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Interview: Romano Artioli – The Godfather of the Bugatti EB110

As you may have heard that Bugatti will be unveiling a new limited edition hypercar at Pebble Beach. Sources tell us that it will be a tribute to the EB110 SS that revived the Bugatti brand in 1990s.

Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli was the driving force behind Bugatti’s first modern supercar and the new car will be a homage to his contributions to the brand.

Today, we bring you a short, yet exclusive interview with the godfather of the EB110.

Romano Artioli-Bugatti EB110-5

  • You are the person who brought Bugatti into the modern era with the EB110. How do you see a modern interpretation of the EB110?

I have read the rumors about a new Bugatti being presented in Pebble Beach and it being inspired by the EB110. I don’t know if that’s the truth, but if it were, it would mean a lot to me, to my whole family, and to my old companions at Bugatti Automobili.

The EB110SS was designed to last for a long time, into the future. For this reason, all the technical solutions that had been anticipated are present in all new Bugatti cars today. I would be very pleased if even the design of the possible future Bugatti was inspired by the EB110SS, which is still contemporary.

La Fabbrica Blu in Campogalliano, the EB110, but also the Lotus Elise – these were a dream come true for me, my life’s work.

Romano Artioli-Bugatti EB110-3

  • What was the reason behind selecting the EB110 SS for the tribute car?

As I said, I don’t know if the rumors are true. What I can say is that the EB110 was a car ahead of its time, 110% worthy of carrying the name ‘Bugatti’. I might not be the most impartial person in this matter, but no other car deserves a tribute more than the EB110.

Romano Artioli-Bugatti EB110-4

  • Which design elements from Giampaolo Benedini’s work would you like to see on the modern car?

Giampaolo Benedini finished the design of the EB110 – as an architect! That’s quite uncommon in the automotive world, and it resulted in a very distinguished design of this supercar.

The styling of the EB110 – especially evident in the Super Sport version – is a very graphical one. The memorable, graphical elements make it truly iconic.

This Bauhaus style inspiration before that art tendency became popular. Also, design wise the EB110 was ahead of its time and nothing but a trend setter.

Romano Artioli-Bugatti EB110-2

  • What do you think of the current crop of Bugatti hypercars and the direction in which the Volkswagen Group has steered the brand.

Ferdinand Piëch, maybe the last “Patron” figure of today’s automotive world, took over the brand and has it shaped to his idea. But, always with respect of the long and proud Bugatti history. I think that’s the most important point.

The Veyron was and the Chiron are the absolute pinnacle of the automotive industry, the most powerful and the fastest supercars.

By the way, the fact that Loris Bicocchi, our main test driver for the EB110 and employee number 7 at Bugatti Automobili, also helped test drive the Veyron and the Chiron, makes me proud!

Romano Artioli-Bugatti EB110-1

  • Bugatti had invited you to Chateau Saint Jean in January. Was it during this visit that the intention to build a tribute car was revealed to you?

I had never been to Molsheim after Volkswagen had bought the rights to the Bugatti brand. So, it was long overdue. It was an amazing experience to be received by Stephan Winkelmann and his team in the Château St. Jean and to test drive the Chiron.

We exchanged a lot of ideas and stories, but no tribute or homage project was ever mentioned or presented to me.

Romano Artioli-Bugatti EB110-6

  • Will you be present at the unveiling at Pebble Beach?

I wish I could. However, it is a very long journey that would take me away from my current projects for too long. I will, however, sit in front of the laptop to watch the live stream of the Bugatti press conference, as one more Bugatti enthusiast. Maybe even still the biggest one out there…

We would like to thank Mr. Artioli for taking time out of his busy schedule for talking to us.

(This interview was conducted by and was later shared with other publications.)

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