According to Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann, the hypercar brand is considering adding a second, more affordable model to its lineup, which currently only consists of the Chiron. Also, this new model would be at least partially electrified.
“There, I would see us doing a battery electric vehicle,” said Winkelmann. “There, the balance between performance and comfort is much more important, and it’s about daily usability. This is what I see. Speed will be far less important.”
While that sounds absolutely terrific, it’s best we don’t start picturing budget-friendly Bugattis anytime soon, because a supercar as the one he’s describing would probably still cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars and could still put down some 1,000 HP.
The Bugatti boss declined to comment any further on the matter, but has admitted that the automaker has already begun analyzing the prospect of a new, sub-Chiron model, as reported by Autonews Europe.
“Let’s see what we can do,” he said. “I’m hoping for the best.”
There is definitely room for Bugatti to grow as a brand, especially with billionaire populations growing around the world. Take Asia for example – by 2023, it will be home to 1,003 billionaires, a 27% increase from 2018 and more than a third of the world’s total of 2,696, as per Knight Frank’s 2019 Wealth Report. Also, since 2009, sales of cars that cost more than $180,000 have quadrupled, according to IHS Markit.
“At the end of the day, the difference of the price in a car is the brand,” added Winkelmann while addressing how a new model might be positioned. “And this, I think, will stay the same – fortunately for us. I’m convinced about this.”
As for the prospect of a new electrified Bugatti, the general consensus is that the technology needed to get a two-ton Chiron to sustained performance and extended range under battery power alone isn’t feasible yet, because of weight and cost issues. This means that an electrified Bugatti would also have to be a brand new Bugatti.
“I would see [electric power] there because I don’t need a top speed, which is over 250 mph.”
In order for this new model to become reality, Winkelmann first needs approval from the VW board, which can be tricky. It took years for Bentley and Lamborghini to get the green light to divert from their status quo and make SUVs.
Would you like to see Bugatti build something new alongside the Chiron? And if so, would that be a fully-electric supercar/hypercar, a plug-in hybrid, or perhaps even an SUV?