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EB 218 Concept
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Country of origin:France
Produced in:1999
Numbers built:1
Introduced at:1999 Geneva Motor Show
Designed by:Italdesign
Source:Company press release
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThe Volkswagen Group acquired the Bugatti brand in 1998 and caused a sensation at many motor shows with numerous design studies. This means that the Bugatti legend will live on into the future: Volkswagen is using Bugatti to create an intensive new interpretation of the term 'luxury vehicle'. Still in the same year, 1998, the Italdesign design study of the Bugatti EB 118 was presented to an amazed public: The two-door Coupé is captivating with its elegance and power. Further steps towards a full-scale production Bugatti could be seen in the four-door saloon Bugatti EB 218 which was presented in 1999 at the Geneva Motor Show.

The history of the legendary Bugatti brand started at the beginning of the last century. Ettore Bugatti built his first automobile in 1909 in Molsheim, Alsace. A high level of quality workmanship and a daring design for its time corresponded to Ettore Bugatti's principle: 'Nothing is too beautiful, nothing is too expensive'.

The first Bugattis built 91 years ago were just as much a sensation as the four design studies at the turn of the Millennium. Will Bugatti make more extravagant vehicles? How many? The specialist press and enthusiasts are making the most adventurous speculations. Bugatti will produce automobiles in the future as they did in the past: A total of 7,950 from 1909 to 1956 and approximately 50 per year in the future. It is planned, as of 2003, to build luxury sports cars by hand in the newly-constructed factory in Molsheim. Tradition is coupled with the modern day, the Bugatti philosophy with state-of the art technology. The basis for this is the renovation work on Chateau St. Jeans in Molsheim, purchased by Volkswagen in 1999, as the location to provide customer service, just as in the days of Ettore Bugatti.

EB 218 is the designation of the second prototype launched by Bugatti after Volkswagen acquired the marque. Its harmonic unification of technology and aesthetics sets new standards. The Bugatti EB 218 fulfils all demands which could possibly be made on a car, including a range of high comfort features. It gives the Bugatti name a new point of emphasis. The primary features of the Bugatti EB 218 follow on from the design and technical specifications of the EB 118 coupé study, which was produced by Giorgetto Giugiaro / ItalDesign under contract from Volkswagen, and which has been further developed to make this unmistakable four-door saloon.

The EB 218 transforms the dimensions and style of the classical Bugatti automobile into a modern setting. This orientation towards the terse lines of the touring cars traditional to the Bugatti marque make this saloon unmistakable.

The model name Bugatti EB 218 refers to the 18-cylinder engine, the first of its kind to be used in a passenger vehicle. This engine, which was developed at Volkswagen, has three rows of six-cylinder banks which are joined in the shape of a 'W'.

Technology and design merge together in the Bugatti EB 218. A swage line runs from the radiator over the bonnet and is continued over the roof of the saloon. It is interrupted by the rear window and continues at the lower edge of the window. A spoiler, which extends automatically, is also located here. Aluminium space-frame technology has been used for the production of the body. The exterior aluminium cladding is finished in pearlescent 'Blu Notte Perlato'.

The harmonious lines of the body are continued in the comfortable and elegant interior. The instruments are oval in shape and the instrument panel is framed in the finest leather. The multi-function display with navigation system is concealed underneath the clock, which can be moved up by an electric drive. The buttons for sequential gear changing are located on the steering wheel. The elegant appeal of the interior is underlined by the use of light walnut and well-balanced metal features. The front seats have electrically adjustable head restraints which bear the EB emblem. The rear seats are particularly generous and have foot rests.

Permanent four-wheel drive and aluminium multi-link suspension lend the Bugatti EB 218 an impressive driving dynamics and excellent traction. The powerful and sporty appearance of the vehicle is underlined by its wide track and long wheelbase with short body overhangs. The Bugatti design can also be seen in the harmonious 18 inch wheels made from shining magnesium.

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