and can go from zero to 62 mph in 2.4 seconds, with a top speed electronically limited at 236 mph. It will be made by hand in Molsheim, France, and if you ever see one in the wild it will probably either be stuck in traffic in Monaco or at Pebble Beach. It must have been sick as hell to be one of the test drivers in Nardò, though, pushing a car to limits that even Bugatti acknowledges will probably never be seen again.