Was the demise of one the most underrated supercars of all time the work of sabotage?
The Bugatti EB110 was a spectacular car, with a powertrain ahead of its time. The 3.5-litre quad turbo V12 at its peak in the SS model produced 604 hp @ 8250rpm and roared to 60mph in 3.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 216mph.
Michael Schumacher bought one in 1994 which created huge publicity for the newly formed Bugatti. It was the dream of wealthy Italian businessman Romano Artioli to bring the revered marque back to life and he achieved this in 1991 when the EB110 was revealed to the world in front of the Grande Arche de la Défense in Paris, exactly 110 years after Ettore Bugatti’s birth.
A beautiful factory was built near Modena in Italy and the workforce assembled was passionate about the project and became a family which was torn apart when the Italian Government in 1995 declared bankruptcy due to failure to pay $125million in debt.
The world economy was troubled at the time and Artioli had just purchased Lotus from GM, which many considered too ambitious. But as this documentary portrays Romano believed that sabotage was at work. He points to sudden drops in orders, cars being tampered with and suppliers all of a sudden cutting ties. The documentary certainly makes a case for his theory and we may never know the truth, but it makes for a great story in the chapter of Bugatti and also sadness at what could have been. The factory still lays abandoned today and you can tell that past workers still hurt from its demise.
One of my favourite supercars ever.