Bertone Bugatti EB Proposal

Bugatti EB 110 Proposal (Bertone) (1989)

In October of 1987, Bugatti Automobili SpA is set up, with a start-up capital of 5 billion lire (approximately 2,5 million euro). Bugatti International Holding detains 65% of the capital and the remaining 35% is in the hands of Stanzani and Tecnostile, which is brought in as capital. At Tecnostile, on the road of Modena to Nonantola, a dozen of people are working on the realization of the new sports car.

At the end of 1987, construction of the cultural centre of Bugatti starts in Ora near Bolzano. It will be inaugurated 2 years later. In the meantime Stanzani finds an area of 75,000 m2 at Campogalliano, highly appropriate for the construction of the new Gran Turismo. The area lies right beside the highway that runs from Modena to Verona. In the first half of 1988, construction starts of the test areas, the administrative building, the production hall and the warehouse (in total 13,000 m2). Architect Giampaolo Benedini, a member of the family of Romano Artioli, is in charge of the entire layout of the site. Meanwhile, the capital is raised for all these projects to be funded.

In 1988, they are particularly focused on finding solutions that stress the technical superiority of the project. In order to rival with Ferrari (the F40 is in production), Stanzani chooses several technically very progressive solutions from the outset, including 4 wheel drive, 4 turbos, 5 valves per cylinder, and the use of titanium and composite materials. A number of solutions such as active suspension and carbon disc brakes are considered but not retained. In the meantime, Borel closes partnerships with companies such as Aérospatiale, Elf and Michelin, in order to be able to introduce those solutions on a standard Gran Turismo. This formula will prove to be very successful in the following years. The drawings of the chassis are frozen on October 19, 1988 and the first chassis in aluminium is supplied by Aérospatiale in the first months of 1989. On March 16, 1989 the first engine runs on the test bench. It is time to start thinking on the design of the new Gran Turismo.

4 people get a copy of the drawings of the chassis: Paolo Martin, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Nuccio Bertone and Marcello Gandini. Dario Trucco is designated as liaison in Turin, and has Paolo Martin building a scale model in the months of April and May. Paolo Martin worked for Michelotti in the 1960s, and later on became notorious at Pininfarina. For example, the Ferrari Modulo is designed by him. Even later, he became an independent designer.

Giorgetto Giugiaro gets the drawings but they cannot find an agreement on the way to proceed. For its own account Giugiaro will make a proposal that he presents on the 1990 Turin Car Show, the ID 90.

It is obvious that Nuccio Bertone, involved in the project from the beginning, also gets a chance to develop a proposal. Under the leadership of Marc Deschamps, at that time head designer at Bertone, a 1:1 scale model is built in clay. Early 1990, it is tested in the wind tunnel of Pininfarina in presence of Oliviero Pedrazzi. However, the cooperation between Bugatti and Bertone becomes more and more difficult. On the one hand, Bugatti will be assembling the coachwork components (made by Golden Car to the design of Gandini) themselves. On the other hand, Nuccio no longer believes in the project, and, on his own initiative, he will end the cooperation in a 2 hours speech with Benedini.

This brings us to Marcello Gandini, who, from the beginning, has an edge over competition. His sensational designs of the Lamborghini Miura, the Countach and the Bravo, are references not to be sneezed at. He also knows Paolo Stanzani and Ferruccio Lamborghini (who remains constantly involved on the background to the Bugatti project) very well from those days. In 1988, he has surprised the world again with the Cizeta V16T. The 16-cylinder engine of the Cizeta was designed at Tecnostile by the trio Bevini, Pedrazzi and Benedetti, now housed in Bugatti. At some point, it was envisaged to buy up the project of Claudio Zampolli in order to save time, however, no agreement was reached.