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Bugatti channels early 1990s supercar swag in new US$8.9 million car

The Centodieci, an all-white coupe, is the next step in Bugatti's stated strategy of building highly unique, even one-off cars for the world's wealthiest car collectors.

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ON FRIDAY in Monterey, California, Bugatti unveiled the yang to its yin: The Centodieci, an all-white coupe, complements Bugatti's US$12.5 million, jet-black La Voiture Noire. 

As with many luxury car manufacturers  these days, the 110-year-old French brand chose the Quail Gathering during Monterey Car Week for the world debut, rather than a traditional auto show. And given the current climate, where cars from the 1980s and 1990s are heating up the collectors' market, its new model is refreshingly retro and very on point.

"We're demonstrating a powerful contrast with the La Voiture Noire, the black car just presented in March," said Stephan Winkelmann, Bugatti's president, in a statement.

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Prices for the Centodieci start at US$8.9 million, plus tax.

On the outside, Centodieci, meaning the number 110 in Italian, takes cues from the EB110 supercar that was developed in the late 1980s and debuted in 1991.

It was inspired by the Bauhaus style and is the next step in the company's stated strategy of building highly unique, even one-off cars for the world's wealthiest car collectors.

Inside, it has a 8.0-litre W16 engine and a whopping 1,600 horsepower at full thrust. It's also fast, as you might expect, with a sprint time of zero to 100kmh in 2.4 seconds, faster than the Chiron. (It's 44 pounds lighter than the Chiron, too.) Top speed is electronically controlled to 380kmh.

The design is quite a divergence from the scooped, sculpted bodies of the Veyron and Chiron.

Instead of the dominant "Bugatti" line that curves from their backs and swooshes to the front, Centodieci has an almost completely flat roofline that blends into a mechanical rear spoiler - edges along its sides as crisply pressed as an envelope - and what look like 22-inch wheels have seven angled rectangular blades on them.

The rear end has a single ventilation hole and eight rear lights, four matte black exhaust tailpipes stacked two-by-two on top of each other, and a performance diffuser to improve downforce.

Towards the rear fender are five round air inserts set in the shape of a diamond. These were inspired by the ones also present in the EB110 Super Sport - along with an additional air inlet near the oil cooler, they're used to help regulate the temperature of the engine.

Ten Centodieci coupes will be hand-built in Molsheim, France, with deliveries starting in 2021. And yes, customers can have their Centodieci painted in the colour of their choice. BLOOMBERG