The EB110 had 553bhp@8000rpm and 451lb ft@3750rpm being channelled through a six-speed manual gearbox and delivered to all four wheels, but it wasn’t light. In fact, it was heavier than any other contemporary supercar, bar the “portly” Lamborghini Diablo VT.
Yet it still had a power-to-weight ratio of 353bhp/tonne, beaten then only by the Caterham Seven JPE (472), LCC Rocket (358) and the XJ220 (372).
“To use regular performance parameters when attempting to relay the nature and size of the capabilities of a car like the Bugatti is a somewhat pointless exercise,” we said, “because even by the time 60mph flashes by in 4.5sec, the car hasn’t really got into its stride. Nor has it genuinely relaxed by the time 100mph registers 5.1sec later. If you must boast of one figure, make it the 30-70mph time of 3.3sec.
“Think of the fastest car you’ve ever sat in and remember the time when you accelerated hard to get past a couple of slow-moving caravans; however fast that felt, double it and you’ll get some idea. Alternatively, jump off the top of an office block and watch how fast the ground approaches – it’s probably a similar sensation. “Only the Jaguar, in our experience, is faster overall.”
It wasn’t just the engine's speed that impressed, but it’s extraordinary flexibility at low revs which we found to be “almost surreal” – “floor it below 1000rpm in sixth and tit would merely gather steam gradually with no hit of the filling-loosening vibrations that dominate the XJ220’s cabin below 2500rpm, making the Bugatti a much friendlier, easier town companion”.
All accompanied by a “proper supercar deep guttural rumble that builds, along with the multifarious whooshes and whistles from the four turbos and their respective wastegates, to an intoxicating, if not quite Ferrari 512 TR-rivalling scream as the 8500rpm cut-out looms.”
The transmission was nothing to fear, either, with “a driveline as tight as a drum and a shift, though meaty, that is cleaner and quicker than you could ever wish. Even the clutch isn’t viciously heavy”.
We would have liked to try and match Bugatti’s 212.5mph claimed top speed, but we couldn’t – the two-mile bowl at our Millbrook testing ground simply couldn't accommodate these levels of speed.
So, there’s the crazy side, but what about the whole ‘everyday’ business?
The EB110 actually achieved “incredible” fuel economy of around 20mpg which was “5-10mpg more frugal than any other supercar”, and “one of the few with a genuine 500-mile-plus range”.