Bugatti's long-rumored additional model could run on electricity rather than gasoline, according to a recent report. The company is tentatively planning a downward expansion without diluting its image.
Downward is a relative term when spoken in the same sentence as Bugatti. The company isn't interested in chasing volume with an alternative to the Volkswagen GTI. Instead, Bloomberg wrote it's envisioning an electric four-seater priced between 500,000 and one million euros, sums that represent about $555,000 and $1.1 million, respectively. Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann told the publication that convincing parent company Volkswagen to fund the model requires a "hard fight," however.
"The industry is changing fundamentally, and we have to address what opportunities there are to develop Bugatti as a brand going forward," he explained. Releasing a second, cheaper model would mark a dramatic shift for the prestigious automaker, which has stuck to a one-core-model strategy since its renaissance in 1998. The EV could bump its annual output from about 100 to 600 cars.
Winkelmann was the driving force behind the Urus when he ran Lamborghini, which has led to speculation that Bugatti's second model will be an SUV. Speaking to Autoblog, a spokesperson for the company again doused cold water on the rumors. "It would not be an SUV," we learned.
The representative stressed nothing has been decided yet, so it's still too early to tell precisely when the second model would enter production if it receives the proverbial green light for production. Less than 100 Chiron build slots remain available, but the French company has its work cut out for the coming years. It will deliver the first of 40 planned examples of the Divo in 2020, send the one-off La Voiture Noire to its mysterious new home in 2021, and build the first of 10 Centodiecis (pictured) in 2022. Additional Chiron variants (like the record-breaking 300+) aren't out of the question, either.
The idea of an electric Bugatti isn't without precedence. In 1931, company founder Ettore Bugatti built a battery-powered runabout named Type 56 to drive on his property. It was never meant to be a production car, but requests from wealthy clients (including Belgian king Leopold III, who wanted one for his wife Astrid) convinced Bugatti to make 10 examples between 1931 and 1936. Four remain in 2019, including one in original condition that Autoblog got the opportunity to drive in 2018.