Since 1909, Bugatii has manufactured and sold high-performance automobiles that have set the standard in racing and beyond. Founded by an Italian industrial designer by the name of Eltore Bugatti, the company is famous for the design and production of cars such as the Type 55, the Type 35 Grand Prix, the Type 57 Atlantic, and the Type 41 Royale. Eltore died in 1947, and his son, who would have taken over the company, died prior to that in 1939; this left the company in executive limbo. Only 8,000 of the iconic sports vehicles were ever made, with a final model being put out in the 50s. The airplane parts section of the company was sold in 1963, and at that point it was technically the end of the auto business for Bugatti (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugatti).
But in the 90s Bugatti, which had been purchased by an Italian entrepreneur, was revamped, and it began making limited production sports models exclusively. Today it is owned by the German Volkswagen company, and it seems that they are going to go a bit further outside their comfort zone, focusing on a car that is designed for everyday use. Not only that, but it will be…(gasp)…electric.
Yes, you read that right…electric. Now don’t get your carburetor in a knot. While Bugatti, or at least, the Bugatti of the history books, doesn’t have experience with electric automobile making, Volkswagen does, and most all of us are pretty darn confident in their abilities when it comes to cars. But to put one out with the Bugatti name on it is a feat of daring that many simply don’t seem to understand, including us.
So, in an effort to get a firmer grasp on the concept, we thought we’d bone up on the facts and bring them to you. The thought was that the more info we had about this electric car, the easier it would be to campaign for it. Of course, that’s what we hope for anyway, but first we have to run the details by our faithful readers. Below is what we compiled regarding the new electric daily driver from Bugatti. Kick back, relax, and learn something.
So, What’s the Real Deal?
Later last month, Robb Report released an article which uncovered Bugatti’s intentions: The production of an electric automobile which bears the Bugatti name and is intended for day-to-day use. Of course, we’re sure that most people have their doubts; so many things are rumor-based that you simply never can tell. But when Robb Report released the article, people started to believe.
Factually speaking, the company is still tossing the thought around, however. Nothing is set in stone at the current time, but it is something that is being seriously discussed. The expansion of their line would only include the one car, and they are in no way considering the manufacture of another high-performance sports car. The thoughts and talks of going electric are particularly surprising to anyone who knows what Bugatti was once about. But yet the rumors are true…talks are taking place.
It began when the word began to spread that they were considering the design and production of a four-seater, and it wouldn’t have a massive engine like their last vehicle. Instead, it would be electric, which as we all know is something of a hot commodity right now. Not only would it be electric, but it would be designed for driving on a regular basis. To break it down even more, it would be for daily use, which is unheard of when it comes to Bugatti products.
The current CEO of Bugatti, Stephan Winkelmann, spoke to Autoblog, stating that he believed it to be completely feasible that they are not limited to producing a vehicle only meant for weekend use. He went on to say that the new car being considered would definitely be for daily driving, and it would not only have a different shape, but a different mission, as well. While Bugatti has bucked the traditional auto-making system since the beginning, Winkelmann let it be known that the company is aware of what is hot on the market, and what is not. Because of this knowledge, the new car would be designed with electrification in mind.
With that in mind, there is a lot to be considered, particularly if the company is steering completely clear of their ‘norm’. They won’t just dive right in, build a car, release it, and not take the ups and downs into serious consideration. Let’s take a look at some of the aspects that will be pondered by Bugatti.
Things To Really Think About…
First, the company considers this ‘second car’ (second to the previously-made Chiron) to be completely different from its predecessor. This means that it won’t have anything even remotely like the W16 engine, which was massive and very powerful. With electrification, and the thought of producing a daily driver, the car would need to seat more than two, and it would need to be slightly more affordable than past models, of course (slightly?). In response to these points, the car will likely seat four, which is the approximate size of a family, as we know. Price-wise, the CEO said it would top out at around $1.1 million. Well, we know they said more affordable…so what did we really expect? The company would still focus on remaining loyal to the Bugatti name and its legacy. So, if you want a car that says ‘Bugatti’, even if it’s a four-seater electrified version, well, you’re gonna pay for that baby.
Secondly, they have to consider projected production numbers. They are aware that the release of such a car, even with the Bugatti name, would not guarantee magnificent sales. Numbers have to be considered. So, what are they thinking? Well, the CEO stated that they would likely manufacture around 300 units for sale here in the states, 300 in Europe, 300 in Asia, etc. It’s a nice round, safe number, and it sounds not only doable, but feasible as far as the market is concerned. They would be playing it completely safe while taking an incredible risk, and that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Finally, let’s take a look at the considerations for classification. According to The Drive, Bugatti would classify this new vehicle as an ultra- luxury electric car…made for everyone. The Chiron, which is indeed luxurious, comes at a steep, steep price, and it is certainly too much to drive on a daily basis with such a gargantuan motor. This new car would be made just for that: Driving regularly, and it would be just as luxurious; in some ways, perhaps more so. The car wouldn’t look like the Chiron, and it definitely wouldn’t act like it; it would be more suited to its purpose, for sure. Winkelmann stated, ‘There, the balance between performance and comfort is much more important, and it’s about daily usability. This is what I see.’
He went on to say that electric is being considered for this car because it is fitting for the vision in mind. For instance, the car would not be expected to go 250 mph, because it wouldn’t need to in order to fulfill its purpose. It would be designed like a normal day-to-day driver: Like a sedan, coupe, or even a station wagon. Performance will be less of a focus, while other aspects will come into the spotlight more for the company.
The price will be about the name, and Winkelmann believes this will all work well for Bugatti.
Bugatti is, indeed, an iconic brand when it comes to the high-performance, powerfully-engineered cars they produced in the past. They have even managed to gain some recognition for the Chiron among the right crowd, and that’s saying a lot for a company that ceased normal production years ago. But what about this new electrification idea?
We think that if they can do it, they should. You never know when a new car is going to blow its predecessors out of the water with a new technological, ground-breaking feature or improvement. Sure, the price will be higher than the rest, but the reason why is clear. We should expect that, at the very least. We should also be cheering from the sidelines for Bugatti; they aren’t curling up and hiding from the competition of the modern world. Instead, they are out in the sun, seeing what they have to offer and how they can make a go of things with the attributes they have. That’s commendable, and it should be acknowledged.
So, we say ‘Go Bugatti!’ Yes, we’re at the sidelines, watching to see what takes place next and how it will turn out. It’s exciting; it’s a bit scary…and it’s also exhilarating. After all, we get to watch this part of history being made.
Cool, isn’t it?
Written by Benjamin Smith
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