Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann recently hinted the company was eyeing a more affordable model, which could use an electric powertrain, and now Car Magazine is claiming the automaker is working on a modern day Royale.
One of Bugatti’s most famous vehicles, the Type 41 Royale was an ultra luxury flagship which was built between 1927 and 1933. Only seven cars were made and when they occasionally go up for auction, they bring in millions of dollars.
Getting back to the rumored new Royale, it will reportedly ride on a stretched version of the J1 platform that underpins the Porsche Taycan. The model is expected to be significantly larger than its platform mate, so it will reportedly use carbon fiber and “exotic metals” to keep weight in check.
While the rumor should be taken with a grain of salt, the report claims the car could be launched in 2023 and possibly feature solid-state batteries. They would reportedly power three electric motors which would give the Royale all-wheel drive and an output of around 870 hp (649 kW / 882 PS).
Since the car would be focused on luxury and comfort, the magazine believes the Royale could be offered with a Level 4 semi-autonomous driving system. However, it might only be able to operate at that high level in certain areas which have already been mapped in high definition. The report also suggests there could be some sort of “digital concierge service,” but doesn’t elaborate.
Car suggests the Royale will have a base price of $793,695 (£598,855 / €700,000) which would make it significantly more affordable than the Chiron. However, the sedan would be more expensive than other ultra luxury rivals such as the Bentley Mulsanne and Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Bugatti has hinted at ultra luxury models in the past as it introduced the Galibier concept in 2009. At the time, the company said the concept was designed to be the “most exclusive, elegant and powerful four door automobile in the world.”
Rumors about a production version have surfaced every few years, but they’ve never panned out. However, Winkelmann told Bloomberg earlier this month he could see the company developing a battery electric vehicle that is focused on “daily usability” and offers a “balance between performance and comfort.”