The Bugatti Centodieci on the road to perfection

Bugatti Centodieci

Each of the ten Centodieci examples – inspired by the tradition of coachbuilding – is built to Bugatti’s standards of perfection. Centodieci, each part of which has undergone countless hours of testing, is carefully assembled by hand in the Atelier de Molsheim. But before being delivered to its owner, it must still receive the green light from Bugatti’s most experienced test pilot, Steve Jenny, who is known for accepting only the best.

Steve, who knows all the characteristics of all modern Bugattis, is attentive to the smallest details. Having traveled more than 350,000 km at the wheel of Veyrons, Chiron, Divo and Centodieci, but also the one and only La Voiture Noire, his job is to make sure that all these cars behave like a Bugatti, without the slightest imperfection. Each car, whether unique or produced in a very small series – like the Centodieci for example – must follow the same difficult course, to allow the teams to ensure that it complies with the very precise criteria set by Bugatti to approve a delivery.
Although the Centodieci is equipped with the same engine as the Chiron Super Sport – the iconic 8.0-liter W16 and its 1,600 PS – Bugatti engineers have worked intensively to perfect its handling to create a unique driving experience which offers both unparalleled comfort and unprecedented performance. As only 10 examples will be made, Steve’s experience – who has driven more than 800 Bugatti cars – is invaluable as it allows him to quickly adapt to the Centodieci’s profile and understand its behavior and sensations it must give to the buyer.

Before leaving, Steve Jenny also took care to check that the car’s finish – here, an “EB110 Silver” bodywork and an interior meticulously built by hand in Molsheim – was perfect. Before letting it hit the road for a test drive, the Workshop teams also ensure that the car’s bodywork and the seats are carefully protected. Centodieci is now ready to undergo one of the most stringent automotive pre-delivery inspections in the world.

These car tests of at least 300 km through the Alsatian countryside around Molsheim – the birthplace of the brand – last about five hours and allow the car to be tested on a wide variety of roads and various surfaces. Specific routes are determined by the weather, but regardless of weather conditions. Steve can analyze the characteristics of each vehicle in a homogeneous and robust manner. Crisscrossing both winding mountain roads, typical Alsatian villages as well as the famous Alsace Wine Route lined with vineyards and motorways, the route is designed to replicate all the conditions that a customer may experience. to best test the habit of the Centodieci.

This very limited series car inspired by the Bugatti EB110 Super Sport hides its W16 engine under a glass plate, just like the EB110 itself. Therefore, it is invisible and has no cover, unlike the Chiron engine. The sound signature of the Centodieci – where the engine is isolated from the rest of the passenger compartment – ​​is therefore completely different from the Chiron Super Sport, for example. Steve must make sure the car sounds the same for each of the 10 copies.

During the trial, he not only verifies the personality of Centodieci – which must be completely identical from one vehicle to another – but also in any anomaly. These anomalies, often completely imperceptible to ordinary mortals, would only be recognized by someone as knowledgeable about Bugatti as Steve. Whether it’s the sound made by the car on the road, the suspensions or even the gentle rustle of leather and carbon fiber, two materials that move with temperature and ambient humidity… everything must comply with the high standards set by Bugatti.

This difficult task was pushed to the extreme when Steve Jenny tested the vehicle on the closed runway of a local airport. The Centodieci will go from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 380 km/h. High-speed slaloms, sudden lane changes (“Handling”) mode), emergency braking… everything is tested there, in complete safety, to ensure that, even at these speeds and subject to extreme conditions , Centodieci is always closer to perfection. In fact, Centodieci must be both dynamically perfect and completely safe and stable for customers.

During his journey, the driver will also look at the rendering and feel of the vehicle’s various finishes. Bugatti developed special shapes, parts and manufacturing processes for the Centodieci and – like all coachbuilding-inspired models – it has distinctive elements such as the precise stitching of the leather, which creates a quilted checkerboard effect inside of its cabin.

Steve’s knowledge of Bugatti standards is so intense that even if a material feels rougher than it should, or if knobs, switches and handles don’t look, feel or feel as expected, he returns the car in the Workshop to identify, explain and correct the problem to his colleagues. All data is measured, recorded and analyzed with the utmost precision and tight tolerances so there is no room for personal interpretation.

Only after validating a long list of strict criteria can the vehicle be entrusted to the Workshop teams for the next stages of its quality assurance process. Once any minor imperfections have been corrected, the final parts are possibly replaced, the gearbox filter is changed, the customer’s tires are mounted, the car undergoes a final road test of approximately 50 km . Each Centodieci – like all Bugatti cars – will therefore have a total of at least 350 km before it is delivered to the customer. Only after this latest test will the automotive work of art – an exclusive tribute to 110 years of Bugatti history and the culmination of the brand’s excellence in terms of engineering and design – finally leave Molsheim.

Steve Jenny, test driver in charge of vehicle verification at Bugatti Automobiles, emphasizes: “There are no compromises in creating a Bugatti, and this is even more true for a vehicle as rare and exclusive as the Centodieci. . Because with only 10 examples to be made, the opportunities to drive such an exceptional car are very limited so we have to be even more careful in road testing. It is very important to guarantee a constant level of perfection for each Centodieci and each Bugatti. If we come across any problems, we don’t allow ourselves to be influenced by deadlines or schedules. The car is only delivered when we are sure it is perfect in every detail. This is what defines the Bugatti brand and this is what our customers expect . »

Only ten examples of the Bugatti Centodieci will be produced and assembled by hand at the Atelier de Molsheim. All vehicles have already been sold before the unveiling of the car in 2019, costing 8 million euros per unit.

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